Gansbaai

Time needed: 5 Hour(s) to 3 Day(s)

The small fishing town of Gansbaai is a popular holiday town, attracting whale watchers and keen fishermen from around the world. In addition, it is home to the extremely adrenalin-fuelled experience of shark cage diving.

Gansbaai is also a nature lover's oasis with miles of soft sandy, unspoilt beaches. Nature reserves in the area boast over 1500 species of Fynbos and offer many hiking and 4X4 trails for visitors to enjoy. Just off the coast of Gansbaai there are two islands, known as Dyer Island and Geyser Island. Dyer Island is a breeding colony for the Jackass Penguin while Geyser Island is home to over 60 000 Cape Fur Seals.

Despite all the interest in shark cage diving and whale watching; Gansbaai is still first and foremost a fishing village with every local having a strong connection to the sea and fishing. Gansbaai was first established in 1880 when a fisherman settled in the area after discovering an abundance of fish in the surrounding waters. In the centre of the town a fountain became home to a family of wild geese which led to the name 'Gansgat' (goose hole). This was later changed to Gansbaai (Goose Bay).

Visitors to the area should sample some of the local beer from the nearby Birkenhead brewery; best enjoyed icy cold while watching the fishing boats return against the setting sun over Walker Bay.