Gansbaai, Western Cape, South Africa




Gansbaai means 'Geese Bay' in Afrikaans - the origin of the name comes from the many geese that were found in the area in the early times. Gansbaai was established around the fishing industry and has been ever since then.

Life in Gansbaai is still very much associated with the sea through the fishing industry and the important local marine life: Great White Sharks and Southern Right Whales.

This small fishing village seems to snooze under a cloak of sleepy country torpor but it really does have much to offer. It's on the other side of Walker Bay from the far bigger, far busier and much better known Hermanus.

And, just like its smarter cousin across the bay, this little town is a favourite haunt of larger tourists - the Southern Right Whales who head up here to escape the Antarctic winter. The Whales arrive around late June, usually, and stay until about October.

Apart from the Whales, there is good fishing and the area is renowned for its wonderful flowers in spring. There are lovely mountain and beach walks and, of course, this is a great spot for seafood fans.

Gansbaai is nowadays accepted as the worldwide Capital for Great White Sharks. Gansbaai is a popular holiday resort for boating and fishing enthusiasts. Dyer Island near Gansbaai is a breeding colony for Jackass Penguins while seals breed on nearby Geyser Island.

Gansbaai is about 100km from Hermanus, on the coastal R43 and is a good stop en route to Cape Agulhas - the southernmost tip of Africa, but it will involve driving on some good quality unpaved roads. It is just over 2 hour's drive from Cape Town.