Gansbaai Holiday Guide


From the spectacular cliffs of De Kelders to the miles of white sandy beaches of Pearly Beach, you will find one of the most unique and astonishing land-based Whale watching spots in the word called Gansbaai. Or onwards to Dyer Island where the mysterious and graceful Great White Sharks have drawn visitors from across the globe, hence Gansbaai having become known as the Great White Shark capital of the world.

In the same vicinity just off Shark Alley, you will find an abundance of seals, being the hot spot restaurant of the great whites, not to mention the Penguin colony of Dyer Island.

Back on land, numerous caves along the cliffs of De Kelders beckon the visitor to explore and discover ancient secret wonders – while never ending sandy beaches provide for long uplifting and soul-searching walks. Various trails can be followed on the mountain and in the hills to discover fynbos that is awesome (some 1500 species), views that are striking, rare plants yet to be discovered and space that is not yet a luxury. Ancient milkwood forests grace the surroundings and are home to many an unknown insect, rodent and plant species waiting to be admired.

This little town is able to offer some of the world’s best boat- and shore-based whale watching and unquestionably the world’s best White Shark diving. The sensational marine tourist attractions should not be the only things to lure you, however. Some of the Cape’s best-conserved fynbos adorns the mountains in the area and numerous walks and trails criss-cross it. The lighthouse at Danger Point is open to tourists, and you can climb the stairs to the revolving light and peer out at the restless waters that cover the remains of the famous Birkenhead wreck. After a week spent wandering the streets of Gansbaai and its surroundings, we can comfortably say that this, truly, is the gem of the Overberg.”

The notorious Birkenhead Rock can be seen at low tide, just a few kilometers off Danger Point. Tours to the lighthouse and the Birkenhead Memorial can be arranged at request.

The Location of Gansbaai

Gansbaai is situated along the Southern Cape Coast, about an hour and a half’s drive from Cape Town. Approx 180km. (110 miles). This landmark destination serves as a departure point for an excursion to Geyser Island and Dyer Island.

There are some amazing routes to travel to and from Gansbaai:

De Kelders (3 km from Gansbaai)

De Kelders lies spread out above a rough coasatline, varying from rocky beaches to awesome cliffs, and flattens out onto the sandy stretches of the Plaat, a fisherman ‘s paradise.

The area, well-known for shore angling has scenic wonders such as the Duiwelsgat hiking trail and recently excavaterd caves. Excavations at Klipgat revealed archaeological deposits left by Middle Stone Age people about 85 000 million years ago, and by the Khoisan ( Later Stone Age ) using it about 2 000 years ago.

The tall, rockey cliffs of De Kelders provide some of the best vantage points in this area from which to observe the Southern Right whales as they come to Walker Bay between June and November each year.

Stanfords Bay (2 Km from Gansbaai)

This marvellous little cove, once used by Captain Robert Stanford for exporting his farm produce, has developed into a beautiful, tranquil pleasure resort.

Old milkwood trees cluster in a semicircle round the bay where swimming is perfectly safe and picnicking a must. Fig trees dating back to approximately 150 years ago can be seen here, not far from the freshwater springs at Flentergat.

Kleinbaai (4 km from Gansbaai)

Kleinbaai is a picturesque little village nestling amongst milkwood trees, summer daisies and glorious heather.

It also boats a tidal pool, golf course with a sea view and a sports centre. During peak season the harbour becomes a beehive of activity as boats and rubberducks come and go.

Fishing is a major sport and many try for the elusive big ones amoungst the galjoen at the Plaat.

Franskraal & Uilenkraalsmond (7 Km from Gansbaai)

Franskraal is a modern village and a botanist ‘s dream. Most of the flora is seasonal, flowering in spring. An ancient milkwood forest one of the last left in the world – cluster upon cluster of gnarled trunks, is one of the splendid wonders of creation at Franskraal.

Uilenkraalmond is situated at the mouth of the Uilenkraai River and is a popular holiday resort with a big, modern caravan park, supertube, putt – putt course and trampoline. Its tranquil lagoon, safe for swimming, is also the homing ground for estuarine birds such as waders and gulls.

Pearly Beach (21 Km from Gansbaai)

Pearly Beach village lazes partly obscured between heather covered dunes which undulate for kilometers above a magnificent shoreline. Its caravan park, shaded by ancient milkwood trees, is completely sheltered.

Vast sandy stretches offer good angling sports. In season perlemoen and crayfish diving is a popular sport. Swimming in the aquamarine sea or lazing on the dazzling, pearly beach is so enjoyable that visitors return year after year.

Dyers Island

Dryers Island is a breeding colony for jackass penguins. Not far from Dryers Island is Geyser Island, a breeding ground for seals.

As the area around these Islands teems with an abundance of sea life, it has become a notorious feeding ground for the Great White shark which frequents its waters in large numbers.

Danger Point (9 Km from Gansbaai)

Between Gansbaai and Franskraal, the flat rocky peninsula of Danger Point extends for about 8 kilometers into the sea. The many reefs and sunken rocks along its shoreline make it one of the most dangerous places in the world for ships coming too close inshore.

To make things worse, a hidden rock lurks just below the surface off the Point. It was on this rock that the legendary HMS Birkenhead met her doom on the fateful night of 26 February 1852, with the loss of 443 lives. After further losses of more than 20 ships, a lighthouse came into operation in 1895.

The notorios Birkenhead Rock can be seen at low tide, just a few kilometers off Danger Point. Tours to the lighthouse and the Birkenhead Memorial can be arranged at request.

Stanford (25Km from Gansbaai)

This is a peaceful country village on the banks of the Klein River just before it meets the sea in a coastal lagoon. Visit the charming English Church, Standford House and the pottery factory. Popular for walking trails and bird watching.


Old fashioned little hamlet 20 km from Gansbaai. The old Dutch Reformed Church is recently restored. The area is well known for its wild flowers.

The Gansbaai Vibe

Get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and come to Gansbaai, the famous “ Big Two Town” where adventure will find you! Situated in the Overberg region of the Western Cape of South Africa. While getting back to basics with warm friendly people greeting you with a smile.

The Gansbaai area is renowned for its abundance of marine life and pristine natural surroundings, making it the perfect destination for avid nature lovers.

A village and holiday resort well worth visiting, as many a weary city dweller, finding respite in its tranquil surroundings, has discovered. Whether you pass through or stay over, take a stroll down to the harbour, walk along the old harbour wall and watch the trawlers leave for the open sea, or see them bedding themselves down at dusk in the safety of its moorings.

The Gansbaai Coast is also known as the “Coast of Contrasts” and has become renowned as the Great White Shark capital of the world, also known as “shark alley”.

Gansbaai – Amenities

Both Southern Right Whales and Great White Sharks frequent the Atlantic waters of the Danger Point Peninsula and are a major draw card for the town.

Places to see in Gansbaai


  • Strandveld Museum situated in Franskraal
  • Walker Bay Nature Reserve
  • Gansbaai Activities
  • White shark cage diving
  • Fishing
  • Enjoy one of the superb beaches
  • Whale watching
  • Sand boarding
  • Hiking
  • Camping
  • Cave exploration
  • Horse riding
  • Shopping


Eating out in Gansbaai

Ganbaai has several seafood restaurants where you can indulge your taste-buds, and take-aways which you can pop into before setting off for the beach.


  • Gansbaai restaurants :
  • Lighthouse Tavern
  • Pizza World
  • Red Indigo
  • The Great White House
  • Guesthouses in Gansbaai


Please use the links below to access more details on the featured guest houses, where indicated read the owners/ manager page for the inside story!!

Sea Star Guesthouse

Whalesong Guesthouse

Alternatively access our comprehensive guest house directory here