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De Kelders

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About

De Kelders is more of a seaside residential area than a town, and is situated on the coast just north of Gansbaai. Built along the rocky shoreline it’s an excellent place from which to observe the southern right whales when they come to calve in Walker Bay between June and November.

It gets its name from a number of caves along the shoreline. The best known is the Drup Kelder (Dripping cave), which is known for its crystal water seeping from a freshwater fountain. These mineral waters have been used for well over two centuries for their miraculous cures. This is apparently the only known fresh water cave on the African coast.

De Kelders borders the Walker Bay Nature Reserve, which is home to another cave, Klipgat, where remains have been excavated which suggest that people lived here between 65 000 and 85 000 years ago. The narrow coastal road is excellent for leisurely walks and the Duiwelsgat Hiking Trail follows the shoreline.

Look out for

Land-based whale watching - De Kelders is best known for its whale spotting opportunities from its main road which runs along the coastline. From this slightly elevated viewpoint, visitors in season are often rewarded with sightings of southern right whales that come close to shore.

Klipgat Cave is worth a visit. It is in the Walker Bay Nature Reserve, which borders the northern end of De Kelders.

Walker Bay Nature Reserve - The reserve curves around the coast for approximately 17kms from De Kelders to the mouth of the Klein River east of Hermanus. There are several day hikes along the coast and swimming, angling, and picnicking is allowed. The reserve is open 07h00 - 19h00 daily and entrance is from De Kelders or Stanford.

Hiking trails - There are several in the area, like the 7km Duiwelsgat Hiking Trail that offers around 3 hours of easy walking. It starts in Gansbaai at the old harbour, and winds north along the coastline past De Kelders, various points of interest, caves, and rare coastal limestone fynbos, and finishes at Klipgat Caves.

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