The fishing town of Gansbaai lies on the R43 just a few kilometres from De Kelders. It’s dubbed the ‘Great White Shark capital of the world’ and the ’Big 2’ town, because of the large number of great white sharks in the area, and the southern right whales that can be seen close to the coast between June and November.
The town is well known for its adrenaline-pumping shark cage diving, although the launch point for this activity is actually at nearby Kleinbaai. To the north lies Walker Bay, with its rugged seafront of rock-pools and coastal caves. To the east the long white sandy beaches of Shark Bay curve along the shoreline.
Gansbaai is a modern seaside town mixed with old-fashioned platteland values and friendly residents. It has a bustling main street dotted with Norfolk pine trees, a mish-mash of old and new shops, and a busy harbour. There are numerous water-related activities in the vicinity, such as deep sea, rock, and beach fishing, kayaking, crayfishing, and scuba diving.
Look out for
Kleinbaai - is 6km south of Gansbaai and from its busy harbour one can see the distant Dyer Island. Shark diving, whale watching, and tours to Dyer and Geyser Islands are all launched from Kleinbaai. Dyer Island teems with hundreds of great white sharks that are attracted because of the rich feeding grounds, thanks to thousands of seals, penguins, and other sea life.
Shark cage diving – even if eyeballing those gnashers up close isn’t your thing, viewing the sharks from the boat is almost as good as from within a secure cage. There are a number of licensed operators, and most trips last several hours, depending on thenumber of clients on board. You don’t have to be a qualified diver to enter the cage, and will be supplied with all necessary diving gear. Trips are weather-permitting.
Whale-watching trips - are catered for by several different companies in town, one being Dyer Island Cruises. They do a 2.5-hour trip in season (June-Nov) with a good chance of getting close to the majestic southern right whales.
Danger Point peninsula - the Danger Point Lighthouse is 7km south of Gansbaai and was built in 1895. It’s open Mon-Fri 10h00-15h00, and from Nov-April it’s open the same hours over weekends. Take a look at the Birkenhead Plaque commemorating one of the most famous shipwrecks in history, the HM Transport Birkenhead.