Gansbaai Western Cape
Gansbaai, Afrikaans for “Bay of Geese”, is a small fishing town located in Western Cape, South Africa. It is a very popular tourist destination that offers an incredible combination of mountains, sea, and all the natural beauty that are associated with both. The variety of marine life alone in this area is nothing short of astounding and draws visitors from around the globe to witness nature in all her glory. Gansbaii is well-known for its rich sea life and particularly its population of great white sharks that come to dine on the Cape Fur Seals that make their homes in the area. In fact, the stretch of water between Geyser Rock and Dyer Island is most often referred to as “Shark Alley”! Gansbaai is one of the best places in the world to view these mysterious creatures in their natural habitat.
The brave may even want to participate in shark cage diving, which is one of the main attractions of Gansbaai. For those who aren’t quite so adventurous, the sharks can be observed from the safety of a boat.
Even if you don’t want to get quite so up close and personal with a shark, there are many other (less stressful) activities in and around Gansbaai. It is also the perfect place to watch the Southern Right Whales as they visit the area between July and December to mate and give birth. The coastline comes to life as they frolic and play along with their newborn calves. One of the best areas in the world to view whales from shore, you can even watch their antics as you take a leisurely stroll along Pearly Beach. Nearby Dyer Island, which is a world renowned bird sanctuary, is a bird watcher’s paradise.
The island is home to a wide variety of bird species, some of which are quite rare. Among the species that can be seen on the island are the Cape Cormorant, Hartlaub’s Gull, the African Penguin, and the African Black Oystercatcher. Since this is a fishing town, why not try your hand at catching dinner? Gansbaai is the perfect spot for anglers of all ages and the shore fishing in the area is phenomenal. Take a walk and get some advice from the local fishermen before grabbing your fishing rod and heading out for a relaxing day of angling. Located within the Cape Floral Kingdom, the botanists in your group may never want to leave.
There are many hiking trails that take you through one of the most divers floral kingdoms in the world. From a huge variety of flowering fynbos to milkwood forests and groves of wild olive, the hiking trails offer not only a chance to view many of these rare types of flora, but breathtaking scenery in every direction. Gansbaai is definitely a town where you can turn off the cell phone and relax. Whether you want the adrenaline rush of shark cage diving or a leisurely dinner with fine wine and candle light, it can all be found in Gansbaai.