Adventures Shark cage diving, whale watching, hiking...
~ pristine fishing country
DISCOVER De Kelders, Klipgat Cave & BIG 2 Town
Peaceful accommodation overlooking the Atlantic
Inside... African Adventures Shark cage diving, whale watching, hiking... Historical places
DISCOVER ! De Kelders& Klipgat Cave ! Black Oystercatchers ! BIG 2 Town
GANSBAAI ~ pristine fishing country ! Location ! History ! Events
STAY Ama-krokka B&B Accommodation, facilities & gallery
Adventures Shark cage diving, whale watching, hiking... Gansbaai is known as the "Great White Shark Capital of the World" and as "Big 2 Town". This is due to the many Great White Sharks and Southern Right Whales that are seen along our shore. People come from all over the world to view these magnificent animals. Hiking and trails are also popular activities because the area is surrounded by pure nature, unspoiled, diverse and breathtaking. There are a myriad of other activities too - 4 X 4 trails, horse riding, exploring the local wine routes and bird watching - and exploring the ancient Klipgat caves in De Kelders of course.
Shark Cage Diving Shark diving in South Africa is very popular with adventure travelers. Shark cage diving and surface viewing trips can be arranged with local shark diving tour operators.
Whale Watching The awesome cliffs of De Kelders (meaning the cellars) attract visitors and professional photographers every year from June to January for undoubtedly the best land based viewing of our magnificent Southern Right Whales. Local boat-based whale watching tours are available for those who would like to have a more intimate experience with these magnificent animals and other marine life.
Hiking Hikes on the mountain among the Fynbos are magical and spectacular. A walk in the harbour at sunset with the nostalgic cries of seagulls and slow moving fishing trawlers on the horizon is a soothing cure for stress. There are a variety of trails in the Gansbaai area that vary from 5,5 km to 14 km on inland farms, and 7 km along Coastal trails with endless views of the Atlantic over Walker Bay.
GANSBAAI ~ pristine fishing country History
Johannes Cornelius Wessels was the first to exploit the large supply of fish in Gansbaai. He built the first house of clay and reeds in 1881. More small fishermens houses were erected next to the sea and they circled the bay. In those years, Gansbaai was never developed and it was only many years later that the area was surveyed and the town developed up the steep hill.
Gansbaai nestles between the foot of the Duynefontein Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. Known as the coast of contrasts, Gansbaai, provides visitors with a bouquet of vistas and experiences. The town is named after a colony of Egyptian wild geese that used to nest amongst the reeds near a fresh water fountain in the old harbour.
Today the town boasts a modern harbour with a slipway, fishmeal and canning factory, churches, three primary schools, modern shops, many accommodation facilities, restaurants, banking institutions and other amenities.
Gansbaai is situated in the centre of a number of small bays with kilometres of unspoiled beaches; nature reserves with over 1500 species of Fynbos*; ancient milkwood forests; rocky inlets and spectacular cliffs with views across Walker Bay to Hermanus and Cape Point. * Fynbos is the common name for the fine-leafed, thick, shrub-like vegetation which is indigenous to the winter rainfall area of the southern and southwestern parts of the Western Cape.
i ANNUAL EVENTS ! ! ! !
Crayfish Derby - Easter Weekend Gansbaai Festival - June Carols by Candle Light& Craft Market December Danger Point Lighthouse Race - 31 December
Fishing Country This quaint traditional fishing village is situated on not one, but two harbours, where many fishing trawlers come and go daily, supplying fresh catches to fish mongers and local restaurants. There are lots of small restaurants, coffee shops and pubs in Gansbaai as well as in more scenic spots overlooking the harbour. This is the heart of crayfish country, with an annual crayfish festival being one of the highlights of the local calendar. Abalone (also know as Perlemoen) is professionally farmed in the Danger Point area, ensuring the on-going supply of these precious culinary delights. Fishing is the major sport in the area and many visitors enjoy angling along our rugged coastline or out at sea in their ski-boats. Scuba diving is also becoming very popular and we have some of the best surfing areas in South Africa!
Useful Contact Numbers ! Tourism Bureau 028 384 1439 ! Byeneskrans 028 388 0551 (Trails) ! Heidehof 028 388 0073 (Trails)
Coast of contrasts
DISCOVER De Kelders, Klipgat Cave & BIG 2 Town
Gansbaai is named the BIG-2-TOWN after the numerous Great white sharks that cruise in the waters east of Danger Point Peninsula and the many Southern Right Whales that hang out around the shores on the western side of the Danger Point Peninsula between July and December. The locals still see it as the fishing village it has always been. The harbour is still the point of gravity in town and every local in Gansbaai, whatever his profession, is also a fisherman. If you need a craftsman on the first day of the lobster season, you won't find him. He is at sea, catching lobsters with his neighbours. In almost every drive-way in Gansbaai, you can see a trailer with a boat parked next to the family car. In spite of the developing tourism industry, the fishing industry is still the economical heart-beat of Gansbaai. The fleet of fishing boats and the fishmeal factory in the harbor employ a substantial number of people. Locals call the occasional typical smell from the fishmeal factory the "smell of money". The Abalone farm, just outside Gansbaai, immediately on the shores of Danger Point Peninsula, produces this traditional local culinary delight in large quantities for the Asian market.
BIG 2 Town Gansbaai is the point of gravity of the Danger Point Peninsula area. Gansbaai is the place where the banks, petrol stations and most of the shops are. The tourism office can be found in the middle of Main Street. There are various restaurants and bars dotted around Main Street, in the backstreets and in the harbor. It is a very Gansbaai-thing to do: drink the locally brewed Birkenhead beer in a harbor-bar and watch the fishing boats return against the setting sun over Walker Bay.
Klipgat is not the Lady Ann Barnard Cave, which is located under the old De Kelders Hotel but an excavation in the Walker Bay Nature reserve in a complex of open caves. The cave was originally a subterranean solution cavity, like the Cango Caves, that formed in the Bredasdorp Group Limestone millions of years ago. Much later, a rising sea level cut an opening into this and the remnants from the roof and sides of the present cave. The bottom of the cave is Table Mountain Sandstone onto which the dunes that subsequently forms the limestone were originally deposited. The cave extend into the cave bottom and were encountered some 5m below the top of the archaeological deposits. The cave, also know as the Klipgat Cave, was first excavated in 1969 by the late Frank Schweitzer of the South African Museum.
Rank Schweitzer found the first evidence that later stone age sheepkeeping Khoikhoi pastoralists were already living in the Western Cape 1600 to 2000 years ago. He also discovered 2000 year-old-pieces of pots that the Khoikhoi or their SanHunter gatherer antecedents had discarded amongst the stone and bone artifacts and ornaments and remains of the shellfish, fish and other animals they had eaten in their cave campsite. In still deeper deposits, he uncovered the artifacts and beautifully preserved bone food remains left there by Middle Stone age (MSA) people some 40 000 to 80 000 years ago and some human teeth. This reveals the even greater importance of the site as a source of information on early human (Homo Sapiens) physical, technological, cultural and socio-economic development. In 1992, a joint venture led by Fred Grine (State University of New York at
Stony Brook), Richard Klein (Stanford University), Curtis Marean (State University of New York at Stony Brook) and Gram Avery (South African), funded by the National Science foundation in the United States of America, was established to extend the original excavation in order to: ! Enlarge the artifact and bone samples. ! Use new methods to date the deposits more accurately. ! Find better-preserved remains of the early humans that would enable physical anthropologists to gain a better idea of their anatomical features. ! Find evidence for the development of human behaviour. The MSA human remains from De Kelders are among the earliest in the world belonging to anatomically modern-looking Homo Sapiens (our own species, which has existed from at least 130 000 years ago). Such early remains have been found in only three South African sites, and in the Middle East. This evidence contributes to knowledge of our relationship to the Neanderthals-Homo Sapiens. Neanderthalensis of Europe and the Middle East, who were their contemporaries and to the theory that modern people originated in Africa before dispersing around the world. Very recent research has indicated that the Neanderthals were not related to us at all, but had a separate origin, living parallel with modern
Homo Sapiens until about 35 000 years ago when they disappeared. Information on the behaviour of the De Kelders Stone Age people, gleaned through studies of the technological, cultural and subsistence practices deduced form the artifact and bone samples and the evidence from fire places, will also help us to understand how they made their tools, obtained and prepared their food and some aspects of their social lives. Modern-looking people behaved in a "modern" way at an early stage or whether that level of intellectual expression developed only 50 000 to 40 000 years ago, as some archaeological evidence suggests. Remains of the animals they ate and the bones of mice, shrews and bats left by barn owls that roosted in the cave also provide us with information about the climatic, vegetation and sea-level settings that the people had to cope with. We know the coast was a least 10km out in Walker Bay, which was high and dry during a period of lower sea level in the last glacial (Ice Age) and that there was a river or wetlands out there. At times, during this period, the climate was wetter or drier, which changed the vegetation and the variety of foods and raw materials available to the people. This is a copy of a local news paper report by Dr. Graham Avery
Historical Places Dangerpoint Lighthouse 7 kilometres from Gansbaai the rocky Danger Point peninsula juts 8 km into the sea. The lighthouse at the point bears testimony to the danger that it is to passing ships. It is the scene of one of the most famous shipwrecks in history, that of the HM Transport Birkenhead. After the subsequent loss of more than 20 ships the lighthouse was commissioned in 1895. It is today one of very few working light houses, and a declared national monument. The lonely light which is thrown over the perilous waters of the southern Atlantic Ocean has for more than a century warned many a ship of the danger hidden along the coast line, and saved many lives in doing so. The light can be seen for 5 nautical miles ( 11 km ). The lighthouse has over the years been manned by many dedicated men. They tirelessly watched over the safety of passing ships, to ensure that they and their cargoes reach their distant destination safely.
Dyer Island 6 kilometres off the Gansbaai coast, near Franskraal/Kleinbaai, Dyer's Island can be seen looming on the horizon. It was named after Samson Dyers, who was employed to collect guano for an American company. It was said that Samson Dyers stayed in a "pondokkie" in Franskraal around 1806. The building was restored and become the Strandveld Museum. This Island is a breeding colony for jackass penguins. Seals breed on nearby Geyser Island, which is separated from Dyer Island by a narrow channel. The sea around these Islands teems with an abundance of life and it has become a feeding ground of the endangered Great White Shark. Boat charters and shark safaris leave from Kleinbaai Harbour.
Franskraal Museum ! Tourism Bureau 028 384 1439 ! Byeneskrans 028 388 0551 (Trails) ! Heidehof 028 388 0073 (Trails)
Gansbaai Marine As the village grew and developed, so did the needs and aspirations of the local residents. Although there was fish in abundance, very low prices caused much concern and hardship amongst fishermen. They were often paid very low prices for their catches. After some thought and careful deliberation the Gansbaai Fishing Co-op was formed in 1952. This was the first co-op of its kind in South Africa, and even exists today, though in a transformed manner. The establishment of the fishing coop guaranteed a market for all fish caught, and put an end to much of the hardship suffered until that time. As a further development in the fishing industry, the local fishing factory, Gansbaai Marine, was erected as a joint venture between the local fishermen (through Gansbaai Fishing Co-op) and the Cape Town based Marine Products. The new factory was called Gansbaai Marine, and even today is regarded as the main industry and creator of employment in Gansbaai. The canning division is the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere.
Black Oystercatcher On visits to the caves you may see the beautiful African Black Oystercatcher. The African black Oystercatcher is South Africa's second rarest coastal breeding bird. The total population is less than 5 000 birds. Their glossy black plumage, bright red eyes, beak and legs, and plaintive call make them a distinctive and very appealing species. African black Oystercatchers occur along the coast and off-shore islands from Namibia to the Eastern Cape. They are usually found on sandy or rocky shores, and less frequently on coastal vleis and lagoons. Oystercatchers almost always occur in pairs or small groups. The breeding season is from September to March. They nest on exposed sand, rocks, next to dried kelp or among stones. Usually two eggs are laid, of a greenish or buff stony colour with dark brown spots, which provides an effective camouflage against predators. The name Oystercatcher is misleading as they feed mainly on mussels, limpets, whelks, crustaceans and various worms, rarely if ever taking oysters. Visitors should be very careful not to disturb these rare and enchanting birds.
Relax! Enjoy a tranquil stay at Ama-krokka Bed & Breakfast in De Kelders, Gansbaai. Your host, Sue Paeper, loves sharing her specifically modified home overlooking the Atlantic Ocean with people from around the world, so that they can experience life in this peaceful spot. Sue provides bed and breakfast accommodation that guests say is "even better than home from home" and is only 500m from the sea! Being in De Kelders, Ama-krokka faces west overlooking Walker Bay - the only Whale Nature Reserve in the world. This location ensures that you are privy to astounding land based whale watching in whale season and the most spectacular African sunsets. Accommodation at Ama-krokka is tremendously comfortable and lends itself to relaxing outdoor and indoor living. There is a pool to cool off in on hot summer days with a sea view. The outside patio is perfect for whale watching while you breakfast and the garden is a bird watchers delight. There is a tranquil communal living area with a sitting room and dining room that also overlook the Atlantic Ocean.
Accommodation is provided in two private suites. Both have their own entrances and private patio, television, microwave and tea/coffee making facilities. There is off street parking. Internet access is available on request. For a homely, peaceful holiday in South Africa, stay at Ama-krokka Bed and Breakfast accommodation in Gansbaai.
Directions From Cape Town: Leave on the N2 , shortly after the Houwhoek Pass, turn off onto the R43 to Hermanus and continue past Stanford towards Gansbaai. Take the first turning to De Kelders on your right Go down to the Stop and follow the three sign boards saying Ama-Krokka B & B After the third board turn left into Vyfer St we are the 2nd house on your right See you there....... From Mossel Bay: On the N2, just past Riviersonderend turn off left onto the R326, then left at Stanford onto the R43 towards Gansbaai. Take the first turning to De Kelders on your right. Go down to the Stop and follow the three sign boards saying Ama-Krokka B & B After the third board turn left into Vyfer St we are the 2nd house on your right See you there.......
i Contact Details ! ! ! !
28 Vyfer Street, De Kelders, Gansbaai, South Africa 7220 Phone & Fax: +27 (0)28 384-2776 Cell: 083 308 1531 E-mail: email@example.com
â€œbetter than home from homeâ€?
African adventures, Discover Gansbaai, Klipgat Cave, Big 2 Town, Black Oystercatchers and peaceful accommodation in De Kelders, Gansbaai.