As a settlement, Gansbaai came into
being in the early 1880's. Nomadic fishermen,
of whom a gentleman with the name of Cornelis
Wessels is claimed to be the first,
settled on this coastal
stretch of the farm "Strandfontein" (fountain on the beach). The centre point was the freshwater fountain next to the present harbour which
provided the small but successful community with drinking water. This fountain was home to wild geese and soon the place was known as "Gansgat" (goose-hole), later
changed into the more respectable Gansbaai (Goose Bay). The name Wessels and those of other early settlers are still the common names in Gansbaai.
Gansbaai is an unpretentious fishing town. The harbour, where the fishing boats come and go with it's canning factory often creating the typical "Gansbaai-smell" from
the left over fishmeal, is still the active centre-point of Gansbaai. The hinterland of Danger-Point-Peninsula is a mosaic of different habitats of the remarkable Cape
Floral Kingdom ("fynbos"), ancient indigenous forest, agricultural lands, vineyards, flower-farms and rural communities. Many of these places can be visited. Gansbaai
is well-known as the notorious feeding ground for the Great White shark so white shark-cage diving has become popular and observing the Southern Right whales with
whale watching tours during June to November.
At Dyer Island you will see a breeding colony of jackass penguins and tours to Geyser Island, a breeding ground for seals can also be arranged. Visit the Walker Bay
Nature Reserve, just outside De Kelders. Walk the Duiwelsgat Hiking trail and visit the Klipgat Cave, which revealed archaeological deposits left by Middle Stone Age people
about 85 000 million years ago and then by the Khoisan (Later Stone Age) using it about 2 000 years ago. Guided horse trails and treks, guided botanical walks in parts
of the Cape Floral Kingdom, 4x4 trails up to "AasvoŽlkop" (Vulture Peak) with stunning views over the Agulhas Plains and the Uilkraals estuary can also be enjoyed.
Danger Point 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 early hours of the morning 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 notorious Birkenhead Rock can only be seen where the wave breaks over the rock
at low tide, just a few kilometers off Danger Point. Tours to the lighthouse and the Birkenhead Memorial can be arranged on request.
lies spread out above a rough coastline, varying from rocky beaches to awesome cliffs, and flattens out onto the sandy stretches of the Plaat, a
, 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.
is a picturesque little village nestling amongst milkwood trees, summer daisies and glorious heather. It also boasts a tidal pool, golf course with a sea
view and a sports centre. Fishing is a major sport and many try for the elusive big ones amongst the galjoen at the Plaat.
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. Franskraal has one of the quaintest museums in the country.
An original "Strandveld-house" immediately on the sea harbors a special collection about the history of the area.
is situated at the mouth of the Uilenkraal River and is a popular holiday resort with a big, modern caravan park, super tube, putt - putt course and
trampoline. It's tranquil lagoon, safe for swimming, is also the homing ground for estuarine birds such as waders and gulls.
village lazes partly obscured between heather covered dunes which undulate for kilometers above a magnificent shoreline. It's caravan park, shaded by
ancient milkwood trees, is completely sheltered. Vast sandy stretches offer good angling sports. In season perlemoen and crayfish diving (permits a necessity) is
a popular sport. Swimming in the aquamarine sea or lazing on the pearly beach is so enjoyable that visitors return year after year.