Gansbaai South Africa – ‘Gans’ meaning ‘Goose’ and ‘Baai’ meaning ‘Bay’ was named after a flock of wild Egyptian geese alleged to have settled at the freshwater fountain near the harbour. Gansbaai was  officially given Its name back in the 1800’s.

Nestling at the foot of the Dynefontein Mountains is Gansbaai South Africa.  An unpretentious fishing village situated between the towns of Hermanus and Pearly Beach on the most magnificent coastline of the Western Cape.

Gansbaai has a population of residents estimated at approximately 20,000 people. A majority of these local residents work for Marine based operations and are proud and vibrant people living and breathing all things Ocean.

Gansbaai - Kleinbaai
Gansbaai South Africa


Gansbaai is most famous for its variety of shark life including the The Great White Shark, Bronze Whaler Shark and Seven Gill Cow Shark. Its stunning coastline offers natural, rugged and unspoiled beauty. This area has a wide range of marine and bird life to observe and hiking is very popular In this region.

When you arrive Into Gansbaai you will be embodied by a humble fishing village steeped in historical beauty.

This is where our 5 star White Shark Projects Headquarters is situated offering the best facilities In the whole of South Africa specifically dedicated to shark and environmental conservation.

Our headquarters is a stones throw away from the harbour where our majestic ‘Shark Team’ vessel sits. ‘She’ is a 36 foot catamaran custom built for shark cage diving and viewing and is one of the best In the business.

Gansbaai has a reputation as the ‘Shark Cage Diving Capital of the World’ and many who visit us return time and time again to explore even more of what secrets this unique area has to offer.


Gansbaai has been renowned for being a great white shark hotspot. Great White Sharks were observed In this area a whole 181 years before the idea of the cage-diving industry was even conceived.

Seal Island In False Bay was one of many islands In South Africa that was know for the indiscriminate slaughtering of seals. For three centuries seals were harvested for there skin, oil and meat. Many sailing vessels would slaughter the seals on the island and used a ‘pully system’ to transport the carcasses from the island to the sailing vessels. On a long rope they would attached the seals post slaughter and pull them across from the island to the boats. As they made the journey across the open water It created a chum slick of oil and blubber leaking from the carcasses. It is thought that this attracted the Great White Shark and many times the sharks took out long lines of seal carcasses before they made It to the sailing vessels. Other methods were then used to transport the seals but the Great White Shark has been recorded been In the False Bay and Walker Bay area since the mid 1600’s

When you come to this sleepy town you will meet people that have knowledge about sharks dated back generations. What you can learn here from the local people In Gansbaai Is Invaluable and cannot be found In any book.

Gansbaai South Africa - Shark Cage Diving
Gansbaai - Dyer Island - Shark Alley


Dyer Island is just off the coast of Gansbaai South Africa and is the breeding ground of the endangered South African Penguin also known as the Jackass Penguin.

Twelve seabirds and five terrestrial species have been recorded by CapeNature to be breeding on the island in total. Dyer Island is approximately 20 hectares and is one of two low-lying islands situated 4.7 km south-east of Danger Point.

The closest harbour is Kleinbaai, and this harbour is the only area of Gansbaai that the   Shark Team Vessels launches from. In the south-eastern section of Dyer Island there are a few small buildings and a house that are used for research and storage.

The South African Penguin population at Dyer Island is in rapid decline.  The island used to be home to some 72,000birds in 1976 but it is thought that the population may have fallen below 3 000 pairs in 1997. It now has approximately 1 000 breeding pairs.


Gansbaai popularity with great white sharks is due to the 60,000 cape fur seals breeding on Geyser Rock, which lies 8km offshore.

Shark Alley is a 150m wide channel that runs between Geyser Rock and Dyer Island that has the perfect topography to allow for the ambush-style hunting tactic sharks use to hunt seals.

It is no wonder that the passage between these two islands forms the infamous ‘Shark Alley’ and creates an obvious feeding ground for the endangered Great White Shark.

Great white sharks are very successful predators, and this is in part due to their perfect camouflage. Their grey topside allows them to blend into the background of the ocean floor and seals swimming at the surface looking down, won’t see them, this is known as counter-shading.

Another important fact to note is that great white sharks are nomadic creatures and are continuously on the move, travelling long distances throughout their lives.

Gansbaai does not have a resident population of great white sharks, but rather a dynamic flux of sharks continuously moving through the area

Gansbaai South Africa - Whale Watching


Gansbaai falls under one of the most popular tourist destinations within the Overberg District, Western Cape, South Africa.

From the spectacular cliffs of De Kelders to the miles of white sandy beaches of Pearly Beach, you will find one of the most unique and astonishing land-based whale watching spots in the world.

In Whale Season April- Dec you will be In awe at whales breaching whilst you are sitting along the shoreline. If you want to get even closer take a trip on Ivanhoe Sea Safaris to get a more Intimate experience.  Whale watching is also available through us.


Shark Cage Diving Gansbaai – Best cage diving in the world – We do this by being in the field and providing the necessary facilities and resources to observe the Great White Shark in its natural environment.

White Shark Projects gathers data which is crucial to understanding and supporting their conservation, in addition to providing improved public education and positive close range engagement.

As the most successful operation globally, White Shark Projects has logged the most contacts with Great White Sharks in the world, year in and year out. We pride ourselves on our rate of contact and ongoing contribution to the conservation of the species and their environment.


Our partner Ivanhoe Sea Safaris is based in Gansbaai and is dedicated to the respect and health of our oceans.  Ivanhoe holds 28 passengers and four crew with one been a marine biologist who will guide you through this intimate experience.

Regulations allow Ivanhoe to come within 50 meters of the whales and other vessels need to keep 300metres away.   In whale season May –  November expect to see an array of whales coming to Gansbaai to breed and birth their young calf’s.

These whales include the transient Southern Right whale and the Humpback whale. Many guests comment that it is “like seeing a giant in the ocean” and are in awe of their size and their interest in the boats and its passengers.

It is not uncommon to see whales breaching. They say they breach from the water when they have successfully mated like a victory jump.

In the Dec-March month Ivanhoe Sea Safaris run Eco Marine Safaris where you can see Byrdes Whales, pods of 300+ dolphin, the endangered South African penguin, Cape fur seals, Cape Comoran’s, and a variety of seabirds. Whatever time of year you visit Gansbaai Ivanhoe Sea Safaris will make your visit one to remember.


Shark Cage Diving- White Shark Projects
Afrikano’s Croc and Dive Centre – Gansbaai
Ivanhoe Sea Safaris – Whale Watching – Gansbaai
Panthera Africa – Big Cat Sanctuary – Stanford
Horse Riding – Pearly Beach
Fat Bike Tours – De Kelders
Klipgate Caves – De Kelders

A Number of these activities are available as Combo Deal

Stanford Cat Santuary


Panthera Africa is one of only four ‘true’ wild cat sanctuary’s In South Africa. A true cat sanctuary is identified as not breeding from their animals and not allowing physical human interaction.

Panthera run three tours per day limiting their tours to 20 people. This is no means a zoo rather a small but varied collection of rescued big cats. The big cats include lion, leopards, Tigers, Cheetahs, Caracals and Jackals.

They ensure their cats live with according to their species and are supplied with enrichment that encourages natural behavior within Its captive yet tranquil environment.

Located 15mins from Gansbaai you can visit a variety of big cats who have been rescued from the hunting and petting trade and they will live there for the rest of their lives in peace and not in fear. Other ‘true’ cat sanctuary includes Lions Rock, Jukani Wildlife Sanctury and Born Free based In Shamwari Private Games Reserve.


Klipgat Caves are located off the shoreline in an area of Gansbaai called De Kelders. The caves are managed by Cape Nature, and you can access them via Walker Bay Nature Reserve.

Visitors will be astonished by the never-ending ocean views with beach and mountains that go on for miles. 80,000 years ago, Klipgat Cave was occupied by ancient humankind during the Middle and Later Stone Age.

The human remains of the earliest Homo sapiens were left here to be discovered by archaeologists. This gave us fascinating and vital insights about the origin of mankind and the evolution of Its natural and historical content.

Some of the earliest remnants the earliest human lives included bones of early fat-tailed sheep and pottery from Khoi pastoralists that lived in the area approximately 2 000 years ago. These artifacts were some of the oldest discovered in the Western Cape.

Danger Point Lighthouse


The HMS Birkenhead sailed from Cork in Ireland in December 1851 under the command of Captain Robert Salmond. She carried 23 officers and 469 drafted men to assist Lieutenant-General Sir Harry Smith who was at the Cape in the Eighth Frontier War.

After stopping at various locations for coal and provisions she eventually arrived in Simons Town on the 23rd of February 1852 after a 50-day voyage. On the 25th of February she left Simons Town and headed to East London to disembark their soldiers.

The Birkenhead sailed across False Bay at 8,5knots in fine weather as the sailors slept and were eagerly awaited on by their troops at the frontier. Around 2am violent noise woke the crew, and the ship became flooded with water and started to sink. It had crashed into an unchartered reef where approximately 410 out of the 643 passengers lost their lives that day.

The Lighthouse was erected after the HMS Birkenhead crashed and this is where the phrase and now protocol for many ships when invacuating originated from ‘Women and Children First’. The Birkenhead Lighthouse Is a mere 1 hour walk from Kleinbaai harbour along the coastline or a 10minute drive.

Every year White Shark Projects takes local South Africans out on our Shark Team Vessel to pay tribute to the brave soldiers who lost their lives that day. Danger Point Light House still sits fully operational today providing safe passenger to those entering our unpredictable waters.


Bird fanatics looking to spot and observe South Africa’s National bird ‘The Blue Crane’ will not be disappointed. Not only is the Blue Crane endemic to South Africa but more than half Its population is found within the Overberg district. Gansbaai is one of the hot spots that you will find this beautiful bird along with many other bird species.

In 1991, the Overberg Crane Group (OCG) was started as a Non-Profit Organisation (NPO 042-919; PBO 930 009 771). CapeNature (the conservation authority of the Western Cape) joined forces with the Overberg community and together they promote the conservation of Blue Cranes in the Overberg region.

It is estimated that there are only 25,000 Blue Cranes left. Its population is still decreasing and it is currently classed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.

The OCG continues to work across the Overberg and beyond, protecting Blue Cranes. Other threatened bird species include the Black Harrier and Southern Black Korhaan. Please visit their website to see what you can do to help protect these beautiful bird

Blue Crain - SA Natioanal Bird

Their are two main routes to Gansbaai from Cape Town and we would highly recommend using both.

The more direct and faster route is as per above map, Point A,G, F, E and then D – This route makes use of the N2 National Dual Carriage way and can take 2Hr 20mins.

The less direct route use the beautiful scenic drive known a Clarence Drive, Point A, B, C, E, D – Not only is it a stunning drive for the scenery, it also has a number of attractions on route, around point C, you can make a stop at Stony Point, their is a large African Penguin colony as well as the lovely Botanical Gardens of Harold Porter.


Cape Town is a city filled with activities that attract with over 30million visitors each year.  People interested in its arts culture, history, diverse wildlife and abundance of flower and fauna flock to the majestic mother city to experience Its raw beauty.

Gansbaai Is a 2hour journey from many central locations within the Cape Town vicinity and is the shark cage diving Mecca of the world. On your way through to Gansbaai you can take pit stops along the way tasting local cuisine and admiring the landscape.

When you reach Gansbaai you will know about It. Once over the hill coming through a quaint village called Standford you will see a long stretch of coastline filled with houses and surrounded by the high green mountains.

When you reach Kleinbaai harbor you will see why it is known for been the ‘Shark Cage Diving Capital of the World’ and shark fanatics will feel Its strength and It peace with a feel of been on the end of the earth.

There is something magical about Gansbaai and many people who visit plan to return and look at it as a place they would like to either live In or have a holiday home.


Emergency Number:-  10111
SAPD Gansbaai:-  028 384 0201 / 028 384 0774
Detective Department:-  028 384 0169
Stasie Kommissaris:-  028 384 0255/ 082 778 6841
Takbevel Voerder:-  082 469 6115
Trauma Kamer:-  082 443 7023

Overstrand Municipality:-  028 384 8300 /028 313 8111 /028 313 8000
Brandweer / Fire brigade:-  028 312 2400 / 028 384 8300
Law Enforcement: General:-  028 313 8996
Ambulans/ Ambulance: General:-  10177
Ambulaans/Ambulance: Private:-  028 313 0911 (ER)
EMR Private Ambulance:-  076 585 0899
Ambulaans/Ambulance: Ambumed:-  028 316 2763 / 076 512 3459
CMC (Critical Medial Care / Ambulance:-  066 222 7219 / 071 195 1740


Hermanus Provincial Hospital:-  028 – 312 1166
Medi – Clinic Hermanus (Private):-  028 – 313 0168
Dag Hospitaal:-  028 – 313 5700
Red Cross Childrens Hospital:-  021 – 686 7860
Groote Schuur:-  021 – 404 9111
Tygerberg Hospital:-  021 – 938 4136


+27(0)76-2455-880 – ALL HOURS

16 Geelbek Street, Kleinbaai, 7220
Gansbaai , Western Cape
South Africa


Gansbaai - South Africa