Gansbaai – ‘Gans’ meaning ‘Goose’ and ‘Baai’ meaning ‘Bay’.

Evidently Gansbaai was named after a flock of wild Egyptian geese. This particular population of geese were alleged to have settled at the freshwater fountain near the harbor. Gansbaai was officially given Its name back in the 1800’s.

Gansbaai Coastline

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. It has one of the most magnificent and diverse coastlines in the Western Cape of South Africa.

Local Residents

Gansbaai has a population of residents estimated at approximately 20,000 people. A majority of these local residents work for Marine based operations. They are proud and vibrant people living and breathing all things Ocean. When you come to this sleepy town you will meet people that have knowledge about sharks dated back for generations. What you can learn from the local people In Gansbaai Is Invaluable. This simply cannot be found In any book.

Gansbaai South Africa


Gansbaai is most famous for its variety of shark life. These include 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.

Luxury 5 ***** Head Quarters

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

Shark Team

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

Shark Cage Diving Capital of the World

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


Gansbaai South Africa 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 False Bay South Africa

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.

Attracting Great White Sharks

It is thought that this oily, fat scent trail attracted the Great White Shark. During the transportation process the sharks ‘took out’ long lines of seal carcasses before they made It to the sailing vessels. This behaviour was observed and documented by witnesses during this period. Other methods were then implemented to transport the seals due to this. The Great White Shark has been recorded been In the False Bay and Walker Bay area since the mid 1600’s.

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


Dyer Island is just off the coast of Gansbaai South Africa. It is a well known 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.

Kleinbaai Harbor

The closest harbor is Kleinbaai, this harbor 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.

Africa Penguin Population

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.

Ambush Style Hunters

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.

Counter-Shading Camouflage

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.

Nomadic Creatures

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. Here you will find one of the most unique and astonishing land-based whale watching spots in the world.

Whale Season

In Whale Season April- Dec you will be In awe at whales breaching whilst you are sitting along the shoreline. This spot is one of the best land based whale watching in the world!


Shark Cage Diving Gansbaai – Best cage diving in the world!

We provide the necessary facilities and resources to observe the Great White Shark in its natural environment. In addition we have the pleasure of been able to view and conserve the Bronze Whaler shark and Seven Gill Cow shark.

Data Collection

White Shark Projects gathers data which is crucial to understanding and supporting their conservation. By doing this it provides improved public education and positive close range engagement for our guests.

Decades of Research

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.


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.

True Big Cat Sanctuaries

Located 15mins from Gansbaai you can visit a variety of big cats who have been rescued from the hunting and petting trade. Big cats can live there for the rest of their lives in peace and not in fear. Other ‘true’ cat sanctuary includes Lions Rock, Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary 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.

Homo sapiens

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


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.

Simons Town

After stopping at various locations for coal and provisions she eventually arrived in Simons Town on the 23rd February 1852.  It had taken them 50 days in total to reach Simons Town. On the 25th of February she left Simons Town and headed to East London to disembark their soldiers.

Ship Wreck

The Birkenhead sailed across False Bay at 8,5knots in fine weather. Troops at the frontier eagerly awaited for the sailors as they slept unbeknown what tragedy was to come . Around 2am a violent noise woke the crew. 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.

Women and Children First

The Lighthouse was erected after the HMS Birkenhead crashed. The infamous 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 passage 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.

Overberg Crane Group

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

Threatened Bird Species

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. 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 over 30million visitors each year.  People interested in its arts culture, history, diverse wildlife and abundance of flower and fauna flock to this majestic mother city. Its raw beauty is truly one to explore and applaud.

2 Hour Scenic Journey

Gansbaai Is a 2hour journey from many central locations within the Cape Town vicinity. Once you have departed from Cape Town you will drive over Sir Lowry’s Pass or ‘Over the Mountain’. If you fancy a pit stop after that Peregrine Farm stall has been a popular choice since they opened in 1964. You will soon drive through a bustling town called Hermanus then through a quaint village called Stanford. All of a sudden a beautiful coastline pops out of nowhere filled with houses surrounded by high green mountains. It is then you will know that Gansbaai is a mere 10minutes away.

Kleinbaai Harbor

On arrival into Gansbaai town you will make your way down to Kleinbaai harbor. Here you will be greeted by the White Shark Projects team and where their 5 star head quarters is based. You will see why it is known for been the ‘Shark Cage Diving Capital of the World’. Shark fanatics will feel Its strength and Its peace, with a feel of been on the end of the earth.

Magical Vibes

There is something magical about Gansbaai and many people who visit always return again and again. Many tourists look this area as a place they would like to either live permanently or have a holiday home. South Africans living in other provinces treat Gansbaai as a home from home and many have property here.


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