Things to do in
Gans Bay

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Our most recommended things to do in Gans Bay

Gansbaai: Whale Watching Trip by Boat

1. Gansbaai: Whale Watching Trip by Boat

Launch from the quaint fishing harbor of Gansbaai and travel along the cliffs of De Kelders. Enter a nature reserve with the highest concentration of whales in South Africa. Look for southern right whales in their natural environment, along with dolphins, Cape fur seals and sharks. Keep an eye out for humpback, minke and Bryde's whales frolicking in the ocean. Catch a glimpse of the beautiful orcas, False killer whales and enchanting African penguins. Return back to the harbor at the end of your boating adventure.

Gansbaai: Marine Big 5 Boat tour

2. Gansbaai: Marine Big 5 Boat tour

Visit the Dyer Island eco-system and have the opportunity to spot the Marine Big 5: whales, sharks, seals, dolphins and penguins. Every year from June to December, the southern right whales arrive to mate and calve. Witness mating displays, breaching, tail slapping, spy-hopping and more. You may also see Bryde’s whales, humpback whales, the elusive humpback dolphin and the common dolphin. An incredible array of seabirds and a sighting of the almost 60,000-strong Cape fur seal colony on Geyser Rock is guaranteed as the boat cruises down the famous Shark Alley. An on-board marine biologist will be on hand to teach you more about the amazing animals that visit these shores. On the day of your trip, you will be picked up from your hotel in Cape Town or Hermanus, if you have selected an option with transfers included. Upon arrival in Gansbaai, enjoy coffee/tea and muffins while listening to a dedicated safety briefing. After you're fitted with inflatable life jackets and wet-weather gear, take a 200 meter stroll down to the harbor to board the whale-watching vessel. Time spent on sea on average is two hours depending on sea conditions and marine life activity.  Upon return to land, receive an informative debrief while enjoying warm soup and bread. Professional trip footage is also available to purchase after the trip, so that you can have a permanent memory of your sightings. If you have chosen the option with transfers from Cape Town, a visit to the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary is also included on your way back. You'll see the important efforts being made to rehabilitate injured and sick animals.

Gansbaai Eco-Friendly Shark Cage Diving

3. Gansbaai Eco-Friendly Shark Cage Diving

If the transfer option is selected, your adventure will start pickup from your hotel in Cape Town. Take a 2.5-hour drive along a scenic route to get to your destination - the Great White House. Once there, enjoy a breakfast or lunch before a safety briefing about what to expect. Then, stroll to the harbor to board a dedicated shark-diving vessel. Journey to Dyer Island in 20 minutes and drop anchor where the sharks reside. Your boat will have all the amenities, along with drinks and snacks for your comfort. Collect your waterproof bag containing your dive kit and then get up close to these magnificent animals in their natural environment, protected of course by a cage. You'll be completely safe, but your adrenaline will be pumping like crazy! This is sure to be an experience you will never forget. Travel through shark alley if conditions permit before returning to land for a debriefing and a warm bowl of soup. Then, enjoy free entry to the African penguin and seabird sanctuary on your way back to Cape Town (if option selected).

Gansbaai: Shark Cage Diving Experience

4. Gansbaai: Shark Cage Diving Experience

South Africa has privileged access to great white sharks … if you know where to go and when. Enjoy great white sharks face-to-face. Observing and diving with these creatures under the correct conditions and guidance is a wonderful experience. Even ‘anti-shark’ people return from an expedition or diving trip with love, and certainly respect, for the great white. This tour is without doubt the most successful white shark diving tour in the world: Working in the unique marine area off the southern Cape coast, the skippers log more contact with great white sharks than anyone else worldwide. Tour itinerary: · Breakfast at the stunning Lodge The continental breakfast consists of freshly made muffins, quiches, yogurt, cereals, toast and cold meats, tea and coffee. · Your day at sea and a lecture on board The skipper of the day gives a short lecture on the Great White Shark and explains how the tour supplier works with the sharks in the area. You will spend 2 to 4 hours at sea, depending on how often the sharks visit the boat. Be sure to ask as many questions as you can think up! · Diving and viewing The cage takes 6 people at a time. Each person spends about 20 minutes in the cage. All scuba equipment, including 7 mm wetsuits, is provided – you don’t need a scuba licence to cage dive. · Afternoon refreshments On your return to dry land, you will return to the Lodge for a light lunch. · A DVD of your trip A professional videographer will film your trip.

From Cape Town: Hermanus Whale Watching Boat Trip

5. From Cape Town: Hermanus Whale Watching Boat Trip

Join the most prolific Whale Watching Operator in the Hermanus area, launch from the quaint fishing harbor of Gansbaai and travel along the cliffs of De Kelders, proven to be the best area with the highest concentration of whales on the South African Coastline. Along the way hear about local commentary of whales, and facts about right whales. Learn about the habitats and their feeding processes. Look for southern right whales in their natural environment, along with dolphins, Cape fur seals and other marine life. Keep an eye out for humpback, minke and Bryde's whales frolicking in the ocean. Catch a glimpse of the beautiful orcas, false killer whales and enchanting African penguins. This tour offers a great selection of marine life, that you can get up close with wild animals. Relax without ethical dilemma as you support businesses that celebrate animals in the wild. Return back to the harbor at the end of your boating adventure.

From Cape Town: Shark Cage Diving and Penguin Tour

6. From Cape Town: Shark Cage Diving and Penguin Tour

Your shark diving adventure begins with an early morning pickup from your accommodation in Cape Town. Ask your hotel to pack a breakfast for you, or enjoy the light breakfast provided upon arrival in Gansbaai. Listen to a briefing about the shark diving experience before setting sail on the open seas for an exciting three hours of shark cage diving. Put on the diving gear provided for you and get ready for an unforgettable experience. Watch closely as the crew engages the sharks, drawing them close to the boat to give you the best views. See this apex predator up close when you take your turn in the cage, admiring its sheer size and streamlined shape as it swims right past you. Return to shore after your cage diving adventure and enjoy a warm shower. Fresh towels will be provided. Sit down with your tour group to watch a DVD of the day's events and receive your diving adventure certificate before heading back to Cape Town. Your return journey takes you through Betty's Bay. Visit the Stony Point Nature Reserve, home to a unique colony of African penguins. See the flightless birds up close and walk along the boardwalk that makes its way through the colony's natural habitat. Return to Cape Town via the scenic R44 coastal route, stopping at a viewpoint along the way to take photos.

Gansbaai: Shark Dive & Whale Watching Combo Boat Trip

7. Gansbaai: Shark Dive & Whale Watching Combo Boat Trip

Take advantage of a combo package that features 2 incredible activities which can be split over 2 days if you'd prefer.  Shark Dive Begin the adventure with the shark cage dive which takes place off the coast of Dyer Island, roughly 15 minutes by boat from Kleinbaai Harbour. Discover how this island is home to a colony of over 50 000 Cape Fur seals – the great white shark's favorite food and primary source of nutrition. Arrive at the channel of the ocean which runs between Dyer Island and the neighboring Geyser Rock. This area is so frequented by great white sharks that it has been dubbed 'Shark Alley'. Anchor up here for an up-close encounter with great whites. As the cage is dropped at the diving site, get kitted up with diving gear. Take consecutive turns in the 8-man floating cage to experience thrilling underwater views of this majestic predator. When not in the cage, enjoy sightings of the sharks and other sea life from the viewing deck of the boat. Gansbaai is one of the only places in the world where these rare creatures congregate close enough to the coastline to offer you the best opportunity for potential sightings. That being said, please bear in mind that seeing a great white shark is a privilege, not a guarantee. Whale Watching Trip The whale watching trips take place from June to December however, should the whales change their migration schedule (arrive early and leave later) the schedule will be adjusted accordingly. Generally the trip last 2 hours, but can be longer depending on how quickly you find the whales. Climb aboard a boat which launches twice daily at 10 AM and 1 PM. During the main season (August-October) an extra morning trip is available at 7 AM. From September onwards, an extra afternoon tri runs at either 3:30 PM or if a good sunset is forecasted, at 5 PM. The sunset trip is a truly magnificent experience as it provides the opportunity to watch the whales bask in the shallow waters with the Walker Bay sunset behind.

Gansbaai and Big 5 Sea Safari Full-Day Tour from Cape Town

8. Gansbaai and Big 5 Sea Safari Full-Day Tour from Cape Town

Head out of the city on this full-day excursion to Gansbaai. Stop to see the African penguins at Stony Point or visit the Harold Porter National Botanical Garden. Continue to the seaside town of Gansbaai. Take in the magnificent cliffs of De Kelders and the unspoiled beach. Board a purpose-built boat for a 2-hour Big 5 sea safari. There will be a limited number of passengers, making it possible to fully enjoy the experience of observing the creatures you encounter. Head back along the coast to Hermanus for a late lunch (at your own expense). Visit the up-market shops and arts-and-crafts stalls. Continue to Peregrine Farm Stall, and see quality produce straight from the farm.

Frequently asked questions about Gans Bay

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What people are saying about Gans Bay

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 298 reviews

Very good experience. The welcome at the restaurant, a light breakfast but appropriate to enter the sea and not feel heavy stomach, the explanation of the activity very easy to understand for someone who does not speak English perfectly. Once on the catamaran, you sail for about 15 minutes until you reach the sighting point, there is time to put on your suit and wait your turn to enter the cage. You really enjoy being in the water, it's a good time, unfortunately I didn't see a white shark but the experience is just as enjoyable. They serve you with a hot chocolate after getting out of the water and a snack. It's almost 3 hours at sea. Back at the restaurant they give you a hot soup because the trip back is cold. We also visit the rehabilitation place for the penguins with an explanation of what they do.

It was just amazing to go out onto the ocean, we didn’t see whales but loved the experience out on the water. We did see a few sharks that were around the boat viewing them and lots of seals, only a few penguins sadly. Quite a few birds. Thank you!

Thoroughly enjoyed this experience. Very well organised and run. Having the chance to see sharks in their natural habitat was an experience that will not be forgotten. Would highly recommend this trip for those who want the experience

Very lucky and saw all the Big 5. Even if it wasn't all the Big 5 but only the penguins and the seals (which I assumed were) I would still recommend it. Professional team with 2 local spotters, skipper, 2 experts and 2 volunteers.

Amazing experience! Amazing crew ! Must do if you’re at CT