Gans Bay
Sailing Trips & Tours

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Our most recommended Gans Bay Sailing Trips & Tours

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.

Cape Town to Gans Bay: Shark Cage Dive and Viewing

2. Cape Town to Gans Bay: Shark Cage Dive and Viewing

You will be picked up from your Cape Town or Hermanus hotel in a luxury, air-conditioned bus, which will take you to the local partner's facilities opposite the harbour slipway. Enjoy unspoilt sea views with your complimentary continental breakfast during the safety briefing. Get kitted up in your 5mm wetsuits while still on land and head out to Shark Alley on Megalodon II. Once anchored, the sharks are lured by bait line to the cage. Viewing from the deck of the boat is almost as exciting as getting into the cage for an unforgettable close encounter. Approximately 3 hours at sea allows for more than one dive. The cage takes 4 or 5 people at a time on a rotational basis. There are drinks and snacks on board to enjoy while you warm up on the deck, before having another underwater encounter with these awe-inspiring apex predators. No diving experience is necessary for this surface cage dive, it's as easy as holding your breath. The onboard cameraman is there to capture this unforgettable experience for you and after viewing the day's footage back on land, while you enjoy a hot lunch, you can choose to purchase a souvenir USB. Enjoy land-based whale watching en route back to Cape Town or airport transfers at no extra cost.

Gansbaai: Marine Big 5 Boat tour

3. 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.

From Cape Town: Hermanus Whale Watching Boat Trip

4. 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.

Gansbaai Eco-Friendly Shark Cage Diving

5. 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).

From Cape Town: Whale Watching Tour in Hermanus and Gansbaai

6. From Cape Town: Whale Watching Tour in Hermanus and Gansbaai

In just 20 minutes you’ll be out of Cape Town’s city center and traveling along the Overberg south coastal route to Gordon’s Bay, Pringle Bay, and Betty’s Bay. The route is picturesque and is an enjoyable way to set the mood for the full day ahead. Travel beneath Sir Lowry’s Pass and see the sheer cliff faces that drop into the Indian Ocean below. As you near Betty’s Bay, you’ll have views of unspoiled beaches stretching for miles. Stop to see the breeding ground of the African penguins at Stony Point or visit the Harold Porter National Botanical Garden. Continue the drive through Hermanus to the seaside town of Gansbaai. The magnificent cliffs of De Kelders and the unspoiled beach provide for perfect land-based whale watching. In Gansbaai, you’ll head out on a 2-hour whale-watching journey. The purpose-built boat and restrictions on the number of passengers make it possible to fully enjoy the experience of observing these creatures at play. Afterwards you’ll head back along the coast to Hermanus for a late lunch (not included in the tour price). There’s much to see and discover in Hermanus, including up-market shops and arts and crafts stalls. Head along the N2 to the Peregrine Farm Stall, the final stop on the tour. Experience old-fashioned values and quality produce straight from the farms.

Gansbaai: Shark Cage Dive and Onboard Viewing

7. Gansbaai: Shark Cage Dive and Onboard Viewing

Embark on a once in a lifetime adventure and get up close and personal with a great white shark. Hop into the water and observe sharks from inside a metal cage. Meet the cage diving team in Gansbaai, located 2.5 hours away from Cape Town, and enjoy a light breakfast and refreshments upon arrival. Take part in a safety briefing and demonstration. Afterward, board the vessel and take a short boat ride to "Shark Alley." Once there, the boat will anchor and the cage will be lowered into the water.  Put on your wet suit, jump into the cage and see the sharks as they swim by. Enjoy great views of the sharks from both on board and in the water. Sharks are surface feeders and shark activity takes place on or near the surface, meaning you don’t have to actually dive to see a shark. Hang out at the water’s surface and stick your head under when a shark comes by. You can also enjoy excellent views of the sharks from on deck. Enjoy seeing a shark up close and in the wild, without having to have extensive swimming experience. The free-floating cage is attached to the side of the boat, allowing divers to their keep head and shoulders above water. You’ll be able to fully submerge yourself underwater by holding onto the handrail when the sharks pass the cage. No scuba gear or diving certification is required as the use of oxygen supply is not necessary for the experience. A snorkel will allow you to see the sharks just fine. Afterward, enjoy post-dive snacks and refreshments. Once the local partner has sent you the detailed confirmation of your booking via email, your time slot preference (early morning from 6:00 AM, mid-morning from 10:00 AM or midday from 12:00 PM) can be requested.

Big 5 Sea Safari Boat Ride of Gansbaai or Walker Bay

8. Big 5 Sea Safari Boat Ride of Gansbaai or Walker Bay

Depart from the harbor of Gansbaai and cruise along the scenic route passing the cliffs of De Kelders and De Platt Beach.  Observe the stunning coast line, contrasting white beach's with the blue skies and chameleon waters that stretch for miles from Gansbaai to Hermanus.  Set course and head out into the middle of the bay in search of the Big 5. Bottlenose dolphins are often seen on these trips and if you are lucky enough to encounter a school, grab the zoom lens as dolphins love to entertain and it’s a photographer’s paradise. On your return to Gansbaai Harbour pay attention to the  danger point, this is often where the resident Bryde's whales are found in the area. Bryde’s whales are hunters and feed on wide variety of fish, mackerel is common to the waters as well as plankton, crustaceans and cephalopods.  On your journey your crew will educate you on all aspects of marine life, with a qualified marine biologist and a Skipper with over 15 years experience there is a wealth of knowledge available.  No trip is the same and it can never be guaranteed what you will see, but there are so many marine mammals and bird life on offer, that it's an avid photographers dream!  Danger Point is where the British iron paddle-wheel frigate HMS Birkenhead, weighing 1400 tons, was tragically lost.  This stretch of water has earned its reputation by default and the Sea Safari is dependent on the water conditions at danger point. If the water conditions for this area will not deliver a memorable experience, your trip may be moved to Walker Bay.

Gansbaai: Shark Dive & Whale Watching Combo Boat Trip

9. 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.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Gans Bay

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What people are saying about Gans Bay

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 78 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!

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.

Very friendly people, guided by a scientist, super organized tour!

Amazing experience and great knowledge, friendly stuff.