Gansbaai (Afrikaans: "bay of geese," sometimes referred to as Gans Bay) is a fishing town and popular tourist destination in the Overberg District Municipality, Western Cape, South Africa
. It is known for its dense population of Great White Sharks and as a whale-watching location.The main tourist attraction in Gansbaai since approximately 1995 has been cage diving with Great White sharks. It is said that after Kruger National Park, the Great White sharks attract some of the highest number of tourist to South Africa
for any singular activity.
Klipgat Cave is located in the Walker Bay Nature Reserve, next to De Kelders, the residential shore area of Gansbaai. As one of only three places in South Africa where such old remains have been excavated, Klipgat Cave is one of the most important historical sites in the Western Cape. The reserve and the cave are open to the public.
Today, Gansbaai's economy still revolves around its fishing industry, but an increasingly large part of it now comes from tourism. It is considered the Great White Shark capital of the World
, drawing National Geographic Society film crews and researchers from around the globe to study the wildlife. It has also become a popular whale-watching spot for the Southern Right Whale.
The Southern Right Whale can be seen in large numbers, especially from the rocky shores of De Kelders on Walker Bay. This is also the site of an old whaling station. The lookout platform and the steps leading to it are still standing. Today whales are protected in South Afric and the descendants of the whalers are now the skippers on the boats that take tourists out for boat-based whale watching.