What lies between the mountains and the deep blue sea, links the wild west and the mild east, and packs a potent adrenalin punch?
All scenic roads lead to Gansbaai. That is, at least, for those who want a true experience of the wonders of the Cape's magic coastline - from Cape Point via Hermanus to L’Agulhas and along the Garden Route to Knysna and Plettenberg Bay.
The diverse town of Gansbaai is ideally located in the centre of all the goodies that make the southern coastline of South Africa one of the hottest eco-tourism and outdoor adventure destinations in the world.
Pack your cameras and binoculars for the most scenic drives to the place where some of the world's rare and remarkable wild species choose to hang out. World-renowned as the ultimate destination for diving with Great White Sharks and “game-viewing” of the Marine Big Five from land, sea and air, the greater Gansbaai area offers a smorgasbord of adrenalin-pumping adventures in a tranquil environment of natural perennial beauty.
Like the abalone it yields, Gansbaai is the shelled gem of the Overberg that links and harbours the treasures and troves of both the western and eastern Cape coastline at the southernmost tip of Africa. Overberg literally means “over the mountain”, referring to the Hottentots Holland and other mountain ranges that cocoons it.
Two hours to the west is Cape Town with its majestic trademark, Table Mountain, overlooking the magnificent Cape Peninsula and the hype of a bustling world city. Driving southeast on the N2 towards Somerset-West and Gordon’s Bay, you are faced with a tough choice between two equally scenic drives: the Whale Coast Route fringing the picturesque Kogelberg Nature Reserve and the coastal havens of Rooi Els, Pringle Bay, Betty’s Bay and Kleinmond, or the equally scenic drive over the Hottentots Holland Mountains via Sir Lowry’s Pass.
Both routes offer spectacular mountain and sea views amidst the Cape Floral Kingdom and runs via Hermanus and Stanford to Gansbaai. The latter neighbouring towns are popular tourist hotspots for their exquisite combination of unique natural beauty and artistic creativity. Hermanus, like Gansbaai, is also known for amazing Land Based Whale Watching – especially from July to December when the Southern Right Whales trek to the Walker Bay area.
Southeast of Gansbaai, endless stretches of white, sandy beaches and rocky cliffs lead to the Agulhas National Park and L’Agulhas, where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet. Quaint seaside villages such as Struisbaai, Arniston and Waenshuiskrans dot the shoreline right up to Mossel Bay, Knysna and Port-Elizabeth.
Inland, tarred roads link Gansbaai to the spectacular Garden Route and its endemic landscapes of lush indigenous forests, free flowing rivers and majestic mountains competing for beauty with outstretched beaches.
No matter from which direction you approach Gansbaai, your route will take you along spectacular mountains, vineyards, rivers, swathes of fynbos wildflowers and canola fields to a coastal and mountain kingdom where nature is still the undisputed king of the castle.
Whether you want a Big Five adventure with the four-legged giants at one of the world-class malaria free Game Reserves near Port Elizabeth, or a Marine Big Five encounter at Gansbaai, brace yourself for an all-in-one experience of a lifetime!