Gansbaai is unique in the world for all that it offers in terms of conservation and eco-adventures.
The region boasts a unique combination of rich biodiversity, particularly in terms of fynbos and marine – our blue and green. We are inspired by founder of Mission Blue, biologist and ocean explorer, Dr Sylvia Earle’s words – “No water, no life; No blue, no green”.
The area forms one of six Hope Spots in South Africa. Hope Spots are special places that are critical to the health of the ocean—Earth‘s blue heart. Offshore, two major ocean currents merge as temperate south coast currents meet cold west coast upwellings. These nutrient-rich waters host the Marine Big 5 – African penguin, great white shark, Cape fur seals /seals, whales (humpback, Southern right and Bryde’s) and dolphins (common, bottlenose and humpback) in addition to many endemic bird species. Marine biologists are employed by certain shark and whale operators.
Many private landowners have embarked on extensive alien-vegetation clearing operations as well as the restoration of indigenous vegetation and reforestation. By means of these programs, several red data species have been saved from immediate extinction. Thousands of hectares of private land have been brought into conservancies, the oldest and the largest whereof is the Walker Bay Conservancy from Stanford in the North to Grootbos and Flower Valley in the South.
The unique and fragile ecosystems of Gansbaai both on land and sea can only be conserved in the long run, if
- tourists, businesses and host communities all join forces in minimizing damage to the biodiversity, the ecosystem and natural resources that are the basis of their destination’s scenic assets.
- protected area managers, public authorities and businesses work together in creating a business environment that maximizes economic and social benefits for host communities
Together the Gansbaai community is:
- recreating forests
- protecting the fynbos
- growing own produce
- using science to better understand and protect species
- protecting the African penguin
- addressing marine pollution
- protecting the cultural heritage
- teaching children the value of recycling