Drup Kelders, after which the area is named, has several fairly deep freshwater rock pools, filled by water seeping in from a freshwater fountain. It was known as one of the natural wonders of the old Colony.
A local farmer knew of its existence in 1776, and he informed Hendrik Swellengrebel Jr., who visited it on horseback, a two-and-a-half hour ride from Jan Swart’s farm in the Uilen Kraals valley. Inside the cave Swellengrebel found stalagmites and stalactites fused to create pillars as thick as a man’s arm. The front of the cave had fewer pillars than its rear, and this destruction he blamed on the baboons, which he thought were too timid to venture far inside. Cave Tours are available through this magical caves with a headtorch and helmet; the opportunity to swim in the caves also exists. Regarding more information do contact the tourism office.
De Kelders is a sprawling out coastal town that stretches from Perlemoenbay to the well-known “Plaat” a sought after fishing spot where thousands of silver-grey fighters are caught annually for the coals.
The rough coastline and overhanging cliffs are natural lookout points to view the whales from June through December. De Kelders is one of the best places worldwide to observe these gentle giants swim within a few meters off the rocky shore. In December, these whales start their migration to the Antarctic waters to feed until the next autumn…
Females are often seen with their calves as they swim within meters from you along the kelp… In the afternoon, they usually perform for us: jumping, breaching, lob tailing, sky-hopping and sailing. The spectacle is unforgettable and brings peace to your heart.
To experience the whales in their natural environment, a whale-watching trip into Walker Bay by boat with a permitted Southern Right whale specialist will prove to be a highlight of your trip to the whale country. Whale sightings are always guaranteed.
“De Kelders” is the Afrikaans name for The Caves. Numerous larger and smaller caves penetrate deep into the rock formations under the houses of De Kelders.
The De Kelders cave is the only freshwater cave next to the coast of Africa, which has been changed into a swimming place. It has natural mineral water and was first visited in 1798 by lady Anne Barnard.
The Klipgat Cave is the best known of all caves. This cave is just outside of De Kelders in the Walker Bay Nature Reserve. Some of the oldest remains of modern man (homo sapiens) have been found in this cave. Excavations in Klipgat Cave led to the discovery of stone artefacts, preserved bone tools, and human remains, left by Middle Stone Age people some 65’000 to 85’000 years ago. Other remains include of the earliest sheep bones in the Western Cape, indicating that sheep-keeping Quena pastoralists from the later stone age were already living in the region some 2 000 years ago.
The Klipgat trail is a 7 km trail from the harbour of Gansbaai along the shore to the entrance of the Walker Bay Nature Reserve and the famous Klipgat Cave. A fresh water fountain surfaces on the beach below the cave. The trail meanders through the special limestone-rock vegetation and past several larger and smaller caves and coves. Along the way you pass a circular stonewall the locals call “Duiwelsgat” (The hole of the Devil). The origin of the name is “Duiwegat” (dove hole) due to the many rock pigeons that nested in the hole. The wall was build by the first inhabitancy of the area to prevent the sheep and cattle from falling into the hole, which was formed by the collapse of the cave ceiling. Looking down into the hole (not advised for people with vertigo) you will see the waves of the ocean rolling in and out at the bottom. Maps and information about this trail are available at the tourism office in Gansbaai.
A protected cove, Stanford’s Bay, in the middle of De Kelders is perfect for swimming. Fig trees, some thought to be around 150 years old, grows near the freshwater streams. This is also the place where in modern times the first permanent coastal settlement was established in the area of the Danger Point Peninsula. In 1811 Quena-descendants erected fishing cottages next to the cove and started a thriving fishing culture in the Gansbaai area. It was used by Capt Robert Stanford to transport his fresh farm produce to the Cape. urism-industry. Gansbaai is strongly connected to the sea – a working fishing village that will maintain its character.
Where De Kelders ends, the Walker Bay Nature Reserve begins. It is a coastal reserve, managed by Cape Nature. It stretches all the way to the Klein River estuary near Hermanus, covering about 1 000 ha with a spectacular 17km coastline. The reserve has a beautiful long beach, known as “Die Plaat”, with white sands and rocky limestone outcrops. The Walker Bay Nature Reserve is ideal for day hikes along the coast, angling, swimming and picnicking.
De Kelders is a residential area; there is a restaurant and bar, a bakery as well as a coffee shop overlooking the bay. De Kelders have many guesthouses and B&B’s of which many are situated right on the cliffs overlooking the ocean. The view encompasses the whole of Walker Bay, which extends from Danger Point (Gansbaai) through Hermanus and Hangklip. At sunset, the Cape of Good Hope is backlighted from the setting sun, which offers a most wonderful sight with the sky firing all its colours…
oping tourism-industry. Gansbaai is strongly connected to the sea – a working fishing village that will maintain its character.