MILES OF PARADISE

Gansbaai is named the BIG-2-TOWN after the numerous Great white sharks that cruise in the waters east of Danger Point Peninsula and the many Southern Right Whales that hang out around the shores on the western side of the Danger Point Peninsula between July and December.

The locals still see it as the fishing village it has always been. The harbor is still the point of gravity in town and every local in Gansbaai, whatever his profession, is also a fisherman. If you need a craftsman on the first day of the lobster season, you won’t find him. He is at sea, catching lobsters with his neighbours. In almost every drive-way in Gansbaai, you can see a trailer with a boat parked next to the family car.

In spite of the developing tourism industry, the fishing industry is still the economical heart-beat of Gansbaai. The fleet of fishing boats and the fishmeal factory in the harbor employ a substantial number of people. Locals call the occasional typical smell from the fishmeal factory the “smell of money”. The Abalone farm, just outside Gansbaai, immediately on the shores of Danger Point Peninsula, produces this traditional local culinary delight in large quantities for the Asian market.

Gansbaai is the point of gravity of the Danger Point Peninsula area. Gansbaai is the place where the banks, petrol stations and most of the shops are. The tourism office can be found in the middle of Main Street. There are various restaurants and bars dotted around Main Street, in the backstreets and in the harbor. It is a very Gansbaai-thing to do: drink the locally brewed Birkenhead beer in a harbour-bar and watch the fishing boats return against the setting sun over Walker Bay.

Gansbaai is an unpretentious town with real people. Newcomers, guests and travelers are traditionally welcomed with open arms as long as they don’t tell the locals how to lead their lives (“I do my thing, you do yours, you are welcome”). The fierce independence of the early nomadic fishermen and the nomadic farmers, has anchored itself in the blood of the locals and is a welcome and effective barrier against the artificial elements that often go hand in hand with a developing tourism-industry. Gansbaai is strongly connected to the sea – a working fishing village that will maintain its character.

ACTIVITIES FOR AFRICA