Our towns boast several 3 to 5 star guesthouses as well as various places to eat to satisfy everyone’s tastebuds.
All along our beautiful coast line are small private pristine untouched beaches where you can safely swim away from the crowds.
One of the best kept secrets of Hermanus / Gansbaai is that it has some of the best waves in the Western Cape. In KZN, we have the world class waves of Ballito and St Michaels where numerous international surfing competitions are held although many of the surfing areas like Richardsbay and Umzumble are still uncrowded.
A nine-hole golf course is situated in picturesque Kleinbaai - home of the shark diving boats. Enjoy the beautiful landscape amongst the Fynbos and admire the spectacular sea views across the ocean.
Enjoy an early morning tee-off on the very popular San Lameer Golf Estate with its world class golf course or the scenic Pennington golf course where you can watch the whales playing in the surf while you wait for the next hole in one
It is scenery like this that makes our trails very popular for all kinds of photographers.
Flowers and Fynbos
It is not only Namakwaland who has beautiful flowers. In Gansbaai we are very proud of our beautiful fields of flowers and fynbos. Gansbaai is centred in the Cape Floral Kingdom where an amazing 9 250 species of flowering plants are found in an area of just under 91 000 km. Some 70% of these are unique to this region. Fynbos is world famous for its remarkable diversity. There are thousands of different species of magnificent wildflowers that are indigenous to our region.
Hermanus, Gansbaai and Struisbaai has very good fishing for the most part of the year. Shore angling can net you some musclecracker, hottentot, carp while you can get some bottom, reef or game fish such as red roman, stumpnose, yellowtail, geelbek and snoek.
With its warm Indian Ocean, KZN is home to numerous large fish like the Blue and Black Marlin specie, the Wahoo and sailfish, making it ideal for big game fishing. During winter, we have the annual sardine run with many large predators like Bronze Whalers, Great White Sharks, Tiger and Zambezi Sharks as well as whales and dolphins following them.
De Kelders, Gansbaai boast several caves. To name just a few - DrupKelders, 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. The Klipgat Cave is the best known of all caves. 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.
Whales spend the summer months feeding around Antarctica and then migrate thousands of kilometres to their breeding grounds off the Mozambique coast. The Southern Right Whale can be easily seen along the Hermanus / Gansbaai coast between June/July and December while the Humpback Whale frequents the warm water of KZN from mid-May to mid-December.
South Africa has an impressive diversity in birds, snakes, frogs, tortoises and big game due to the variety of habitats in the areas. The Overberg has more than 330 bird species with at least 20 endemic species such as the African Black Oystercatcher, one of South Africa’s rarest coastal birds. Nearly half of South Africa’s 63 diurnal raptors have also been recorded in the Overberg. Angulate tortoises, lizards and rain spiders live in abundance in the town of Gansbaai and you often see a vehicle brake sharply because, walking across the road, is one of these inhabitants.
The Stanford Frog Group and the Western Leopard Toad project were initiated in Stanford, monitoring and gathering data on these toads. Panthera Africa is an educational platform where they, together with their big cats, will educate you about each species and their individual uniqueness, in addition to their heart-warming personalities of the majestic lions (brown and white), the cheeky leopards (spotted and black) and the powerful bengal tigers, in addition to the striking caracals.
With roughly 10000 Nile crocodiles, West African Dwarf crocs, Slender Snouted crocs, American alligators, deadly Mambas and a wide array of snakes, tortoises, rabbits, wild monkeys and many more, the crocodile farm in Ballito or the smaller crocodile breeding farm in Scottburgh, are well worth the visit.
The Natal Lion Park, in the Natal Midlands, is a wildlife haven with lion feedings at irregular intervals . The Cape Vidal Nature Reserve offers a superb location between Lake St Lucia with its resident wildlife and the tidal delights of the Indian Ocean, surrounded by the wetlands and coastal forest of iSimangaliso Wetland Park and is wonderful for observing marine. The Oribi Gorge boasts cliffs and forests with many antelope, leopards, troops of baboons and a prolific birdlife including five species of Kingfisher and seven species of eagle.
Shark Cage Diving
The Great White shark is one of the world’s largest known fish. It is one of the top predators of marine mammals. Great White sharks can be found in almost all coastal and offshore waters which have water temperature between 12 and 24 degrees Celsius. Dyer Island, close to Gansbaai/Kleinbaai has one of the densest known populations of Great White sharks in the world. Gansbaai is the world’s premier Great White Shark diving capital and we have a number of top shark cage diving businesses to choose from.
Aliwal Shoal, on the Natal South Coast, is one of the top 10 diving sites in the world. A little bit further up the coast is Protea Banks, one of the best shark diving reefs in the world. Sodwana Bay, one of the best known diving sites in the world, is the perfect coastal getaway with its pristine beaches and clear water.
Glide from platform to platform high above the ground with only the sounds of birdlife around you and amazing views to see with our Treetop Zipling. Go kayacking up the tranquil Stanford River or do some ocean kayacking in Hermanus to get up close and personal to the whales during season. Do some river rafting in the Tugela River, get onto a quad bike or sandboard for a day of fun in the dunes or challenge your friends to a game of paintball!
Our rich coastline has a myriad of wrecks and treasures such as the São João, who sank in 1552, the first cargo ship to be wrecked off what is now known as Port Edward, near the Kuboboyi River. As recently as 1991, the Greek-owned Oceanos cruise liner sank in heavy seas off the Wild Coast of the Transkei near Hole in the Wall.
At Danger Point in Gansbaai, 7 shipwrecks surrounds the area and 140 wrecks are dotted along the shores between Danger Point and Cape Infanta. The highest concentrations of shipwrecks can be found around Cape Agulhas, Arniston and Quoin Point. Danger Point was given the most impressive name. Perhaps it is an applicable name for the spot where the legendary "Flying Dutchman" was first seen.
Wine Route and other attractions
Take a drive to Stanford and explore the various wine farms-from the rare limestone soils of Springfontein, producing excellent wines with characteristics similar to some wines of Champagne and parts of Burgundy; to the wide range of finely balanced wines grown along the rich banks of the Klein River and the shale hillsides of the Akkedis Valley at Raka and Robert Stanford Estate.
Visit the Klein River Cheese Farm where visitors can purchase a variety of home made cheeses, or a delicious gourmet picnic lunch, create their own picnic or enjoy various wines or the 6 different beers at the Birkenhead Breweries, the first wine and brewing estate in the Southern Hemisphere. The Baardskeerdersbos Art Route allows people into the homes of artists Joshua Miles, Andreé Bonthuys, Philip John, Niël Jonker, Amanda Jephson and Nikki Miles, to view their art, listen to their stories and have a glass of wine or a cup of coffee. Stroll around the Artists Village of the beautiful little village Stanford, full of history and quiet old charm where a group of committed artists living in Stanford have joined forces to promote the arts, their own galleries and Stanford as a cultural village.
Take a look at the Birkenhead memorial plaque on the walls of the Danger Point Lighthouse, built in 1895 after roughly forty years of major shipwrecks on the coast of Gansbaai. One of the top 10 historical sites in KZN is the famous Battlefields route that bears testament to the ferocious wars between the British, Boers and mighty Zulu. Visit the open-air museum and reconstructed isigodlo (harem) of King Cetshwayo’s royal residence as well as the Ondini Cultural Museum. The beautiful Ethikwini City hall, formerly Durban City hall, is a replica of the Belfast City Hall in Northern Ireland built during the early 1900. Near Howick is the Nelson Mandela capture site, in Pietermaritzburg the bronze Ghandi monument and in Umgeni Road, the Hindu Temple, testament to the area’s rich Hindu history and spiritual roots.
Visit the North and Central Drakensberg with unimaginable beautiful scenery where the areas falls into four valleys from the Champagne Valley, through to the Cathedral Peak and Didima Valley, then the Royal Natal National Park and Amphitheatre Valley to the Middledale Pass Valley.