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Things to do in
Gans Bay

Our most recommended things to do in Gans Bay

From Hermanus or Cape Town: Shark Cage Diving Experience

1. From Hermanus or Cape Town: Shark Cage Diving Experience

Discover the excitement of meeting a great white shark on this day trip. Choose from a tour with hotel pickup in Hermanus or Cape Town or a tour where you can meet the boat directly in Gansbaai. Enjoy a delicious breakfast and lunch and get a certificate for your shark cage dive. First, enjoy breakfast at the stunning Lodge. The continental breakfast consists of freshly made muffins, quiches, yogurt, cereals, toast and cold meats, tea, and coffee. Meet your skipper for the day, who has extensive experience working in the unique marine area off the southern Cape coast. The skippers log more contact with great white sharks than anyone else worldwide. Have a brief introductory presentation on the Great White Shark and learn how the activity provider works with the sharks in the area. Spend 2 to 4 hours at sea, depending on how often the sharks visit the boat. Be sure to ask as many questions as you wish. Hop into the cage, which takes 6 people at a time. Each person spends about 20 minutes in the cage. All scuba equipment, including 7 mm wetsuits, is provided – you don’t need a scuba license to cage dive. On your return to dry land, you will return to the Lodge for a light lunch.

Gansbaai: Marine Big 5 Boat tour

2. Gansbaai: Marine Big 5 Boat tour

Visit the Dyer Island ecosystem and have the opportunity to spot the Marine Big 5: whales, sharks, seals, dolphins, and penguins. Every year from June to December, the southern right whales arrive to mate and calve.  Witness mating displays, breaching, tail slapping, spy-hopping and more. You may also see Bryde’s whales, humpback whales, the elusive humpback dolphin and the common dolphin. An incredible array of seabirds and a sighting of the almost 60,000-strong Cape fur seal colony on Geyser Rock is guaranteed as the boat cruises down the famous Shark Alley. An onboard marine biologist will be on hand to teach you more about the amazing animals that visit these shores. On the day of your trip, you will be picked up from your hotel in Cape Town or Hermanus, if you have selected an option with transfers included. Upon arrival in Gansbaai, enjoy coffee/tea and muffins while listening to a dedicated safety briefing.  Once you're fitted with inflatable life jackets and wet-weather gear, take a 200-meter stroll down to the harbor to board the whale-watching vessel. Time spent out at sea on average is two hours depending on sea conditions and marine life activity.  Upon return to land, receive an informative debrief while enjoying warm soup and bread. Professional trip footage is also available to purchase after the trip so that you can have a permanent memory of your sightings.  If you have chosen the option with transfers from Cape Town, a visit to the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary is also included on your way back. You'll see the important efforts being made to rehabilitate injured and sick animals.

Cape Town: Gansbaai Eco-Friendly Shark Cage Diving Cruise

3. Cape Town: Gansbaai Eco-Friendly Shark Cage Diving Cruise

Discover the thrill of diving with sharks in the safety of a cage with this tour from Cape Town. Enjoy a hearty breakfast and head to Dyer Island to hop in the water with sharks. Have snacks and drinks onboard and end your experience with soup access to the African penguin and seabird sanctuary. If the transfer option is selected, your adventure will start with a pickup from your hotel in Cape Town. Take a drive along a scenic route to get to your destination – the Great White House.  Once there, enjoy breakfast or lunch before a safety briefing about what to expect. Then, stroll to the harbor to board a dedicated shark-diving vessel. Journey to Dyer Island and drop anchor where the sharks reside. Your boat will have all the amenities, along with drinks and snacks for your comfort.  Collect your waterproof bag containing your dive kit and then get up close to these magnificent animals in their natural environment, protected of course by a cage. You'll be completely safe, but your adrenaline will be pumping like crazy. This is sure to be an experience you will never forget. Travel through shark alley if conditions permit before returning to land for a debriefing and a warm bowl of soup. Then, enjoy free entry to the African penguin and seabird sanctuary on your way back to Cape Town (if the option is selected).

From Cape Town: Hermanus Whale Watching Boat Trip

4. From Cape Town: Hermanus Whale Watching Boat Trip

Join a whale-watching tour in Hermanus and visit the area with the highest concentration of whales on the South African Coastline. Launch from the quaint fishing harbor of Gansbaai and travel along the cliffs of De Kelders to see these magnificent creatures. Along the way hear commentary about whales, and facts about right whales. Learn about the habitats and their feeding processes. Look for southern right whales in their natural environment, along with dolphins, Cape fur seals, and other marine life. Keep an eye out for humpback, minke, and Bryde's whales frolicking in the ocean. Catch a glimpse of the beautiful orcas, false killer whales, and enchanting African penguins. This tour offers a great selection of marine life and allows you to get an up-close look at wild animals. Relax without an ethical dilemma as you support businesses that celebrate animals in the wild. Return back to the harbor at the end of your boating adventure.

From Cape Town or Hermanus: Shark Cage Dive Boat Cruise

5. From Cape Town or Hermanus: Shark Cage Dive Boat Cruise

Discover the thrill of diving with sharks in a protective cage on this boat tour to Shark Alley. Choose from a tour with a pickup and drop-off service from Cape Town or Hermanus, or a tour with a meeting point at Kleinbaai Harbor. Enjoy breakfast, lunch, snacks, and drinks on your trip.  On arrival, enjoy complimentary snacks with coffee or tea during the safety briefing on land and get fitted with your high-quality wetsuit. Embark on your cruise from Kleinbaai Harbor. Arrive at shark alley and watch as the boat is anchored and the sharks are lured by bait line to the cage. Watch the sharks from the deck of the boat while waiting to hop into the cage for your own unforgettable close encounter. Sip on drinks and snacks on board while you warm up on the deck before having another underwater encounter with these awe-inspiring apex predators. No diving experience is necessary for this surface-level cage dive, it's as easy as holding your breath. Have your experience captured by an onboard cameraman and after viewing the day's footage back on land, while tucking into a hot meal, you can choose to purchase a souvenir USB.

Gansbaai: Whale Watching Trip by Boat

6. Gansbaai: Whale Watching Trip by Boat

Launch from the quaint fishing harbor of Gansbaai and travel along the cliffs of De Kelders. Enter a nature reserve with the highest concentration of whales in South Africa. Look for southern right whales in their natural environment, along with dolphins, Cape fur seals and sharks. Keep an eye out for humpback, minke and Bryde's whales frolicking in the ocean. Catch a glimpse of the beautiful orcas, False killer whales and enchanting African penguins. Return back to the harbor at the end of your boating adventure.

From Cape Town: Whale Watching Tour in Hermanus and Gansbaai

7. From Cape Town: Whale Watching Tour in Hermanus and Gansbaai

In just 20 minutes you’ll be out of Cape Town’s city center and traveling along the Overberg south coastal route to Gordon’s Bay, Pringle Bay, and Betty’s Bay. The route is picturesque and is an enjoyable way to set the mood for the full day ahead. Travel beneath Sir Lowry’s Pass and see the sheer cliff faces that drop into the Indian Ocean below. As you near Betty’s Bay, you’ll have views of unspoiled beaches stretching for miles. Stop to see the breeding ground of the African penguins at Stony Point or visit the Harold Porter National Botanical Garden. Continue the drive through Hermanus to the seaside town of Gansbaai. The magnificent cliffs of De Kelders and the unspoiled beach provide for perfect land-based whale watching. In Gansbaai, you’ll head out on a 2-hour whale-watching journey. The purpose-built boat and restrictions on the number of passengers make it possible to fully enjoy the experience of observing these creatures at play. Afterwards you’ll head back along the coast to Hermanus for a late lunch (not included in the tour price). There’s much to see and discover in Hermanus, including up-market shops and arts and crafts stalls. Head along the N2 to the Peregrine Farm Stall, the final stop on the tour. Experience old-fashioned values and quality produce straight from the farms.

Gansbaai: Big 5 Marine Safari

8. Gansbaai: Big 5 Marine Safari

Look for whales, sharks, seals, dolphins, and penguins in their natural habitat on an amazing marine safari in the eco-systems of Dyer Island and Gansbaai. The trip in total is 4hours. Guests have to be with us 1 hour before the trip for a safety briefing, coffee/tea and muffins and to get fitted with safety gear. The trip on the water is 2 – 2 1/2 long depending on weather conditions and marine life encountered while out at sea. Experience the annual migration of southern right whales from June to December, and watch their mating rituals and other activities. Marvel at the incredible array of seabirds, and see the large Cape fur seal colony on Geyser Rock as you cruise down Shark Alley. Learn more about the amazing animals from the on-board marine biologist.  After the trip guests can enjoy warm soup and bread in front of a cozy fire or heater and listen to a debriefing and view the trip footage of the day. Avail of a bonus trip to the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary. All ages are welcome on the vessels. Should you have kids under 5 years, please contact the local partner directly to amend your booking accordingly. Infants 1 – 4 years are free of charge.

Gansbaai: Shark Dive & Whale Watching Combo Boat Trip

9. Gansbaai: Shark Dive & Whale Watching Combo Boat Trip

Take advantage of a combo package that features 2 incredible activities which can be split over 2 days if you'd prefer.  Shark Dive Begin the adventure with the shark cage dive which takes place off the coast of Dyer Island, roughly 15 minutes by boat from Kleinbaai Harbour. Discover how this island is home to a colony of over 50 000 Cape Fur seals – the great white shark's favorite food and primary source of nutrition. Arrive at the channel of the ocean which runs between Dyer Island and the neighboring Geyser Rock. This area is so frequented by great white sharks that it has been dubbed 'Shark Alley'. Anchor up here for an up-close encounter with great whites. As the cage is dropped at the diving site, get kitted up with diving gear. Take consecutive turns in the 8-man floating cage to experience thrilling underwater views of this majestic predator. When not in the cage, enjoy sightings of the sharks and other sea life from the viewing deck of the boat. Gansbaai is one of the only places in the world where these rare creatures congregate close enough to the coastline to offer you the best opportunity for potential sightings. That being said, please bear in mind that seeing a great white shark is a privilege, not a guarantee. Whale Watching Trip The whale watching trips take place from June to December however, should the whales change their migration schedule (arrive early and leave later) the schedule will be adjusted accordingly. Generally the trip last 2 hours, but can be longer depending on how quickly you find the whales. Climb aboard a boat which launches twice daily at 10 AM and 1 PM. During the main season (August-October) an extra morning trip is available at 7 AM. From September on wards, an extra afternoon tri runs at either 3:30 PM or if a good sunset is forecasted, at 5 PM. The sunset trip is a truly magnificent experience as it provides the opportunity to watch the whales bask in the shallow waters with the Walker Bay sunset behind.

Gansbaai: Shark Cage Dive and Onboard Viewing

10. Gansbaai: Shark Cage Dive and Onboard Viewing

Embark on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure and get up close and personal with a variety of shark species in the incredible bay. Hop into the water and observe sharks from inside a metal cage. Meet the cage diving team, which includes marine scientists, in Gansbaai, located 2.5 hours away from Cape Town, and enjoy a light breakfast and refreshments upon arrival. Take part in a safety briefing and demonstration. Afterward, the boat will anchor and the cage will be lowered into the water.  Put on your wet suit, jump into the cage and see the sharks as they swim by. Enjoy great views of the sharks from both on board and in the water. Sharks are surface feeders and shark activity takes place on or near the surface, meaning you don’t have to actually dive to see a shark. Hang out at the water’s surface and stick your head under when a shark comes by. You can also enjoy excellent views of the sharks from on deck. Enjoy seeing a shark up close and in the wild, without having to have extensive swimming experience. The free-floating cage is attached to the side of the boat, allowing divers to their keep heads and shoulders above water. You’ll be able to fully submerge yourself underwater by holding onto the handrail when the sharks pass the cage. No scuba gear or diving certification is required as the use of an oxygen supply is not necessary for the experience. Afterward, enjoy post-dive snacks and refreshments. You might be able to see bronze whaler sharks, broad nose seven gill cow sharks and other marine life, sting rays, seals, dolphins, whales, sunfish and a variety of sea birds.

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What people are saying about Gans Bay

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 477 reviews

A unique, great experience! Extremely well organized, from communication, transport, information to the staff. After a 2-3 hour drive from Cape Town, there will be an introduction and a small breakfast. The boat ride to the shark area takes 15-20 minutes. We were divided into 4 groups, each with around 8 participants in the cage at the same time. A group video will be made that you can purchase afterwards. It's best to have a GoPro for private pictures. If you want to take photos underwater with your cell phone, it should definitely be attached (e.g. chain). Seasickness: My wife is resistant to it, she hasn't had any problems. I get seasick easily, which was a bit of torture when the ship was stationary. The guide knew about it and chose me over me; it gets better during the "swim". The crew took care of the “seasick people” at all times with plant-based sweets and seats at the front of the ship. It was a bit tiring, but don't let that discourage you! :)

I got picked up at the hotel at the exact time we planned, then we drove to Gansbaai where we had a nice introduction to the programme and some really good breakfast. After that we went on the boat, we had the opportunity to go to the cage twice (we were a group of 12) and at some point i think it was like 8 sharks ("bronzies") swimming around at the same time! We stayed on the boat for approx 2hrs. After we got back to the shore we were served some nice lunch for the road back. It was an amazing experience, would definitely reccomend to anyone visiting SA, even if you're solo-travelling. It was very informative and i wasn't bored even for a single second. Thank you once again for this amazing experience and for making it proper fun <3

The approximately 2-hour drive from Cape Town to Hermanus was pleasant and problem-free. There were small delays when we arrived at the port - but hey - that happens everywhere. After registration and the obligatory but entertaining safety briefing, we started. We were lucky. In the first five minutes we saw our first southern right whale right next to the boat. After that it happened in quick succession. Whale with calf, whale, whale, another calf, etc. We felt like we saw 40-50 whales, some of which were even active right around the boat. It was a fantastic trip that gave us many great memories. The feeling of being in the immediate vicinity of these giants is indescribably peaceful and good. Thank you!

this trip was absolutely amazing goronia (sorry for sure spelt wrong) was awesome, so much knowledge and so enthusiastic 😀 the experience itself was awesome. loads of sharks even banged into cage which was totally amazing, the videographer bee was so funny and got great shots of ppl in cage and the sharks, the crew on a whole was crazy and fun loving 😀 couldn't have asked for a better experience

It was very well organized, lots of sharks were seen, and we also really enjoyed the short detour to see the seals.