Kleinbaai is a picturesque little village situated on the Eastern side of Gansbaai and is the ideal launching site for the local fishermen to fish in the Dyer Island area. You want to make darn sure you know the rules before you try cage diving if you want to keep all your limbs.
I was lucky enough to go out on one of the boats and  I am going to be doing a post about the cage diving at a later date so won’t go into much detail now.
If you are not really into going out to sea there is also a very nice restaurant which overlooks the harbor. Or you could pop in and buy some souvenirs here and tell all your friends how you went diving with the Great Whites. I was fortunate that I bumped into my fishing friends, who I had met while at Yzerfontein, and it was through one of them that I got to go out on one of the shark boats and take some photos. Kleinbaai is not only about the shark and whale watching but there is also a golf course,  squash courts, tidal pool for safe swimming and some great hiking trails one of which is along the peninsula of Danger Point which extends about 8 kilometers into the sea. The many reefs and unchartered rocks along the shoreline make it one of the most dangerous places in the world for ships sailing too close inshore. Danger Point Lighthouse, erected in 1895, which was too late to for the troop ship Birkenhead which floundered on the 26th of February 1852 with only 193 survivors out of the 636 souls on board. All in all I found this a very interesting area to explore and in my next post I am going to follow a group who decided to to go shark cage diving with one of the operators, Marine Dynamics, just off  nearby Dyer Island.
To get to Gansbaai from Hermanus one travels along the R43 which runs between the mountain and the Klein River Vlei via Stanford, which has a well preserved core of historical buildings, antique shops and art galleries, and onto De Kelders and Gansbaai.
The main reason for the growth of  tourism round Gansbaai over the past 10 years or so has been the establishment of the whale and shark industries at nearby  Kleinbaai which attracts thrill seekers and nature lovers from all over the world who all want to see and interact with the big 2 – Great White Sharks and Southern Right Whales.
There are 3 caravan parks in the area but to be honest  from what I saw and heard I would only stay at the park in Gansbaai above the harbour area. If you have just come across this post then I would suggest that you first have a look at the post called Hermanus 1 as it gives a bit of background to the town and covers most of the touristy places situated round the Old Harbour – sort of what you would see if you only had a few hours to explore Hermanus. About a kilometre from Grotto towards town is the grassed and terraced Voelklip Beach which is the in place for the younger set with some good waves for surfing. There are many walks for those keen on hiking and you can choose from beach, coast or mountain routes.
This path is about 10 kilometres long and basically runs the full length of Hermanus from the New Harbour to the lagoon. There are really a huge amount of things to do in Hermanus and I am sure I have just scratched the surface.
Hermanus was originally named Hermanuspieterfontein after an itinerant teacher from the 1830’s who grazed sheep near a fresh water spring in what is now Westcliff.
I am going to do 2 posts on Hermanus as there is a lot to see and do there and I have taken a lot of photos which I hope you find interesting.
I first started going to Hermanus about 45 years ago and boy has it changed over the years in comparison to a place such as Arniston which is further east along the coast . Monument housing the roll of honour for those from the area who perished in the 1st and 2nd World wars. Plaque for the Old Harbour which was for many years the centre of a thriving fishing industry.


Hermanus now has a vibrant tourism industry, boasts a large number of art galleries and restaurants and is, amongst others, home to an annual whale festival in September.
Most of the action takes place around the Old Harbour area and that is where you find all the great restaurants, art galleries and curio shops that Hermanus is well known for.
As I said at the beginning of this post Hermanus is a really interesting place to visit and there is much to show and comment on. In the Hermanus area there are 2 caravan parks, the one at Onrus and the one I stayed at Paradise Park  in Vermont.
The biggest factor against Paradise Park is that it is close to the high way and is therefore a bit noisy at night but not unbearably so. Had some great companionship as these two decided that my front stoep was the best place in the park . There are quite a number of full time residence in the park who have built there own cottages and pay a monthly levy. There is also a shop which stocks all the basics and next to it a hall which was used for a wedding reception while I was there.
All in all I enjoyed my stay at Paradise Park and would definitely stay there again as it gives you a great base from which to go and explore the area. The most popular sites with a sea view were looking a bit the worse for wear which is understandable. I had a long chat to the manager who says that they realise that they have made a mistake with the pricing and extending the high season and that he hopes that by June this year the prices will have come down.
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A stylish sailing or casual jacket with a better fit and flexibility than the previous version. The Dubarry Derg Performance Jacket is perfect as a technical layering jacket with a waterproof and breathable membrane. Whilst Global Work Boats tries to ensure that the specification listed on all vessels is true and correct, it can not guarantee this. Stories about the Big White Sharks led to the establishment of the now very popular shark-diving expeditions which has resulted in Gansbaai being known as the Great White Shark capital of the world.
A school was established in 1906 and in 1926 the land above the beach was divided into 205 plots.
The folks of Gansbaai are really friendly and I even managed to meet up with the crew of a fishing boat that I became friendly with  when I was staying in Yzerfontein last year. There is much to see explore in the area and Gansbaai is perfect as a base to the interesting places that are close by. When the right winds are blowing these mountains provide the launch pad for some of the best para and hang-gliding in the Cape. A section Of Grotto now boasts Blue Flag status offering visitors facilities that include lifesavers, security guards and spotless cloakrooms.
Fernkloof offers several different grades of walk and the area is covered in spectacular fynbos. The section from Fick’s Pool to Tamatiebank has recently been upgraded to accommodate wheelchairs and during the season is a wonderful walk to take and spot the whales in Walker Bay.


Fishermen from Hawston started to settle here more than 150 years ago but the town gradually became known as a holiday resort and grew into the main coastal centre of the Overberg. In those days Hermanus and Arniston had the same kind of feel – holiday, fishing village, sea side places, although Hermanus was even then quite a bit larger than Arniston.
From June to November, especially the area around the Old Harbour and Gearing’s Point offers excellent opportunities for watching whales which often come to within meters of the rocks. For this first part of my visit I have tried to cover what the average tourist would  get to see if they came for a 1 day visit and will show more in my next post. There was a great camping and caravan park in Hermanus,  I camped there many years ago, but it is no longer open to the public as it has been earmarked for a major development . When I phoned around to check prices I discovered that Onrus Caravan Park, like Kleinmond & Palmiet, who all fall under the same municipality, wanted to charge me R240 per night which is just way over what I am prepared to pay. It is, compared to the Onrus park, also quite far away from the beach area which did not bother me as they have a great pool there to cool off in. There was also a smaller block nearer to where I was parked but there was something wrong with the hot water in the showers. You also have your own key to get in and out for which you pay R50 which is refunded when you leave.
There was one very nice one up for sale for R350k and I was tempted but worried about the road noise. For the mean time if you are only going for a weekend and feeling flush this looked a nice park to stay.
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Commercial fisheries were started and by the 1950’s  Gansbaai was a bustling town which has now grown into a commercial centre.
It was through them that I managed to get myself onto one of the shark boats at Kleinbaai and spend a morning taking pix of the operation.
The only complaint I had was that the lights  at night were really bright and it was like sleeping in broad daylight.
Rotary Drive provides easy access to the launching site which is more or less in line with the golf course and high school grounds.
The beach stretches all the way to the little town of De Kelders  – a solid 5 hour walk. Now days Hermanus is a bustling, much larger and more modern town and for me has lost much of the charm that still exists at Arniston. Fortunately Paradise said that they would charge R130 per night, which I think is still a bit high for 1 person per night.
Seven shipwrecks surround Danger Point and 140 wrecks are dotted along the shores between Danger Point and Cape Infanta. Fitted with a removable transition piece docking section, this is for transferring personnel to the wind farm ladders.



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