De Kelders & Gansbaai: Whales & Sharks
Nowhere else along South Africa’s east and south coast do whales and dolphins come so close to the beach like in De Kelders. It is one of the best land-based whale watching spots in the world
De Kelders is a small village at the Whale Coast and lies just 5 km north of Gansbaai and about 25 minutes’ drive from Hermanus. It is renowned as the home of the Southern Right Whale because the whales return year after year to mate and calve between July through November.
It is a very rocky coast underground natural caves beneath the cliffs. De Kelders is named after these caves; the Afrikaans word “kelders” means “cellar”. Some of the oldest remains of modern man were found in the Klipgat Cave., just outside the Walker Bay Nature Reserve.
From De Kelders you can enjoy an extraordinary view across Walker Bay from Danger Point, home of most white sharks in South Africa, to Hermanus and to Hangklip, on clear days even as far as the Cape Peninsula and Cape Town.
Gansbaai does not only offer land-based whale watching like De Kelders, it has also established itself as the best place worldwide for great white shark watching. Gansbaai has the world’s largest concentration of the Great White Sharks. You may see this magnificent predator from the safety of a boat or from a cage in the water.
Sharks are attracted by cape fur seals, African penguins and numerous sea-birds that live on Dyer Island and Geyser Island, a few kilometres from Gansbaai. Between these islands lies “Shark Alley”, kingdom of the great white shark.
The best time of year to view great white sharks is from June to September.
By the way: For your journey from Hout Bay to De Kelders or Gansbaai we recommend the “Scenic Route”. Leave the N2 at Gordons Bay and follow the R44 through a really beautiful landscape.