5 Animals You Might Meet in Gansbaai

A whale breaches in Gansbaai.  Image taken by Elsa Hoffman during a cage diving trip with Shark Diving Unlimited
A whale breaches in Gansbaai. Image taken by Elsa Hoffman during a cage diving trip with Shark Diving Unlimited
A tortoise makes his way across the road in Gansbaai
A tortoise makes his way across the road in Gansbaai

We love Great White Sharks, but they aren’t really very cuddly are they?  Fortunately, Gansbaai has a lot of other friendly animal residents, you can meet on your visit.

As soon we enter the town, we are asked to keep an eye out for moving rocks on the road!  These rocks, or tortoises as they are usually known, flourish all over this green region because of the healthy Fynbos forests.  Walkers are most likely to come across one in the morning at around 10am, as they set off in search of juicy flowers to munch.  We do recommend that you don’t pick up these cute critters however, as they have a habit of doing a nice smelly pee on those who want a closer look.

Some of the cutest inhabitants include the The Cape Fur Seal who can usually be found on Seal rock near Dyer Island, where they breed.  Viewing is best done from a cage diving boat as their island is located on Shark Alley, home to one of the largest concentrations of Great Whites in the world!

Dyer Island is also home to happy little penguins.  The penguins are know as Jack Ass penguins because of their funny call.  They are very endangered here, but you may be able to spot one or two during your cage diving trip.  If not, you can always stop off at Betty’s Bay on your way back to Cape Town, where there is a large colony that often comes to shore.

The biggest animals residents of Gansbaai are the whales, and Southern Right Whales are often seen frolicking with their calves just offshore.  These majestic animals give birth in the waters near De Kelders and can all be viewed from land or the guest houses there.

Gansbaai’s most elusive inhabitant is the Cape Leopard. Once well distributed across the Cape, their numbers are now dwindling from habitat destruction.   You might catch sight of one if you are staying on one of the rural properties, or see one crossing the road at night.

So if you like animals, we recommend you come and spend a weekend in Gansbaai and get to know the furry, slow, loud, stealthy and majestic residents of Gansbaai!

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