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New Gansbaai Black Trails Attract Hardcore Mountain Bikers

Mountain biking in Gansbaai, two hours south of Cape Town
Mountain biking in Gansbaai, two hours south of Cape Town

Got a hardcore mountain biker in the family?

Gansbaai’s newly launched mountain biking routes are now abuzz with mountain bikers and are the perfect distraction for biking family members while the rest of the family is shark diving.

The routes make a great training ground for this years mountain biking races, such as the ‘Cape Epic’ which kicks off in March.

The two black trails are proving the most popular with these expert riders, who value the challenge the variety of terrain; steep rocky descents, tight switchbacks and spectacular views, in our beautiful Fynbos Reserves.

There are two new black routes, but the one starting at De Uijlenes is the most challenging. Fit riders with good technical ability love this trail for its fun single track sections, stream crossings, rock berms, tough climbs, and exhilarating, fast technical descents through Flower Valley and above Stanford and Pearly Beach.

Klipspringer Trail, the other black option, starts at either Lomond Wines or Flower Valley Conservation and is approximately 32km long. It crosses five different properties in the Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy and the views and surrounding natural environment are breathtaking.

Riders looking for some ocean views will love the Blue route which starts at Gansbaai Information. This 25km long route follows a 4 x 4 track by the sea, the sandy slopes and the beautiful Danger Point Lighthouse.

The red route also starts at Gansbaai Information and is 85km long. This route is more rural with steeper climbs. It follows the peaceful Baardskeerdersbos road over Sopieshoogte, past the Kraaibosch dam to Papiesvlei and over Nuwepos to Baardskeerdersbos and back to Sopieshoogte. The total elevation is roughly 1200m, with the 40m Nuwepos climb the longest ascent.

Guests to Gansbaai and surrounding areas can view the The ‘Lighthouse to Lighthouse’ race near the Danger Point Lighthouse in Gansbaai on 11 February or join it to train for the Cape Epic. The ‘Cape Epic’ passes through Hermanus from 16th March.

For more information visit www.gansbaaiinfo.com

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!

Great White Shark in Gansbaai, South Africa

Gansbaai, Adventure Outside Cape Town

Gansbaai is not only filled with sun hungry tourists, looking for shark action. Many others have arrived to take advantage of the towns flat streets, beautiful beaches and mouthwatering restaurants.

The best place to start is to hop on a bike and take a ride from Kleinbaai Harbour along the sea to Franskraal shops. Here you will find a welcome soft serve ice-cream (with choc stick!) to contemplate the trip back along this flat and quiet cycle route.

Diners will love the choice of seaside restaurants, offering fresh seafood and local South African fare.

For shoppers, there is the antique store in town opposite ABSA. This place is a treasure trove of homewares, furniture and decorative items.

Hikers will love to walk the De Kelders cliff tops at sunset, looking out for the regular whales that call this cove home for much of the year.

4 x 4 enthusiasts will love to explore the Plaat. It’s rocky trails and breathtaking views over Walker Bay, are the perfect choice for a stormy or overcast day.

If heading out shark cage diving, Shark Diving Unlimited offers diving for all ages, and also offers boat viewing and photography trips for those who don’t want to get wet! Think outside the box when you are in Gansbaai, there’s something for the whole family! www.sharkdivingunlimited.com