Someone mentions the words great outdoors and images of big-bearded men sitting around a roaring fire and grizzly bears pop into your head as you wrinkle your nose. But in the Overberg we smile fondly and get ready for an adventure as the great outdoors can be found right in our backyards.
The fishing village of Gansbaai, known to some as the Gem of the Overberg, holds a variety of outdoor adventures that will get your blood pumping and help you to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the area. Caught between deep blue ocean and ancient forests, the town can almost be considered a natural gateway to the great outdoors and coastline that is shrouded in mystery and rich history.
The coastline and adjacent fields of endemic Fynbos lends itself to the criss-crossing hiking and walking trails available in the area. Trekking along the coastline you can lose yourself in the panoramic views and rocky cliffs that stretch out before you. Endless stretches of pristine beaches give way to the gently swaying waters of Walker Bay and the spectacular sunsets beyond. The walking and hiking trails vary in distance and difficulty and lead you from coastline to caves to forest canopy. Take a moment to walk the hidden pathways of the nearby Milkwood Forest and stand in awe of the trees that are more than a thousand years old.
For the outdoor adventurists looking to add a bit of bite to the(ir) bark have a choice between revving it up on land or whetting their appetites in the waters off the coast of Kleinbaai. Opting for land means getting some horse power underneath you and heading into the hills on the ride of a lifetime. The landscapes between Franskraal and Pearly Beach offer up some of the best quad biking and 4x4 trails in the area and combine the thrill of adventure with bird watching and a new appreciation for the beautiful flora of the Cape Floral Kingdom.
Those willing to get a bit wet will have to hold their horses until they get out to sea to come face to face with the big daddy of the Marine Big 5. The ultimate thrill and reason why thousands travel to South Africa every year can be found right here in the coastal town of Gansbaai. A Shark Cage Diving excursion puts you in the ocean waters off the coast of Gansbaai, home to the largest concentration of Great White Sharks in the world and triggers an innate respect for the apex predator of the oceanic great outdoors.
Image courtesy by Saxon Lodge
On the flipside when nature lovers hear great outdoors it conjures up images of wide open spaces where you can escape the noise and immerse yourself in the tranquillity of untouched nature. For these free-spirited folks looking for open landscapes and panoramic views stretching from horizon to horizon, be assured that you’ve come to the right place. Heading out towards the hamlets of Elim and Baardskeerdersbos, you will be met with a tapestry of multi-coloured farmlands and clear blue skies as far as the eye can see.
Discovering the great doors has now been brought to your front door. A mere two hour drive from Cape Town you can find the great outdoor adventures you have always wanted to experience. It’s time to discover the great outdoors of the Overberg.