Take a walk on the wild side
Hiking in the Gansbaai area is an enthralling eco-cultural experience and the best way to get a true feeling of the clean air and pristine natural beauty of this unspoilt wonderland at the southernmost tip of Africa. Only on foot can one really explore the hidden treasures and myriads of birds and wonderful wild animals that still freely breed and feed here and enliven our land, sea and sky.
The entire Gansbaai region with its diverse habitats and breathtaking landscapes is a paradise for hikers of all levels of fitness and experience. Tens of trails for guided or unguided hikes take you through a mosaic of exquisite landscapes - from indigenous Milkwood forests and flowering fynbos fields to epic beaches and mountain landscapes yielding spectacular views over the whale-watching Mekka of Walker Bay. Located in the heart of the Cape’s Fynbos Biome - the smallest but richest Floral Kingdom in the world – the Gansbaai area boasts a number of conservancies and reserves, including the acclaimed Grootbos Private Nature Reserve and Foundation, that protect these species.
Professional guides escort groups on organised hikes through these plant and animal kingdoms for a unique and fascinating wildlife excursion. Hikers can choose between leisurely beach strolls or any of a number of guided hikes along the coast and on the farms and reserves in the area. More experienced hikers can embark on invigorating multi-day hikes that include comfortable accommodation in exquisite guesthouses or lodges along the scenic route. All the trails offer breathtaking sea or mountain views and a kaleidoscope of wildflowers, animals and bird species.
Popular hiking trails include the Klipgat or Duiwelsgat trail between Gansbaai harbour and Walker Bay, the Grootmelkhoutbos trail in Franskraal's conservation area, as well as various fynbos trails on inland farms and reserves.
One of these is the 3 day slack packing Fynbos Trail that crosses the Grootbos Nature Reserve and other properties in the Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy. The trail kicks off at Growing the Future College on the Grootbos Nature Reserve and meanders through coastal strandveld and hidden pockets of indigenous Milkwood forest. The trail comes alive with various species of birds and vibrant bursts of exquisite Fynbos, showcasing the true beauty of this area.
Coastal trails wind all along the shoreline from Pearly Beach to Uilenkraalsmond, Franskraal, Kleinbaai and around Danger Point to Walker Bay and Die Plaat. The latest addition is the two-day Green Flag accredited slack packing Perlemoen Trail that covers a vast area from De Dam along the Quoin Point Lighthouse and Buffelsjag to Pearly Beach, as well as from Kleinbaai via the Danger Point Lighthouse to De Kelders.
The Platbos hiking trail runs along Africa's southernmost forest. Platbos is an ancient, indigenous forest on the slopes of the Baviaanspoort Hills on the Grootbos Road just outside Stanford, the largest remaining fragment of the orginal Swartkransberg Forests.
Whether you want a casual stroll along sunny beaches or an enlightening journey through ancient forests and coastal heritage sites, the Gansbaai area has it all! Come explore this natural extravaganza with its abundant indigenous fauna and flora under a crystalline sky where spectacular sunsets compete for beauty with the happy frolicking of whales, dolphins and seals a stone's throw away!