You may believe that there is little to keep you occupied in Franskraal, think again. The seaside resort offers birders an abundance of birdlife, hiking trails, local artists, neighbouring Kleinbaai offers daily White Shark cage diving boat trips and much more.
4 x 4 TRIPS AND ROUTES
You can drive out to Die Plaat between Stanford & Gansbaai. Cape Nature Conservation allows vehicles on parts of this conservation area and it is a lovely picnic and fishing spot.
- Glen Oakes 4x4 Trail Caledon
Tel: 028 212 2050 / 028 212 2710
Take an interesting conducted tour of the Atlantic Fishing Co where you will see firsthand how Abalone is farmed for the culinary export market.
Tel +27 28 384 1162
Arts and Crafts
The Overberg has always attracted a large number of artistically talented people. Here you will find painters, sculptors, poets, ceramicists, jewellery designers, glass designers, quilters and photographers. There are many talented artists living and working in the Overberg, bringing the area international recognition.
There are also excellent African curio type works brought in from further north but the quilts, ceramics, precious stone jewellery and most fabric paintings are all by local artists.
Galleries abound throughout the Overberg. Some of these galleries are listed here. Wander and explore.
- Gallery Gregoire
Tel: 028 316 2694
- The Mission House Gallery (Onrus)
Tel: 028 316 2269
- The Atelier d’art
Tel: 028 316 3238
- Hornbill House
Tel: 028 316 2696
- Erna Dry Ceramics
Tel: 028 316 2696
- Southern Art Ceramics
Tel: 028 316 3296
- Village Gallery & Gallery 64
Tel: 028 316 4587
- Art Thirst
Tel:072 682 6590
- The Fisherman’s Gallery
Tel:028 312 2509
- Hubbard’s Cupboard
Tel:028 312 1909
- The Arthaus
Tel:028 313 0030
- Philip Harper Gallery
Tel:028 312 4836
- Abalone Art Gallery
- Village Gallery
Tel:028 316 4587
- Here Be Treasure
Tel:028 313 0986
- Walker Bay Art Gallery
171 Main Road
Tel:028 312 2928
- Bellini Gallery
Tel:028 312 498
Local contemporary Art Gallery showing paintings
and sculptures, Annette Barnard, Shelley Adams,
Maeve Dewar, Charlene Langguth, Karel Beenen.
Antiques and Collectables
Traverse the alleyways and you will come across all kinds of little shops. Probably the most well known is TUTAMEN, in High Street, which specialises in investment pieces.
You will find most of the major South African banks in Gansbaai.
Banking hours: Weekdays 09h00 till 15h30. Saturdays 09h00 till 11h00.
Beaches in and around Gansbaai vary from endless pristine white stretches of sandy beach to rocky outcrops dotted with rockpools, towering cliffs and caves.
- Stanford's Bay
A protected cove in the middle of De Kelders offers ideal swimming conditions.
Several rockpools and a beautiful hike in addition to a tidal pool.
Situated 4 kms from central Gansbaai this endless sandy beach runs towards the Uilkraals estuary, well known as a birding hotspot.
Ideal for long walks, swimming, family picnics and bird watching.
- Die Plaat
Protected as part of the Walker Bay reserve, ideal for swimming. Excellent fishing.
- Pearly Beach
Beautiful stretch of powder white sand beach. Ideal for long walks, ideal fishing and whale watching haven.
Remote, this spot will impress with its soaring solidified dunes which tower over Jessie se Baai.
The beaches in Hermanus are a sun worshipper’s dream with soft powdery sand. A number of choices are offered – from cozy rock protected coves to long expanses of beach, perfect for walking and finding your own, private spot to relax.
- VOËLKLIP BEACH
Voëlklip Beach is smaller with a lovely grass slope to sit on, should you not enjoy the sand. There are also ablution blocks but there are no hiring facilities. There are many small beaches all the way along the cliff path so grab a towel BUT – please don’t forget your sun block and hat. The African sun is unforgiving and a small breeze will give you the impression that you are not burning, but by the evening you will be sorely regretting having left the sun block behind.
also known as Nanny’s Beach and Lover’s Cove, just alongside Voëlklip, is particularly popular with surfers. There are braai and picnic facilities under the milk wood trees.
is a secluded beach tucked away at the foot of the cliffs just off 6th Avenue. A well – camouflaged toilet is tucked away in the bushes behind the beach – the only facility here.
Just down the road towards Voëlklip is the Blue Flag beach at Grotto. South Africa was the first country outside Europe to win Blue Flag accreditation for some of its beaches. A section of Grotto Beach offers bathers and sun worshippers standard international facilities that include lifesavers, security guards, spotless cloakrooms and a coffee shop called Dutchies. Beach chairs and umbrellas are also available for hire.
- DIE PLAAT
From Grotto you can walk to the mouth of the lagoon. The lagoon mouth is usually closed in summer as the water levels drop (this being a winter rainfall area). At this time, very long walks along the stretch of coast known as Die Plaat (the Plateaux or Board) are possible. After winter, the lagoon will breach its berm and break through into the sea. The mouth then becomes impassable.
At the Schulphoek camping and caravan park, there is a new tidal pool with change rooms. Fresh seawater is pumped into it daily and the pool is safe for children.
On the western side of Hermanus is the Sandbaai Beach with several little coves that are particularly popular at low tide, when swimming is safe. The beach is dotted with delightful rock pools full of marine creatures. It is also popular for snorkeling. There are change rooms and showers.
- ONRUS BEACH
is the choice of body surfers and surfers. Facilities at this beach have been vastly upgraded and a restaurant provides takeaways and meals. The lagoon, which is a delight for the children, opens to the sea at this beach.
- BRÊKVIS BAY – Vermont
In Vermont lie the dunes and beach called Brêkvis Bay on the boundary of the Vermont Nature Reserve. A perfect spot for picnicking and paddling. Right next door is another pretty beach called Twistbaai.
Not strictly a beach, but the shores of the Bot River Lagoon provide numerous spots to picnic and swim. The lagoon is a favourite with windsurfers, fishermen and waterskiers.
- TIDAL POOLS
provide safe bathing and are particularly popular with children. The Marine Tidal Pool or Bientang se Baaigat, just below the Marine Hotel, is a great place to swim or snorkel as it teems with sea life and fairly large fish.
Flick’s Pool on Westcliff Road is a smaller pool with a sandy bottom and is well sheltered in a cove. The Schulphoek Tidal Pool at the Schulphoek Camp Site provides a vast pool and play area for both campers and day visitors. At the Onrus River camp there is a tidal pool for both campers and the public.
We are able to advise you on beauty salons offering outstanding treatments and services in Gansbaai and Hermanus.
Franskraal is a birders paradise and Franskraal Bed and Breakfast is no exception. Just a walk away from the beach and the estuary, you'll enjoy early mornings out catching a glimpse of the more than 250 bird species in the area.
At Kleinrivier, a little way up the R326 which starts at Stanford, you will see the
cheese farm. The shop stocks their award winning cheeses and they do great
A permit, and a copy of the regulations, is needed if you plan to collect marine
delicacies. This is available from the local Post Office. The price is R75.
Call Scuba Africa on 083 731 8235 or 028 316 2362.
Dyer Island is a 20ha Nature Reserve, situated 12 km from Kleinbaai harbour. This is one of the seabird islands. Some of the birds breeding on the island include the vulnerable African Penguins and endangered Bank Cormorant and Roseate Tern. Other breeding species include the Cape Whitebreasted and Crowned Cormorants; Leach’s Storm Petrel; African Black Oystercatchers; Kelp and Hartlaub’s Gulls. It is also the home to a colony of the Cape Fur Seal.
Fernkloof Nature Reserve was established in 1957 and forms the splendid mountain backdrop to Hermanus. Over 1100 different plant species have been collected and identified within the reserve which is only 15 square kilometres. This compares well with the UK’s 1500 species! At the traffic circle in Voëlklip, turn up the road towards the mountain.
Fees Van Die Ganse is an annual event taking place in the heart of Winter. Usually in early July and takes the form of family entertainment, food stalls, live bands, pony rides, art exhibitions and much more. Enormous fun for everyone.
There are many fishing spots in and around Franskraal/Gansbaai. Helmie will gladly advise you on some of the fishing hotspots in the area for those intent on bringing in the big one!
Where else can you play nine holes of golf with such a magnificent sea view surrounded by indigenous fynbos. The charming golf course is situated in Kleinbaai and is a must for golf enthusiasts.
HIKING AND WALKING TRAILS
As a major conservation area, there are several hiking trails in the area. Maps are available from the local tourism office in Gansbaai with information on the various hiking trails available.
- De Uijlenes
Tel: 028 - 388 0551
- Farm 215 Fynbos Reserve
Tel: 028 - 388 0920
- Flower Valley
Tel: 028 388 0713
- Grootbos Nature Reserve
Tel: 028 384 0381
- Heidehof Medicinal Walks
Tel: 028 388 0073
- Klipgat Trail
Tel: 028 3841439
- Milkwood Hiking Trail
Tel: 028 388 0099
- Platbos Hiking Trail
Tel: 082 411 0448
- Sandberg Fynbos Reserve
Tel: 028 482 1616
- Strandveld Hiking Club
Tel: 028 384 2848
- Baardskeerdersbos Horse Trails
Tel: 028 381 9636 / 072 273 6505
- Cape Nature Conservation
off 7th Street (the main road through Voëlklip) up 17th Avenue
Tel: 082 729 7776
- Arabella, Equestrian Horse Centre
Kleinmond, Ysterklip Farm
Contact Matt or Sarah
Tel: 083 362 1046
- Horse Trail Safaries
Tel: 082 729 7776
- African Horse Company (Stanford)
Tel: 082 667 9232
- The Beach to Cave Nature Trail begins from Stanford's Cove. The trail is very easy and passes along the coastline of De Kelders. You are likely to spot seals. In season you will see Southern Right and Humpback Whales which come close inshore to calve.
Tel 028 384 3846
Strandveld Museum situated in Franskraal
SHARK CAGE DIVING
- Shark Lady Adventures – Gansbaai
Experience this magnificent predator in its natural environment with the SHARK LADY, the only commercial handson woman in the industry.
Shark Lady Adventures is led by Kim Maclean. Kim holds all the relevant qualifications and is well trained in working with Great White sharks.
Bookings are essential. They take only exclusive groups for your comfort and more cage diving.
Visit them at 61 Marine Drive, Hermanus or call
Tel: 028 312 3287 or 083 746 8985or 083 725 3186
- Great White Shark Tours – Gansbaai
Join Brian McFarlane's team for a trip!! Very educational, and LOTS of fun! Contact Brian McFarlane (Bookings are essential)
Tel: 083 300 2138
Our day normally starts off with a light continental breakfast, after which we take payment, do a short briefing, and then head out to sea! Lunch, drinks and snacks are served on the boat, and after everyone has had a chance to get into the cage, we return back to land for some coffee, tea, hot chocolate and biscuits.
We provide all the necessary gear, wetsuits, towels, etc.
You do not need any diving experience or qualifications!
- Gansbaai offers an abundance of interesting little speciality shops in addition to the supermakets. Coffee shops, eateries and pubs line the bustling town and coastal routes.
- Taxi Corp Shuttles
24 Shuttle service over the entire Overberg and Western Cape.
Tel: 082 3538069 / 079 7821660
WHALE WATCHING (Boat Based)
Only licensed operators are allowed to take visitors on boatbased whale watching trips. They are allowed within 50 metres of the mammals and have to adhere to strict rules and participate in research on the whales.
From June to the end of November there is a whale sanctuary in Walker Bay. Unlicensed boats are not permitted in the sanctuary and, outside of the sanctuary, nobody is allowed within 300 metres of the whales. The whales don’t know about this law and are often well within 300 meters of the cliff paths.
- Dyer Island Cruises Gansbaai
Cruises: ±2½ hours
Tel: 028 384 0406 or 082 801 8014
- Hermanus Whale Cruises
Experience the unforgettable interaction with whales. Departure from Hermanus New Harbour. Bookings are essential.
Tel: 028 313 2722 or 082 369 8931
- Ivanhoe Sea Safaris Gansbaai
For the most amazing whale watching experience
Tel: 028 384 0556
- Southern Right Charters
- Sea Cruises
They offer sea cruises and are based at the Hermanus New Harbour at the infamous Whale Shack. They offer a Bay Cruise where they usually encounter seals, penguins, marine birds and often the beautiful dolphins and Brydes whales.
- Sunset Cruises
The 18h00 sunset cruise is the perfect way in which to unwind after a stressful day or you can set the mood for your evening out.
For bookings and enquiries
Tel: 082 353 0550
Hemel-en-Aarde Valley Tucked into the folds of the Glen Vauloch Mountains on the outskirts of Hermanus, lies the picturesque Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. It is here that wine lovers can treat themselves to a unique wine tour among some of the southernmost vineyards in Africa, with only the Cape Agulhas vineyards being further south.
Hemel-en-Aarde Village (At intersection of the R43 and the R320)
The Hemel-en-Aarde Village is situated at the Main Road and Sandbaai intersection. Restaurants in the Hemel-en-Aarde Village complex, our very own Village Restaurant, B's Steakhouse and Incredible Fish, will supply sumptuous meals.
You can also explore the myriad of shops in the Hemel-en-Aarde Village. Hornbill House, Southern Art Ceramics, The Village Farm Stall, Ralph Walton Jewellery Design, Walkerbay Nursery and Sylvia Smith's Gallery.
Whalehaven is situated only 150 metres from the intersection on the Caledon road.
Hermanuspietersfontein Cellars are located very close to Whalehaven. Do pop in to their tasteroom. Experience 16 of the best of South Africa’s Sauvignon Blancs. Avail yourself of the opportunity to taste and compare see for yourself the differences between regions and wine making styles. They are open to cellar tours.