BIRDING, BIKING, HORSE RIDING & HIKES NEAR GANSBAAI
FYNBOS & NATURE TRAILS
BEST HIKES NEAR GANSBAAI
DUIWELSGAT TRAIL (DE KELDERS – UNGUIDED)
The 7 km Trail meanders along the coast from Gansbaai harbour to Klipgat Cave. The trail passes various caves and rock pools and crosses a unique habitat of the rare coastal limestone fynbos vegetation. A small circular rock wall prevents you from falling down the “Duiwelsgat” – the hole of the Devil. This trail passes in front of the guesthouse and is an ideal way to get to the Walker Bay Nature Reserve and the Klipgat Cave.
KLIPGAT CAVE (DE KELDERS – UNGUIDED)
Between 65,000 and 85,000 years ago when Neanderthal man was still ruling supreme in Europe, modern man lived down the road. At such time the ocean was at a distance of around 5 km from the cave. Excavations in Klipgat Cave between 1969 and 1995 produced stone artefacts, preserved bone tools and human remains. Such early remains have been found in only three South African sites and in the Middle East. Klipgat Cave has a dramatic view over the ocean and the Walker Bay Reserve through its two “windows” and one small “portal.”
FARM 215 (ON THE FYNBOS ROAD – UNGUIDED)
This private nature reserve is open by special arrangement for Whalesong guests and offers unguided trails. A map will show you the different longer and shorter trails of between 2 and 5 hours through pristine mountain fynbos and stunning viewpoints in this mountain catchment area. It is also one of the reforestation sites for Trees for Tourism.
PLATBOS FOREST (ON THE FYNBOS ROAD – UNGUIDED)
A privately owned 30 hectare indigenous forest which is also Africa’s southernmost forest. This ancient forest, with specimens of up to 1000 years old, is a rare remnant of the Sandwoud forest type, with species compositions not found anywhere else in the region. It is a leisurely route with wide paths and gentle gradients, which will take between 1 and 2 hours to complete. There are some stunning picnic sites so take some refreshments to enjoy while listening to the bird songs travelling through the ancient forest.
The great variety of habitats in the Overberg is the reason as to why there is such an enormous diversity of bird-life e.g. the endangered black Oyster Catcher along sandy beaches and rock kestrels making their home along the cliffs. Fynbos-endemic-species populate the fynbos covered hills. The sound of the fish eagle can regularly be heard throughout the hinterland and a number of other raptor-species, including the enormous black eagle are residents of the area. The endangered Blue Crane is often spotted congregating with visiting Storks in wheat fields. The Kleinrivier lagoon close to Stanford with its multitude of birds is ideal for enthusiasts. Other birding hot spots; Vadoekbaai on the Danger point Peninsula and the Uilenkraals Estuary.
HORSE & BIKE RIDING
This part of the Overberg is excellent horse country. Tar roads are few and far between and one can ride for miles without seeing any man-made item. Various rides are on offer: Beaches along these shores stretch on and on providing solitude which begs for some serious gallops or simple meanders along the Kleinrivier with its multitude of birds and lush vegetation. Enjoy a mountain ride in unique fynbos with panoramic views of the area on farm 215, an 800ha fynbos reserve. For more info and costs please ask. (Needs to be booked a day in advance)
Explore the local dune field of die Plaat and the endless beaches on a fat bike. Three different tours available. For more info and costs please ask. (Needs to be booked a day in advance)
Take a mellow cruise down the Klein River, home to over 130 bird species. Even if birding is not your thing, it is definitely worth seeing Stanford from another side. The river gently winds through scenic countryside down to the Hermanus Lagoon, with the backdrop of the Klein River Mountains. If weather permits there will always be time for a dip in the river.