GANSBAAI, KLEINBAAI & DANGER POINT
LOCAL ATTRACTIONS IN GANSBAAI
DANGER POINT LIGHTHOUSE
A few decades after the wrecking of the HMT Birkenhead in 1852 at Danger Point, the present lighthouse was erected in 1895. Danger Point Lighthouse is at the tip of the peninsula. The rock the Birkenhead struck is visible from the lighthouse. The many steps to the top of the lighthouse can be climbed, allowing for a marvellous 360 degrees span over the ocean and the hinterland of the peninsula. Open weekdays 10 to 15.
In front of the lighthouse is a plaque commemorating the victims of the HMT Birkenhead. An arrow points to the submerged rock that caused its demise. This can be recognised by the waves breaking over it. Also visit the quaint little Strandveld museum on the beach road in Franskraal for the largest collection of relics of the HMT Birkenhead.
A 4km drive will take you to the small fishing village which is our closest shopping area. Here you would find most things that you might need. From the ATM (money) to the pharmacy (motion sickness tablets) to the SPAR shop (goodies for a picnic). Jo Signs is the place to get your photo needs taken care of. Most shops are situated on the main road.
A fleet of fishing boats and a caning factory in the harbour employ a substantial number of people. Locals call the occasional typical smell from the fishmeal factory the “smell of money.” The fishing industry dates back to the earliest days of settlement in Gansbaai. Johannes Wessels erected the first temporary dwelling in 1881 next to the fresh water fountain on the spot where the harbour is now. It was named Gansgat (goose hole) after the Egyptian geese that had their nests around the fountain. Only later did it change into the more respectable Gansbaai (Goosebay).