The Western Cape is full of seaside highlights just waiting to be explored – Walker Bay has some of the most spectacular of all.
One of South Africa’s prime whale-watching locations, Walker Bay nature reserve is divided into several sections around and between Gansbaai and Hermanus.
From the top of the path that leads down to the shore at Klipgat cave, you can see Walker Bay’s pristine white sands stretch for many kilometres. The scale of the beaches, known as Die Plaat, is incredible.
Credit: Mikail Baker
CapeNature claims that Walker Bay is one of the world’s best spots for whale-watching from the shore. The bay is a calving-ground for southern right whales, and one can easily witness them frolicking from the shores of Die Plaat.
Whale season typically stretches from June to December every year, but the reserve is a stunning attraction all year round.
A whale breaching at Walker Bay. Credit: CapeNature
Klipgat cave, found at De Kelders, just outside Gansbaai, offers perfectly-framed views of the ocean. It’s also filled with history – it was once inhabited by indigenous Khoi and San people.
A view from within the cave. Credit: Mikail Baker
The first part of the cave is quite small, with a cramped path leading to the other section. This other section, however, is a large cavern that looks out onto a small, hidden beach ideal for little ones interested in the reserve’s abundance of tiny sea creatures.
CapeNature has installed informative plaques throughout the cavern, teaching visitors about the natural formation’s anthropological history. Ancient, 85 000 year-old stone-age remains have even been found here!
The informative walkway within the cave's main cavern. Credit: CapeNature
Tucked alongside the caves is a perfect section of beach ideal for swimming. The water’s chilly, but the waves are gentle. Surrounded by sheer cliffs and a cave, it’s one of the best beach settings in all of the Western Cape.
For the more angling-inclined, there’s also a 4X4 fishing trail accessible from Stanford, the little town that sits midway between Gansbaai and Hermanus. I found it by accident, and as my little car has discovered, it’s not easy to traverse.
The allure of Walker Bay is easy to understand. It’s breathtakingly beautiful, close to Cape Town, and relatively untouched. Give it a try.