Gansbaai won Gold for being the best destination for responsible travel in the World Responsible Tourism Awards in London in early November, competing against destinations from across the world. So what is ‘responsible travel’ and why is Gansbaai so good at it?
Gansbaai, just a two-hour drive from Cape Town in the beautiful Overberg, is Adventure Central, offering some of the best boat- and shore-based whale watching and white-shark diving in the country. (See 1 below for what makes these activities 'responsible'.)
Many of the local accommodation options in and around Gansbaai, from top-end luxury lodges to simple self-catering cottages, have committed to an eco-friendly, sustainable approach. For instance, they minimise their use of non-renewable power, grow their own produce and recycle water. They also contribute to poverty relief and upliftment projects that benefit the local community. Among these places to stay are Whalesong Lodge, Farm 215 and the luxury but expensive Grootbos Private Nature Reserve.
10 things to do in and around Gansbaai
3. Grab your binos and try to spot some of the area’s 250 bird species.
4. Hike along the coast from Gansbaai to Klipgat Cave in De Kelders (see photo in the intro).
5. Visit the Danger Point lighthouse where the Birkenhead was wrecked in 1852.
7. Find peace along a forest trail or have a picnic at Platbos, South Africa’s southernmost indigenous forest, where more than 22,000 new trees have been planted in the past decade.
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