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Kleinbaai (Klein Bay) previously known as Van Dyks Bay, is situated just 6 km from Gansbaai on the Danger Point Peninsula, just two hours drive from Cape Town. Despite being the smaller town to Gansbaai, Kleinbaai is possibly the main reason for Gansbaai’s popular nature-based tourism!
The natural harbour is the launch pad for the shark cage diving trips to world famous “Shark Alley”, the area of water between the mainland and Dyer Island. The name ‘shark alley’ is attributed to the 50 000 seals that colonise this island and understandably attract sharks. However, sharks are not the only reason to visit Klainbaai, this area is regarded as one of the best whale-watching spots in the world and therefore a great reason to visit in the last six months of the year!
A gravel road connects Kleinbaai with the Danger Point Lighthouse, not the best road for vehicles, but the 6 km one-way trail along the coastline makes for a beautiful hike. This picturesque village offers many attractions, a wonderful tidal pool excellent for kids, restaurants and bars, beautiful beaches and a stunning golf course with fantastic sea views!
Kleinbaai has a variety of accommodation options available from B&B’s and Guest Houses to self-catering cottages and camping.
Things to do and see
- Kleinbaai Beach
- Danger Point Lighthouse
- Shark Cage Diving
- Whale Watching
- Perlemoen Hiking Trail, Gansbaai
- Fernkloof Nature Reserve
- Platbos Indigenous Forest
Kleinbaai receives approximately 539 mm of rain annually with most of its annual rainfall during Winter.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 14˚C and 24˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 9˚C and 18˚C.
There are daily flights into Cape Town International Airport, approximately 155 Km away via the N2 and R43. Car hire facilities are available at the Airport.
The story of Kleinbaai began in the early 1800’s when Sampson Dyer, the first known human to live on Dyer Island, then known as Isla de Fera (Island of Creatures or wild animals) after the numerous Cape Fur Seals and African Penguins that populated it, made a living by clubbing seals and exporting their pelts to America. The island was only later named after him when guano harvesting was the reason for work on the island.
According to history, and a bit of folklore, a famous big black rock, Black Sophie, in the sea about 200 meters from Kleinbaai, has allegedly been named after the first madam of a brothel in the Overberg. Sophia Werner and her girls also prevented the first full-blown strike amongst guano harvesters on Dyer Island by taking pity on the men's emotional distress!
A few decades after Dyers left, a group of about 40 guano harvesters working on Dyer Island became lonely and threatened to strike if something was not done to cater for their emotional needs.
At that stage, Black Sophie, a big lady "of dark complexion" managed a Cape Town inn that catered for sailors and guano harvesters. Allegedly, both her parties and her girls were world famous. When Sophie got word of the situation on Dyer Island, she loaded her girls in wagons and rushed to the rescue of the forlorn men. After a long and difficult journey over high mountain passes, they set up a camp on the beach of present day Kleinbaai. Black Sophie signaled the guano harvesters on Dyer Island and soon the Kleinbaai beach became a famous party venue and the men never spoke of a strike again!
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