Price range, per nightmin R max R
*All distances listed are as the crow flies, and not actual travel distances.
The small village of De Kelders (the cellars in Dutch) adjoining Gansbaai is riddled with caves and overhangs close to the shoreline that were formed through wave action and erosion over millennia. These caves were first inhabited by Middle Stone Age humans and later as temporary dwellings for the Khoi people, South Africa’s first known nation, the caves favoured for their close proximity to fresh water and food gleaned from the beaches. The Khoi were pastoralists and rarely stayed in one place for too long, choosing instead to move to new grazing grounds at every opportunity. The largest of these caves is Klipgat Cave, the word klipgat meaning stone hole, where a natural spring occurred within 1km and from where occupants had views of the entire bay.
Klipgat Cave was excavated in 1969 and again in 1992, and several important relics were discovered. The findings – some dating back 70000 years – included ancient pottery shards, a child’s jawbone and human teeth. An interesting find was that of sheep bones, an indication that the inhabitants were herders in a time when cattle was the primary livestock.
Picture the ideal seaside holiday, sitting in a shady spot overlooking a spotless beach, the lapping of waves the only sound for miles. Expect to pay a fortune for the experience. It’s no wonder then that the Khoi chose Klipgat because sitting in the cool of the cave and looking out at a pristine white beach and deep blue sea is not much different.
Getting to Klipgat Cave is easy; from Cape Town, follow the coastline past Hermanus towards Gansbaai. Prior to entering the town, there is a turnoff to De Kelders village. Klipgat Cave is part of the Walker Bay Nature Reserve and visitors are expected to pay a small entrance fee.