Duiwelsgat Hiking Trail
The Duiwelsgat Hiking Trail is a 7km path meandering along the coast the coastal cliffs of De Kelders from Gansbaai harbour to KLIPGAT CAVE. The trail passes various caves and rockpools and crosses a unique habitat of the rare coastal limestone fynbos vegetation.
A protected cove, Stanford’s Bay, in the middle of De Kelders is perfect for swimming. This is also the place where in modern times the first permanent coastal settlement was established in the area of the Danger Point Peninsula. In 1811 Quena-descendants erected fishing cottages next to the cove and started a thriving fishing culture in the Gansbaai area. It was used by Capt Robert Stanford to transport his fresh farm produce to the Cape.
You will pass places with names like ” Skulpiesbaai” named due to the abundance of beautiful shells found their. “De Kelders” is the Afrikaans name for The Caves. Numerous larger and smaller caves penetrate deep into the rock formations under the houses of De Kelders. Famous is the Freshwater cave. This is a very deep cave leading to what seems to be an underground swimming pool. Due to conservation measures this cave not open to the public at present.
Along the way you pass a circular stone wall the locals call “Duiwelsgat” (The hole of the Devil). The origin of the name is “Duiwegat” (dove hole) due to the many rock pigeons that nest their. The wall was build by the first inhabitancy of the area to prevent the sheep & Cattle from falling into the hole which was formed by the collapse of the cave ceiling. Looking down into the hole (not advised for people with vertigo) you will see the waves of the ocean rolling in and out at the bottom.