Did you know?
Klipgat's limestone cave was formed over millions of years by exposure to the ocean tides.
Klipgat Cave is one of South Africa’s most valuable cultural and historical sites. Once upon a time, when the ocean was some 5km distant from the cave, early humans lived here. It provided everything they needed – shelter from the storms, food from the ocean, and fresh water from a nearby spring.
Klipgat Cave is in the Walker Bay Nature Reserve, just 3 km from the quaint fishing village of De Kelders, which the locals claim has the best whale-watching in South Africa. The name De Kelders means 'the caves' and there are many limestone caves in the area.
The Walker Bay Nature Reserve stretches along the Atlantic coast from De Kelders to the Hermanus Lagoon and, if you’re feeling energetic, you can follow a 24km-long hiking trail that stretches along the coastline.
The 7km-long Klipgat Trail that takes you to the cave starts at Gansbaai harbour. It's a lovely trail boasting rock pools, stunning ocean views and the rare fynbos of the Cape Floral Kingdom – the smallest of the world's 6 floral kingdoms.
If you don't feel like a hike, you can start at Klipgat Cave itself. Climb down the steps and take the viewing boardwalk. Excavations have discovered Stone Age artefacts, tools and human teeth, which give clues to the ways our early ancestors lived and worked.
These Stone Age human remains are among the earliest known Homo sapiens fossils in the world – and they are the most modern looking of ancient human remains. We would definitely recognise them as fellow human beings if we had come upon them as they shucked oysters.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Tel: +27 (0) 28 384 1439