GANSBAAI TOURISM BUREAU|
Great White Junction
P.O. Box 399
Tel.: +27 (0) 28 3841439
Tel.: +27 (0) 28 3842111
Fax: +27 (0) 28 3840955
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The Heart of the Overberg
The first written mention of Baardskeerdersbos can be traced to 1660. An expedition-team of five men, sent by the founder of the Cape Colony, Jan van Riebeeck, reported on the valley and its Khoikhoi-residents. No doubt the little expedition will have spent the night in the open air and will have encountered the small spider-like creatures called “Baardscheerders” (“Beard Shavers”) known for cutting human hair for nest-making purposes. Today the village is known as Baardskeerdersbos (Baardscheerders Bosch) or, more informally, as Bbos.
The fertile Bbos valley in the heart of the Overberg is one of the most undisturbed and orgininal areas of the region. It is a rural drive of 25km from Gansbaai en-route to the Soutern-most point of the African continent, Cape Agulhas.
Apart from the traditional cattle farms and horsesteads, bright-green vineyards and multicoloured flowerfarms mark the landscape. Bbos is also home to several pristine and rare Fynbos habitats of the original Cape Floral Kingdom. A new trend is that of wine-making, which is presently carried out on a small scale. In addition, some residents are making olive oil and preparing table olives.
The Baarskeerdersbos Boereorkes (farmers orchestra) of Manie Groenewald is widely known in the world of Afrikaans music. Many people first heard of Bbos after listening to Manie and his men.
Due to the unique combination of Fynbos, agricultural fields, dry and ravine forest systems, the Bbos valley has a rich birdlife.
Patient visitors will have the chance to meet eye-to-eye with the five antelope species of the area and see the local wild baboon troops on the edge of the mountains.
The rare and endangered Leopard Toad is also to be found in selected areas.
The Bbos valley is a heaven of tranquility surrounded by tourism hotspots such as Gansbaai, the most famous place in the world to see Great White Sharks and Southern
Right Whales. A visit to the nearby Danger Point Peninsula and Lighthouse is recommended for insights into the maritime history. The Strandveld museum in Franskraal is also worth a visit.
Walk with a guide through our neighbouring town, Elim or visit de Hoop Nature Reserve.
Bbos will undoubtedly see changes in the future, but the locals of the village and its valley pledge that the change will be positive. You are always welcome in our unique hamlet.
The recently established BAARDSKEERDERSBOSARTROUTE is open to visitors on selected open-weekends. It is a picturesque drive through the quaint hamlet and countryside to the home studios and exhibition spaces of local artists and crafters. The 10 resident founder member artists are PD Coetzer – Woodcreations & Hand Crafted Furniture, Joshua Miles – Oil Paintings & Reduction Woodcuts, Niël Jonker – Oil Paintings, Colleen Emmenis – Mixed Media Sculptures & Oil Paintings, Annelie Theunissen – Mixed Media & Oil Paintings, Gillian Eyre – Oil Paintings, Victor Breach – Photography, Claudette Barnes – Oils,Watercolours & Mixed Media Paitings, Amanda Jephson – Paintings & Drawings, Andrée Bonthuys – Mixed Media Paintings & Sculpture, Aletta Groenewald – Oil paintings.
For maps and more information on the area the Baardskeerdersbos Brochure can be obtained from the Gansbaai Tourism Bureau