Baardskeerdersbos, Cape Overberg

The little village of Baardskeerdersbos is seated at the foot of the spurs of the Koueberge and the Bredasdorp- berge 25 kilometres from Gansbaai.

It is also known as ďBíbosĒ by those for whom the lengthy title that names not only the pretty hamlet but the fertile Baardskeerdersbos Valley, right in the heart of the Cape Overberg, is something of a mouthful. The unusual name is taken directly from small spider-like creatures called ďBaardscheerdersĒ, or beard shavers, that cut human hair to use in their nests.

This particular valley has remained largely obscure until recently, and it boasts the type of seclusion found in very few places in South Africa, despite the recent run of newcomers to the area buying up available homes and land.

The rural, typically Afrikaans village is but a smattering of homes, a church, pub and a local shop of sorts, but worth a visit for its quirky atmosphere and beauty - original mud-stone cottages still stand in Baardskeerdersbos, and the church was built in 1921.

The Baardskeerdersbos Valley lies in the midst of a fynbos biome, the farms typically traditional cattle farms, vineyards and flower farms. But itís the access the valley has to the popular Danger Point peninsula and the towns of Gansbaai, De Kelders and Pearly Beach that make it such an ideal place to stay, particularly between July and December where the cliffs of De Kelders (not far from Hermanus) make one of the best land-based whale watching spots in the Western Cape.

Combine this access to whales with the prevalence of great white sharks east of Danger Point, and you can understand why Baardskeerdersbos has become so popular.

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