Franskraal, Cape Overberg

Situated right outside the shark cage diving centre of South Africa (Gansbaai), Franskraal is a quaint seaside village with an awesome array of things to do. These range from outdoors excursions for those who want to savour the gorgeous countryside of the Western Cape, to art and craft outlets and pristine beaches.

This part of the Western Capeís coastline is rugged and raw, with excellent fishing, as well as stunning opportunities for SCUBA divers and snorkelers that want to see the colourful abundance of fauna and flora under the oceanís surface. The beaches are inviting, perhaps even irresistible, for their long sandy stretches and good swimming. Some of the beaches nearby to Franskraal are Stanfordís Bay, Kleinbaai, and Die Plaat; as well as Franskraalís own beach, which is acclaimed for its extensive sandy stretches and wonderful bird watching.

There are a number of hiking and walking trails around Franskraal, as well as excellent 4 x 4 trails. An array of birds and animals can be enjoyed in their natural environment while testing yourself and your vehicle for a really fun day out, or while negotiating the local paths on foot. The Groot Melkhoutbos Trail is open to the public and showcases the area off wonderfully.

The Strandveld Museum in Franskraal reveals fascinating insights into the history of this village as well as the area around it. It also has the largest collection of relics from the Birkenhead wreck, which sank at Danger Point in 1852. This makes for an interesting addition to your time in this part of the Western Cape. For those that have a penchant for arts and crafts, there are a number of galleries and shops in the Overberg region that display the work of local painters, sculptors, jewellers and designers.

Shark cage diving is a prime tourist attraction around here, and visitors from all over the world visit places like the nearby Gansbaai to get into the water with the mighty great white shark. Dyer Island is a small, but rewarding, nature reserve that is the breeding ground of the vulnerable Africa penguin and the endangered bank cormorant and roseate tern; as well as the Leachís storm petrel, African black oystercatcher, Hartlaubís gull, and a colony of the Cape fur seal.

The Cape Town International Airport is just over two hoursí drive from Franskraal.

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