The fish traps, or “visvyvers”, at Arniston are simply stone “walls” built on the shoreline to form rock pools in the tidal zone. Fish that swim in over the walls at hight tide are then trapped when the water resides come low-tide. This would have been an important source of protein for local residents in the years gone by.
Getting there: as you enter Arniston there is a signpost directing you to the cave. Take this right turn and follow the road to where it ends in the parking lot at the beach. You will see CapeNature signboards for the Waenhuiskrans Nature Reserve.
There are signs directing you to Waenhuiskrans, but not to the fish traps as such. Simply follow the sand road, pass the sign pointing down to the Cave, and soon you will see a marine beacon. This beacon is on Struispunt, and the traps are in this immediate vicinity. The original wooden beacon was built in 1871. It was replaced by the stone beacon in the early 1900s.
We did not time this particularly well, arriving at high tide. Nonetheless, we could still distinctly see the traps.
We followed the sandy road to the traps and returned along the rocky shoreline. You could easily combine this little walk with a visit to the Waenhuiskrans Cave which you pass close by each way.
It’s an easy walk, but there is no shade and no freshwater, so you’ll need sunblock, a sun-hat, and a water bottle. Despite being a CapeNature Reserve, dogs are allowed if they are kept on a leash.
There are similar traps at Stilbaai.