Arniston , also called Waenhuiskrans is the only town in South Africa with two official names. Waenhuiskrans, as it is known as by the locals, was named after a nearby cavern. The cave is so large that early inhabitants boasted that an ox wagon and team of oxen could turn full circle inside the cave. The cave which is only accessible at low tide and is the product of an erosive process that has carved it out through the ages.
To others the village is referred to as Arniston , named after the British troopship, Arniston that wrecked in 1815 on the needle-sharp rocks of the Arniston Reef, with the tragic loss of 372 lives. Only six of 378 civilian passengers, servicemen and crew on board managed to struggle to safety, rendering this disaster one of the most serious in the history of South Africa.
Arniston / Waenhuiskrans is best known for the 200-year old restored fishing village of Kassiesbaai. The picturesque whitewashed, thatched cottages cluster around the shoreline and would happily fit into the most romantic of Victorian paintings. The cottages are still inhabited by present-day fishermen. A national monument in its entirety, this charming village with its inhabitants has stolen the hearts of numerous artist and photographer.