And with the visitors not selecting overseas-based players, Gatland believes his side's chances are strong.
He said: "South Africa not picking the overseas players was something that was quite surprising, but they have a huge amount of strength in depth and whatever team (they pick) it will be strong.
"But the players and coaches are excited about taking them on at a full Millennium Stadium with a closed roof.
"It is a good chance for us to take them on on our own soil and that is what we are looking forward to doing."
The one drawback for Wales is they are almost certainly going to be without the services of Scarlets wing Mark Jones.
Jones damaged his knee while trying to score late on in last Friday's EDF Energy Cup win over Bristol.
He limped off after 67 minutes and did not train during Gatland's three-day get-together at Wales' headquarters at the Vale of Glamorgan this week.
But despite the Jones injury, Gatland revealed he all but knows his line-up for the Springboks clash.
"I am very close to my selection," said Gatland. "Most of the players have been told what our thoughts are.
"I thought that was important because we had limited preparation so they could have an insight into what we are looking to.
"We have one or two decisions which we will finalise but a lot of players have a fair idea of what that team is going to be against South Africa.
"We have also told the squad that we would like to involve everyone in the first two matches because we only have a short turnaround.
"We have to be cute with our selections and we have to have faith in the depth of our squad, picking some youngsters to give them an opportunity against Canada."