Located in the Western Cape province, Mossel Bay is the starting point of the Garden Route. It lies in the middle between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth on the Indian Ocean. The wonderful climate and beautiful surroundings have also made it an attractive holiday destination. Located on the water and surrounded by the Outeniqua mountains, Mossel Bay is an attractive place in all seasons.
It has grown from a small, quiet harbor town into a holiday village with miles of white beaches and many hiking trails. One of the hiking trails is the St. Blaize Hiking trail (12.5 km) that starts at the St. Blaize Caves, where you will also find the St. Blaize lighthouse from 1864. In addition to being an important archaeological site, it is also a popular spot for whale and dolphin watching.
Mossel Bay has a whole history due to Bartolomeu Dias. This Portuguese explorer stranded here in 1488 after a storm in which he had already passed the Cape of Good Hope. Various museums are housed in the Bartolomeu Dias Museum Complex. In the maritime museum is a replica of the ship of Dias. Many of the buildings, which you can also visit, have historical value and are from the time of the VOC, an important time for shipping and trade in and around South Africa.
The name Mossel Bay comes from the time the Dutch came ashore here. The mussels and oysters were a good change from the boring diet of the sailors. Unfortunately, the mussels are no longer there, but now it’s all about sole. A less appealing explanation for the name of the village is that Jacob Mossel, governor of Batavia came here and that the place is named after him.
You can go to Seal Island by boat, which is about 2 km from the harbor. Approximately 4,000 seals live on this islet that is 100 m long and 50 m wide. You can also visit South Africa’s oldest mailbox, the more than 500-year-old Post Office Tree. If you post a card here, it will receive a special postmark. There is a shell museum, an aquarium, the hartbos museum and a botanical garden.
You can go deep sea diving to ship wrecks or sharks off the coast of Mossel Bay. Other active activities that you can undertake are; abseiling, bungee jumping, parasailing, kayaking, quad biking, deep sea fishing and fly fishing. A few hours of horse riding or mountain biking on the beach or in the woods is also a wonderful pastime. Or spend some time in the harbor and chat with the fishermen. There are several golf courses in and around Mossel Bay, you can see there is an activity for every athlete!
Drive from Mossel Bay the beautiful Robinson Pass through the Outeniqua Mountains to Oudsthoorn and enjoy beautiful nature and views. Along the way you can stop at the 80 year old Eight Bells Mountain Inn for a snack or drink.