Mossel Bay, Garden Route
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Mossel Bay is a bustling holiday town and port, set on the sunwashed slopes of Cape St Blaize overlooking the expansive bay, against the blueblack backdrop of the Outeniqua Mountains.
Mossel Bay lies halfway between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, close to the towns of Swellendam, Outdshoorn, Plettenberg Bay and Knysna on the Garden Route and is synonymous with the Mossgas project, where offshore gas fields are mined for gas that is then converted into petroleum.
Despite this obvious industrial leaning, Mossel Bay has a tradition of unhurried hospitality and there is sufficient natural beauty in the town and its surrounds to make a stopover essential. Mossel Bay features in the Guiness Book of Records as having the mildest all-year climate in the world, second only to Hawaii. Add to this the long stretch of beaches, the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, a championship golf course or two and Mossel Bay becomes an ideal retreat for both summer and winter.
Mossel Bay has a significant history and there are a number of historic houses worth a visit, including about 200 stone homes built a century ago by Cornish stonemasons. She received her present name in 1601 when the Dutch navigator, Paulus van Caerden found a collection of mussel shells in a cave at the headland of Cape St Blaize although Mossel Bay was ‘discovered’ as far back as 1488, when Dias first encountered the ancient Khoi-San people upon stepping ashore.
Of real interest is the fact the very first Post Office in South Africa was at Mossel Bay in 1500, when a man named Pedro de Ataide left a letter in a shoe under a milkwood tree. Today the ancient Post Office is a national monument and mail is still sorted here.
Amongst the surfing fraternity, Mossel Bay is up there on the list with Jeffreys Bay and Port Elizabeth and Outer Pool is probably Mossel Bay’s most famous wave. Water sports are enormously popular and whale and seal watching and scuba diving a way of life.
Mossel Bay with its wide beaches for safe swimming and the awesome cliffs of Cape St Blaize’s southern shores, with the ever-watchful Outeniqua Mountains in the background provides a welcome and a worthwhile stopover on the Garden Route.
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Mossel Bay Reviews
"This was our first visit to Mossel Bay and we were most impressed. Firstly with the Museum and with the general appearance and surroundings. Would recommend ..." - Charmaine and Wayne, Australia
Visitorials: We Love South Africa
Mossel Bay Visitorial
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We’ve asked those in the know to share their favourites things about Mossel Bay. Find out where locals go for the best cup of coffee, lunch suggestions and much more. We’re letting you in on all of their secrets ... I Love Mossel Bay because ...
Featured Attractions in (or near) Mossel Bay
The Attakwaskloof Pass lies in the heart of the Outeniqua Mountains, a gravel off-road between Mossel Bay and Oudtshoorn. Most of it runs through the Attakwaskloof Nature Reserve, which forms part of the Outeniqua Nature Reserve and is closed to day visitors but still available ... more information
Botlierskop is named after one of the spectacular rock formations on the reserve. Botlierskop is a well stocked, free roaming private game reserve, which gives visitors the opportunity to view South African wildlife from the safety of 4x4 vehicles, in its natural habitat. Rhino's, buffalo, giraffe... more information
Garden Route Game Reserve situated in the heartland of the world famous Fynbos Botanical Route, welcomes you to the majestic beauty that fauna and flora has to offer. Come and view the Big Five (still in small family numbers) at Garden Route Game Reserve, in a malaria free environment, world renowned... more information
The new Garden Route National Park, established by SANParks and also known as GRNP, spans an impressive 121 000 hectares and includes the existing Wilderness and Tsitsikamma national parks, the Knysna Lakes area and roughly 52 000 hectares of newly proclaimed land. Still regarded as 'new' the ... more information
The Garden Route produces some fantastic wines. The cool, wet winters and temperate summers (with their own fair share of rains) make for the perfect conditions in which to cultivate a range of red, white and rosé wines. Popular wine farms include Jakkalsvlei Vineyards in the Langeberg ... more information
Along the Garden Route of South Africa just 4 hours from Cape Town you will find 11 000 hectares of indigenous fynbos and free roaming big 5 game, home to the lion, black rhinoceros, eland, red hartebeest, endangered Cape Mountain Zebra, springbok, kudu, as well as elephant, among others ... more information
The 18-hole links course has recently been remodeled and upgraded and is getting rave reviews. The golf club is situated above a peninsula that juts out into the Indian Ocean with terrain that is densely vegetated and undulating. An excellent hole on the front nine is number 4 which is a 140-metre... more information
Oyster Bay Reserve is a 330 hectare botanical nature reserve on the outskirts of Mossel Bay. The aim of the reserve is to conserve, preserve and educate by running a series of community projects that include the Bishops Bird Hide and Dam - a local community construction ... more information
The Pinnacle Point Golf Course is an immaculate eighteen-hole championship golf course, co-designed by renowned golf architect Peter Matkovich and professional golfer Darren Clarke. The golf course stretches along four kilometers of spectacular coastline and boasts dramatic cliff-side holes and over... more information
The Robinson Pass cuts through the Ruiterbos Valley, linking Mossel Bay and Oudtshoorn. When it was originally hewn in 1869 the pass was known as the Ruiterbosch Pass (sometimes also called Ruiter bos or Brandwaghoogte, for obvious reasons), as Ruiterbos is regarded as the start... more information
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