Mossel Bay has much more than surf and sand: here you will find a rich and diverse history, some of the best land-based whale watching in the world, plenty of adventure and some of the finest restaurants in the region. Although its African roots go back many thousands of years, Mossel Bay’s recorded history stretches back only to 1488, when Bartholomew Dias, the first Portuguese navigator to round the Cape, landed here.
This is a nautical town – past and present. Mossel Bay's acclaimed historical attraction is the Dias Museum Complex (a cluster of 7 different museums which attract more than a quarter of a million visitors a year), which includes a full-sized replica of Dias’ caravel – the ship in which he and his crew sailed round the Cape all those years ago. The sea is the focus of many of Mossel Bay’s activities and visitors can enjoy a range of ocean activities from yachting and kayaking to boat trips to nearby Seal Island where great white sharks roam in search of a seal feast.
Whales, too, are a great attraction here. During whale season, between May and October, you can sit at The Point with its sweeping views across the bay or anywhere along the cliffs and enjoy excelent whale-viewing who love calving and mating along this stretch of the Garden Route coast. Adrenalin junkies not to keen on getting wet can bungee jump off the Gourits Bridge or charge around on quad bikes. And nature lovers can go game-viewing, birding, horse-riding, scuba diving, hiking or cycling.
No holiday – no life – would be complete without long, lingering lunches with friends and Mossel Bay has attracted some of the finest chefs in the country.
Which means that good food is a way of life, especially at The Point and in the old part of town where many of the best restaurants are found. For a touch of local flavour, tour operators in the town offer a range of tour options for visiting nearby townships. Here you can experience the best of African hospitality and culture.
How to get here
Mossel Bay lies just off the N2 highway, about halfway between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. The town is 30 minutes away from the George airport.
Best time to visit
Any time of year is good but for whale-watching the best time is between May and October.
Where to stay
Mossel Bay has a wide variety of accommodation options, from budget B&Bs and backpacker hostels to luxury lodges and hotels.
DID YOU KNOW?
Mossel Bay boasts the only north facing beach in South Africa.