Mossel Bay was the stopping place of Bartholomew Diaz on his historic voyage from Portugal, around the Cape of Good Hope, en route to the east, and still bears many indelible reminders of that epic voyage, including the museum, which houses a replica of his vessel, and the name of one of the most popular beaches.
Located on the N2 highway, halfway between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, Mossel Bay is a popular seaside destination. Another piece of history is preserved in this small town, in the form of the Post Office tree, the first organized postal service in the country, used by subsequent sea travelers passing by to send and receive messages to loved ones in Europe on the next passing ship.
Other historical attractions worth a visit are the St Blaize lighthouse, a manned lighthouse built in 1864 and the Great Trek museum which chronicles the epic journey by early settlers at Hartenbos. But what about the present? Visitors to Mossel Bay will find there is lots to do besides exploring historical sites …
Enjoying one of the mildest climates in South Africa, as well as pristine white beaches and clear blue water, the opportunities to sunbathe, swim, and enjoy one of the many water sports on offer are limitless. The tidal pool at the Point offers another way to cool down, or take a short drive to nearby Klein Brakrivier to swim in the river, take a riverboat trip, or just have a picnic on the banks, at one of the many resorts located here.
Anglers too are spoilt for choice, with sections of the coast being too rocky for sunbathers, but perfect for fishing. The area also boasts a recently completed casino at Pinnacle Point, for those visitors who are feeling lucky, or perhaps a game of golf at the 18 hole Mossel Bay golf course, or the 9 hole Boggomsbaai course.
For adrenaline junkies, the fun starts even before you reach town, with the 65m high Gouritz Bridge bungee jumping experience located just outside town on the N2 highway from Cape Town. If that still does not satisfy the need for adventure, there are quad bike trails at Zingela Indlela Game farm, shark cage diving, parasailing and deep sea fishing, or abseiling and kayaking at the famous Diaz Beach resort.
For nature lovers there is hiking at Schaapplaas with a chance to view Khoi San rock art, preserved on the rocky outcrops from centuries ago, as well as 4 x 4 trails in the Outeniqua Mountains and mountain biking on the Bonniedale nature farm.
For something a little out of the ordinary, and a real taste of indigenous culture, there are township tours on offer in the local Kwanaonqaba township, where visits to a sangoma and shebeen and the sampling traditional cuisine are all available.
With all these Things to Do in Mossel Bay and more available, combined with excellent restaurant choices, Mossel Bay accommodation options to suit any taste and budget, and a relaxed, friendly, small town atmosphere, it’s easy to see why Mossel Bay is such a popular choice.