Mossel Bay Tourist Attractions
Mossel Bay Map
Mossel Bay Information
No Hurry.... No Worries
The irony of Mossel Bay is that it offers so much to do and yet so many people visit this quaint harbour town because what they really want to do is absolutely nothing at all.
It's an irony that's created by those long, sandy beaches and the warm Indian Ocean and by the area's sun-shiny weather with more than 300 clear days a year, almost every day is a beach day in Mossel Bay.
Mossel Bay's many attractions include its history, environment and people, culture, shopping, spas, sports, entertainment, which is why your first stop should be at the conveniently situated Tourism Information Office.
Mossel Bay is one of South Africa's great whale and dolphin watching destinations. While it's exciting to see these graceful mammals from the shore it's positively thrilling to see them up close and personal from the deck of a boat. Because it's almost unspoiled, the bay is also the only place where scientists can still study the natural behaviour of great white sharks and there's nothing more thrilling than seeing these handsome beasts in their own enviroment. So shark cage diving becomes a must-do.
Adventures on land include 4x4, horse riding, mountain biking and hiking trails and, this being Africa, your visit wouldn't be complete without a relaxing game drive on one of the region's private reserves. There's elephant-back riding if you're up for something a little more jumbo!
Mossel Bay offers culture, beauty spas, theatre, entertainment, gaming and shopping, you'll find both modern malls and quaint, old-fashioned high street stores and one of the town's charms is that most of the old quarter remains as it was fifty years ago. Modern development has generally taken place in the outlying suburbs.
The Dias Museum Complex
One of Mossel Bay's oldest popular attractions is the Post Office Tree, the old white milkwood (Sideroxylon inerme) around which the Dias Museum Complex is built. The tradition of posting letters from here began in 1501, when the explorer Pedro d'Ateida left a message hidden in an old boot tied to the tree, describing to his colleague, Joao de Nova, how he'd lost much of his fleet in a storm. Incredibly, da Nova found the letter and the tree has served as a kind of a postal clearing house ever since. But this wasn't the first time Europeans had come to these shores. Bartolomeu Dias and his crew had sailed into the Bay in 1488 and Vasco da Gama had called in during 1497. It was da Gama who named the place Aguada de Sao Bras – the Watering Place of St Blaize and, in the first commercial transaction between Europeans and Africans, bartered for cattle with the locals.