Named "Mossel Bay" by the famous Dutch navigator Paulus van Caerdon, whose crew consumed huge amounts of tasty molluscs after landing here in 1601. Today, this coastal town's famous muscles are prized by connoisseurs around the world, but Mossel Bay has other tasty treats just waiting to be discovered...
This area, known for good reason as the Eden District, is located on the East Coast of South Africa. Found at the start of a scenic strip aptly named the Garden Route. Mossel Bay is only 4 hours drive from Cape Town on an equally picturesque stretch of road well worth travelling for its own sake.
This is the place where the Indian Ocean laps pristine beaches and prehistoric fynbos dashes over hills... The climate has been compared to Hawaii, though it has its own unmistakable character. The Mozambique current, whose warm waters make for excellent swimming and sailing, have created a surfers Mecca similar to Plettenberg or Jeffrey's Bay.
Mossel Bay rests on a tooth-like cape, or point, named Cape St Blaize. From here several beaches lie waiting to be devoured, sandy stretches like Dias Beach, Victoria Bay and Santos Reef are famed for good all year conditions, miles of walking space and dazzling-pink painted sunsets.
During the past two thousand years, the Mossel Bay region was inhabited by the Gouriqua, an indigenous Khoi khoi tribe, and earlier by the San people who were mainly hunter-gatherers. Cultural tours escort travellers to their existing settlements and enlighten them to the ways of these friendly inhabitants, the forefathers of our present indigenous people. A rich history is unravelled through cultural stories and the art of their ancestral cave paintings.
Many hidden details are waiting to be discovered in Mossel Bay. Among the fascinating museums dedicated to the explorer Bartholomeu Dias, you'll find a curious old Tree. This old giant, named the Post Office Tree, is a Milkwood that is more than 500 years old. This tree oddly acquired the name "Post Office Tree" after mariners posted letters in an old boot strung around one of its wild and willing branches. A freshwater spring, which for the past 500 years has not run dry, flows beneath its aging roots. This tree is only one of Mossel Bay's many historical sites. Adventures in and around the town will uncover many more.
Repeatedly called "The Bay of Attractions" you can guess that there are no shortages of things to do in Mossel Bay. The only problem is where to start...
See the Great Karoo, Little Karoo (Semi-Arid deserts) and return to Mossel Bay via the garden route, all in one day:
Take the Klein-Karoo Day trip to Oudtshoorn and ride on the back of an Ostrich. See the Crocs and enjoy the Ostrich Show at an Ostrich Farm.
Stop by the Cango Wildlife & Cheetah Ranch to see the wildlife and even hug a cheetah!
Visit the Cango Caves and lose yourself in the magnitude and beauty of this subterranean underworld.
Experience the wonders of the indigenous forest with a Tsitsikamma Canopy Tour. Suspended 30 metres over the forest canopy, you can traverse from one platform to another along a steel cable.
Close to Mossel Bay is the experience and thrill of coming eye to eye with one of nature's oldest predators - The Great White Shark. With no diving qualifications or experience required you can face your fears surrounded by professional shark tour operators and a steel cage.
For a tamer experience, Mossel Bay provides the ideal viewing location for nature's friendlier sea fairing animals. Southern Right Whales, Humpback Whales, Brydes Whales, Bottlenose Dolphins and Jackass Penguins can all be seen by boat on the open seas.
Mossel Bay is more than just a muscle bound oasis at the end of the road...
Not that the journey to the garden route is something to complain about; it's only a semi-arid desert crossing after all. Apart from the superb scenery, rich historical excursions and a reputation as the Bay of Attractions, Mossel Bay is also a holiday destination with value for money, excellent dining experiences that suite everyone's tastes and a fair-weathered, and an all year-round destination where the local advice of sitting back and just allowing life to happen makes a lot of sense once you get there.
If you ever find yourself adventuring in South Africa, discover Mossel Bay for yourself. The oasis at the end of the Garden Route...
Visit Mossel Bay Tourism for all your tourism information, accommodation enquiries and details of Mossel Bay's many attractions.
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