Mossel Bay: Nature destination
If you want to see nature in Mossel Bay, just look around you. And if you want to see a nature reserve in Mossel Bay – just look around you.
Because Mossel Bay is situated in one of the most naturally beautiful parts of the country – and it’s also the economic hub of the Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve, which is on track to becoming one of more than 620 biosphere reserves in UNESCO’s ‘Man and the Biosphere Programme.’
Biosphere reserves are dedicated to combining economic development with the conservation of natural biodiversity through creating partnerships between people and nature - and Mossel Bay is uniquely positioned to do this because of the geography of the area, which provides an unusually large variety of habitats for an enormous variety of life-forms. (Biodiversity: the variety of life-forms in a given habitat.)
Although the Bay itself isn’t a declared reserve, it is rich in reefs, fishes, and marine mammals – and, in fact, the Mossel Bay Cetacean Project (which monitors the sea on a daily basis) has shown that Mossel Bay attracts a much larger number of whales and dolphins than was previously thought, while shark scientists have named it one of the best places in the world for white shark research.
On land, most of the vegetation belongs to the fynbos group (the Cape macchia), which is characterised by the proteas, ericas (heaths), Cape reeds (restios), and geophytes (bulb-bearing plants) – among many others – which provides habitat for mammals like the smaller antelope, lynx, and leopard.
Of course if you want to visit a wilderness area within the Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve, there are plenty of those, too: provincial reserves like the Outeniqua Nature Reserve (which protects the Outeniqua Mountains), and private reserves and lodges that offer full service African bush experiences complete with safari-style game drives, children’s programmes, birding, hiking, mountain biking, and more. And if you want to experience the ocean, Mossel Bay offers marine safaris, ocean kayaking, sailing, boat-based whale and dolphin watching, scuba diving, shark cage diving – amongst many, many others.
Please go to www.visitmosselbay.co.za for details.