Mossel Bay Travel Guide, Garden Route, South Africa

Mossel Bay harbour.

For really relaxed seaside fun and a welcoming atmosphere, the Garden Route town of Mossel Bay is blessed with awesome weather and great seafood restaurants at the harbour and beach.


Offering family beaches and a friendly place to holiday, Mossel Bay is located at the start of the Garden Route, Western Cape. Travellers can kick back, forget any cares and just enjoy all there is to do and see in this traditional seaside town.

Mossel Bay is situated on the N2 highway half way between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth on the Garden Route, South Africa. It is about a 4 hour drive from either city to Mossel Bay. There is a private airfield for un-scheduled flights and charters. Mainstream scheduled flights fly in and out of George, just 30 minutes away.

Once visitors have settled into the unhurried atmosphere here they can soak up the sun and just relax. This Garden Route town sparkles under sunny skies around 320 days of the year, and is just ideal for any season. Travellers of all kinds will find plenty of places to stay that suit a variety of budgets. The town is built alongside a peninsula and has a busy harbour, exactly where Bartholomew Dias sailed in and stepped ashore in 1488.

On a Mossel Bay holiday, visitors can enjoy the historic atmosphere and deep blue water of the Indian Ocean. Watersports and adventure activities thrive in ideal conditions and visitors have a myriad of fabulous things to do including bungi jumping and shark-cage diving.

Mossel Bay Accommodation

For a stress free Garden Route holiday, accommodation in Mossel Bay caters for all visitors. The beach front can be enjoyed by camping and caravanning enthusiasts as well as those looking for upmarket Mossel Bay accommodation.

High end hotels or lodges and inexpensive Mossel Bay guest houses are located all over the town. Backpacker lodges and youth hostels can also be found in a variety of settings as well as self-catering resorts, apartments and cottages.

For something different, there are a number of game lodges and reserves offering safari accommodation and game drives in the surrounding area.

Mossel Bay Attractions

On a Mossel Bay holiday, visitors can enjoy the fine climate, wonderful history and museums, and the great outdoors.

History:
Major Mossel Bay attractions come in the form of interesting historical buildings and fascinating museums that record the history of this town through the years. A wide variety of cultures and events is represented. Areas of interest include Voortrekker (pioneer) history, maritime, indigenous plants, shells and more.

There is a strong Portuguese influence due to Mossel Bay being the first port of call for Bartholomew Dias in South Africa in 1488. Other explorers also stopped off, one of which left a letter in a seaman's boot in 1500 under a Milkwood tree, so that other passing ships might be aware of troubles in Calcutta. This tree is estimated to be around 800 years old and visitors can still post a letter here with a special stamp.

Beaches and watersports:
Mossel Bay has 4 main beaches with good facilities for fun in the sun. This Garden Route town sits in the midst of 24km (15 miles) of coastline. An ideal climate and long coastline provide a great backdrop for many kinds of adventure and sporting activities. Whale watching in season draws visitors for sea excursions to view these and other sea creatures.

Great seafood and a sunny climate:Fresh bounty from the sea is always available. Families and seafood gourmands on a Garden Route holiday can enjoy fresh mussels, crayfish, wild oysters, line fish and more. This Garden Route town was noted into the 1992 Guiness Book of Records for having the "second mildest climate in the world" the first was a little town in Hawaii! Mossel Bay enjoys an average of 320 sunny days a year and experiences summer rains which fall mostly at night.

Outeniqua Choo Tjoe and Power Van:
This is a top Mossel Bay attraction for the whole family, travelling on a most scenic railway journey through 6 tunnels, 4 passes and magnificent countryside alive with fynbos (wild shrubs) and wildlife. The track runs between George and Mossel Bay. Enthusiasts can pack a picnic and also enjoy wandering around the Outeniqua Transport Museum while their children ride on a miniature steam train.

Mossel Bay Activities

This Garden Route town has great resort activities and outdoor pursuits. It is also an excellent winter retreat with historical interest, great seafood and mild weather. For ideas on activities, here is a Mossel Bay guide and overview of what to see and do:

Beaches:
This magical coastline of deep blue Indian Ocean waters has many wonderful beaches to explore. There are 4 in Mossel Bay and another 8 within a 45 minute radius on the Garden Route.

Watersports:
There is something for everyone on a Mossel Bay holiday: Surfing, scuba diving (courses in 3 recognised qualifications) jet ski rental, glass bottom boat rides, tubing, parasailing, kayaking, high speed and jet boat rides, sightseeing, cruises, fly fishing, fishing charters, and island / harbour trips.

Golf and sports:
There are two 18-hole Golf Courses with Club or resort facilities in Mossel Bay. They have wonderful views of the sea and surroundings from the tees, excellent facilities and interesting course layouts. Other magnificent Garden Route golf courses can be found all along the coast, for somewhere different to play everyday.

Adventure:
Lovers of adrenalin sports will have their hands full here on a Garden Route holiday:Bungi jumping (65 metres at the Gouritz Bridge), bridge swinging, abseiling, scuba diving, shark-cage diving, whale and dolphin watching, quad bikes, yachting, 4x4 routes, scenic flights and sand boarding.

Hiking and mountain biking:
Hikers on a Mossel Bay holiday have a variety of hikes and trails to choose from: 3 coastal trails at Cape St Blaze, the 2 hour Ruitebos hiking trail through indigenous forest and the 7 hour Coumashoek circular trail through fynbos. The 5 day Oystercatcher Trail is a fabulous hike along the coast from Mossel Bay to Gourits River. This is a portaged hiking trail, so visitors carry only a simple day pack (the rest of the luggage is transferred by the organisers) and accommodation is in lovely Mossel Bay guest houses along the way.