The family experiences in Mossel Bay can be enjoyed in several different ways. Here is a list of great attractions in Mossel Bay.

Attractions in Mossel Bay caters for everyone.  You do not need to be an adrenalin junkie to have the best of Mossel Bay.  The wide sweep of shoreline against a background of dramatic, rugged mountains – Mossel Bay is one of the biggest attractions on South Africa’s  Garden Route.

And while you’re here, here are some of the things you’re going to enjoy :

Just Outside Of Mossel Bay

Take a drive to Great Brak River (Great Brak River Museum; many art galleries); the historic mission station at Friemersheim in the foothills of the Outeniqua Mountains; the Wolwedans Dam…

The Nature of the Garden Route

Enjoy a malaria-free game drive to see the Big Five (lion, leopard rhino, buffalo & elephant); ride an elephant; take a boat trip to Seal Island; watch whales and dolphins by boat or from the shore; visit a nature reserves; take a drive in the country side…

Museums & Culture

We’d like to suggest that the very idea of culture was born in Mossel Bay – because it was here that the earliest evidence for modern human behaviour has been found. Yes, this is where the 600 or so individuals who were the common ancestors of everyone who’s ever lived began using complex tools, harvesting the sea in an organised way, and painting with ochres 164,000 years ago.

And over the millennia, where herders and hunter-gatherers watched the seasons come and go – and recorded many of their spiritual experiences in the rock art in their caves and shelters in the Outeniqua Mountains.

And, in 1488, where Portuguese navigator Bartolomeu Dias and his men became the first European explorers to round the Cape of Good Hope and land on South African Soil.

Today, you can explore all this history and culture in our many museums, hike historic paths to see where our ancestors lived, meet local artists and crafters, and enjoy an unmatched programme of entertainment and theatre (particularly in the summer holidays – December and January – when many of South Africa’s top musicians, singers, dancers, and actors come to Mossel Bay to perform on our stages).

Shopping

Shopping? Retail therapy? Mossel Bay’s wide selection of mom-and-pop stores and national retail chains have everything you could need… and best of all? Most of our malls are open to the sky, so you can enjoy our fabulous weather as you shop.

Whale Watching

Mossel Bay is one of the best whale and dolphin watching destinations on the Southern Cape Coast. The Mossel Bay Cetacean Project – a scientific study of the species and numbers of marine mammals that visit the Bay – has shown that at least some of them are here almost every day of the year.

Here’s a list of the species* you might be lucky enough to see:

  • Bryde’s whale
  • Killer whale
  • Southern right whale (Migratory: usually seen from May to September)
  • Sperm whale (Also migratory and usually seen from May to September)
  • Bottlenose dolphin
  • Common dolphin
  • Humpback dolphin
  • Cape fur seal
  • Southern elephant seal (A rare vagrant)
  • Two dead pygmy sperm whales were once discovered washed up on the beach (2011)

* All recorded by the Mammal Research Institute of the Department of Zoology and Entomology at the University of Pretoria, working in conjunction with Oceans Research.

Where to watch

Keep an eye out from any vantage point along the coast – you’ll sometimes see whales and dolphins playing or resting just behind the breakers. Mossel Bay also offers boat-based whale watching tours.

Cape St Blaize Lighthouse 1864

The Cape St Blaize Lighthouse has been a beacon to navigators since 1864. It is open Monday – Friday to the public from 10h00 – 15h00. It is closed over the weekends and public holidays. It is only one of two manned lighthouses on the South African coast today.

  • Montagu Street (The Point), CBD, Mossel Bay
  • Phone: +2744 690 3015
  • Fax: +2744-690 3015
  • E-mail: John.Basson@transnet.net

Cape St. Blaize Lighthouse

The lamp in Mossel Bays iconic lighthouse was first lit on the 15th of March, 1864. The tower is 20.5 metres high, and stands about 52 metres above sea level.

Cape St. Blaize is so-named because Bartolomeu Dias and his crew first landed in Mossel Bay on St. Blaizes Day (3 February) in 1488 (St. Blaize is known in Portuguese as S Br). However, the Lighthouse is also situated directly above the archaeologically important Cape St. Blaize Cave, which was used by local hunter-gatherers herders over a period of about 200,000 years – so the area is by no means just a modern observation post.

The Lighthouse was originally lit by a fountain lamp that was visible as a single red light for 15 nautical miles. The lamp was upgraded using various different types of paraffin burners in 1875, 1897, and 1911, and it was finally electrified on the 6th of April, 1931. The lights power increased with each upgrade, too – from 4,500 candelas in 1875, to 450,000 in 1931.

The Lighthouses foghorn was installed in 1914, and upgraded in 1945 and 1989, while a radio beacon with the call sign ZRF was installed in 1959.

Latitude 34 11’10.45″S Longitude 22 9’22.83″E

Santos Beach Pavilion

Santos-Pavillion

According to local legend, the architect of this stately Victorian sandstone structure travelled to Brighton, in England, and drew his inspiration from the Pavilion there – but which one? Was it the Indo-Saracenic styled Royal Pavilion (a former royal residence), or was it one of the pavilions that stood on the Brighton Palace or Brighton West piers?

Whatever it was, the Santos Beach Pavilion was completed in 1906 by the builder WJR Swart, and it became a popular meeting place – particularly in the 1920s and 1930s – when members of the community would gather to socialise and to listen to live music. It was the site of the towns official reception for Prince Edward, the Prince of Wales, when he visited in 1925.

The building was slated for demolition after the roof and much of the woodwork were destroyed by fire in 1979, but it was saved when a private company was granted a long lease on the property, and paid for its restoration.

The Pavilion now houses the Santos Pavilion Restaurant and private apartments.

Latitude 34 10’48.92″S Longitude 22 8’30.97″E

Hiking Trails

St-Blaize-Hiking

Mossel Bay was made for walking! Read on for information and links about our most popular hikes and trails.

Mossel Bay Historic Walk

Explore the historic old quarter of town on foot with our self-guided map.

Oyster Catcher Trail

Guided luxury walk along the coast from Mossel Bay to Gouritz Mond: your luggage is transported by road, you carry only your day packs, cameras, and swimming costumes, and you sleep each night in top-class accommodation

Wolwedans Day Walk

Great Brak River: 3km, 2hrs, one way, easy walk.

Ruiterbos Day Walk

Off the Robinson Pass, 5km, 2hrs. circular, Easy walk.

St Blaize Trail

Day Walk, Mossel Bay, 13,5 km, 6-hours, one direction. You can walk shorter sections. Click here for more information.

Point of Human Origins

Pinnacle-Point-Caves1

3-4 Hour tour of the pinnacle point caves – Mossel Bay – led by archaeologist Dr.Peter Nilssen. 175 Steps to discover 162 000 years of our origins.

Tour dates for december are 13, 17, 20, 22, 27, 31 and for january 2015 the dates are 03, 07, 10, 15 and 17th. Book in advance to avoid dissapointment.