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? 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.
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.