The Garden Route
Mossel Bay is situated on the Garden Route coast of South Africa’s Western Cape Province: a coast that’s characterised by long, clean beaches, rocky shores, the Cape’s famous fynbos (macchia) vegetation, and the endless march of the Outeniqua Mountains towering over all.
It’s one of the country’s favourite adventure playgrounds (mountain biking, hiking, sailing, surfing, kayaking, tandem skydiving, scuba diving) – and it’s also one of its favourite holiday destinations.
And while we all argue about where the western and eastern boundaries of the Garden Route lie, we all agree on the northern and southern boundaries – the Cape fold mountains to the north and the warm, clear waters of the Indian Ocean to the south boundary.
Between the mountains and the sea, the Garden Route is South Africas favourite holiday destination – and Mossel Bay is the ideal base from which to explore it.
Other towns include : Swellendam, Riversdale, Albertinia, Gouritzmond, Herbertsdale, Vleesbaai, Hartenbos, Little Brak River, Great Brak River, George, Oudtshoorn, Calitsdorp, Prince Albert, De Rust, Wilderness, Sedgefield, Knysna and Plettenberg Bay.
And Mossel Bay’s the ideal base from which to explore it.
Just over the mountains via the R328 (Robinson’s Pass), the Klein Karoo is a semi-arid plain between the Outeniqua and Swartberg Mountains. It’s famous for its ostrich show farms (and their feather palaces), the Cango Caves, and its game farms and nature reserves. And, of course, for the annual Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunste Fees (National Arts Festival), which takes place in the area’s capital – Oudtshoorn – every year in April.
And it’s a perfectly accessible for a day drive when you’re staying in Mossel Bay.
The Klein Karoo
The Klein Karoo is a fascinating semi-arid region north of the Outeniqua Mountains. The capital, Oudtshoorn, lies about 90 km from Mossel Bay.
Although this area is full of activities such as the world reknown Cango Caves, Cango Wildlife Ranch and Safari Ostrich Show Farm, the area mas made famous because of the ostrich feather boom of the late 19th and early 20th centuries where more than 800,000 kg of feathers were exported through the Mossel Bay port each year.
Oudtshoorn and the Klein Karoo also hosts the annual KKNK ( Klein Karoo Nationale Kunstefees ), an arts festival of note and one of the most popular festivals around. Surrounding towns like Calitzdorp, De Rust and Prince Albert all have their own uniqueness, especially in the port and wine industries.