On the night of 24 March 1944, one of the largest and most daring escape attempts took place. It was World War II and more than 200 allied soldiers made a pact to escape the German prisoner of war camp, Stalag Luft III. They dug three massive tunnels, named Tom, Dick and Harry, hoping one of them would lead to their freedom – and indeed, one of them (Harry) did! 76 people were able to escape but only three managed to evade capture.

As life would have it, the mastermind behind this great escape was 24-year-old South African-born, fighter pilot, Squadron Leader Roger Bushell. He was renowned as a master escapee, having escaped twice before. His name has gone down in history as one of the great heroes of the Second World War. Steve McQueen played the lead role in a movie made about the great escape.

The year 2020 has many of us feeling similarly to Roger Bushell – maybe not locked up, but certainly “locked down”. As restrictions are continually lowered, every person is planning their escape from their confines. One might say that this is the greatest collective escape of all time and choosing the right escape plan is essential.  

With inter-provincial leisure travel now open, and international soon to follow, we can choose to explore to the most award-winning destination in South Africa – Mossel Bay; the adventure capital of the Garden Route, boasting something for everyone, from the call of the African bushveld to the sound of crashing waves.

Shed those four walls, escape the city and let’s reclaim our freedom! Join us in Mossel Bay, where the sun shines 320 days a year, and where more activities are available than you can ever imagine.

Let’s leave behind being master chef banana bakers, qualified teachers scrambling to homeschool our kids while hanging onto our sanity, and home office keyboard warriors sporting a blazer top and pyjama bottoms to navigate awkward Zoom sessions…

Mossel Bay is waiting for you! It’s the perfect place for your Great Escape, with several towns waiting to be explored!

Mossel Bay Tourism will be leading the charge, as they launch a nationwide campaign, aptly titled “The Great Escape to Mossel Bay” inviting visitors from the Garden Route, the greater Western and Eastern Cape, as well as national tourists, looking for their post-lock-down escape.

Top of the agenda is to mobilise local support in promoting Mossel Bay as the preferred destination. As Aneli Gerber, Chief Operations Officer points out, “Mossel Bay is arguably the most award-winning town in South Africa, and sometimes, we, as “locals” forget we have achieved so much and have so much to be proud of. We encourage our residents and visitors to support our local establishments, not just financially, but also by promoting our Mossel Bay brand wherever we can.”

Mossel Bay Municipality has committed to The Great Escape to Mossel Bay initiative promoting the support of local businesses, especially since the re-opening of inter-provincial leisure travel.

Mossel Bay and surrounding areas are well known for its water sports including surfing, scuba diving, shark cage diving, deep-sea fishing, flying water-powered bikes, and speed boating. Mossel Bay has two waterparks as well as two heated indoor pools to entertain the younger visitors.

For those more comfortable on dry land, an array of activities including sandboarding, mountain biking, quad biking, trail running, and hiking are options that will entertain visitors. We even cater for daredevils wanting to try skydiving, paragliding, horseback riding, and helicopter trips and flips!

Between the golf estates, malaria-free game reserves, animal interactions, and award-winning wine farms and distilleries in the area, as well as some of the country’s top blue flag beaches, restaurants, camping spots, and accommodation, there’s something for everyone in Mossel Bay.

With all of these exciting options to choose from, it’s time to start planning your Great Escape to Mossel Bay! Go to www.visitmosselbay.co.za to plan your full itinerary online or for more information, contact Aneli Gerber, Chief Operations Officer, Mossel Bay Tourism, 044-691-2202. From the beachfront to the mountainside, the site will give you all the details you need to plan the perfect staycation, including upcoming events, things to do, where to eat, and of course where to stay.