Mossel Bay

162,000 years of holidays in Mossel Bay.

They call Mossel Bay the ‘Do stuff’ Destination because it offers more attractions and activities than almost any town of its size in the Western Cape - or, indeed, in South Africa. But it’s also the birthplace of modern human behaviour - because this is where the small, core population of perhaps only a few thousand individuals who were the common ancestors of everyone alive today survived a global ice age; this is where humankind began developing complex tools and using ochre as paint (which makes the Southern Cape the birthplace of modern technology and the birthplace of culture).

So you can imagine: there’s enough to keep everyone busy all through the year. (Which makes Blommekloof Cottages even more appealing: coming back to this tranquility is a real treat after a long day of holiday-time exploration and adventure.)

  • Mossel Bay Tourism - on the corner of Church and Market Streets - is open 7 days a week for information about things to do in the town and in the Garden Route and Klein Karoo (Little Karoo). Telephone: 0027(0)44 691 2202. URL visitmosselbay.co.za

At the sea

  • Beaches 
  • Adventures: Deep sea fishing charters, shark cage diving, Scuba diving and snorkelling
  • Whale watching and dolphin watching – from the shore or aboard the Romonza (Mossel Bay’s only permitted whale watching boat)
  • Seven Seas Pleasure Cruises - pleasure cruises and educational trips around Seal Island 

Golf

Walking

  • St. Blaize Hiking Trail – 12.5 km ocean-side, cliff-top hike. Various entry and exit points make it feasible to walk shorter portions of the path. Great for whale watching and dolphin watching!  

Culture

  • Point of Human Origins Experience - visit the Pinnacle Point Caves (site of ongoing research into modern human origins) in the company of the archaeologist who introduced them to science: Dr. Peter Nilssen. This tour will change the way you think about being human - and when it’s done, you’ll understand why we talk about ‘162,000 years of holidays in Mossel Bay. 
  • Mossel Bay Art Route - visit artists and crafters in their studios; find information about festivals,museums, archaeology, artesinal foods, gardens, etc.
  • Bartolomeu Dias Museum Complex – the Post Office Tree, Shell Museum, ethno-botanical garden, Braille Trail, historic Malay graves, Maritime Museum with a replica of the caravel in which Bartolomeu Dias and his crew sailed to become the first Europeans to land in South Africa.  
  • Great Brak River Museum of local history & archaeology 
  • ATKV-Hartenbos Museum of the Great Trek
  • Monroe Theatre & Déjà Vu Vintage House - Live shows, vintage movies, traditional high teas, costume hire, shopping. 
  • The Barn Mossel Bay - intimate country theatre offering a constantly changing programme of live performances 

Sport

  • Cycling: Mountain Biking, MTB, road cycling, cycling clubs 

Nature

  • Birding and bird watching - Mossel Bay has an unusually high range of habitats, which makes for great birding!  
  • Botlierskop Private Game Reserve (18 km from Blommekloof) - Game drives, elephant experiences, horseback safaris, meals 
  • Cape St. Blaize Cave – an ancient shelter, important archaeological site, and popular spot for whale watching and dolphin watching. 

In the air

  • Skydive Mossel Bay - tandem skydiving, static line skydiving, formation skydiving, and skydive training 
  • Mossel Bay Aero Club & Mossel Bay Airfield - Scenic helicopter & fixed wing aircraft flips; charters; pilot training; aircraft maintenance 

Entertainment

  • The Bravo Lounge at the Garden Route Casino offers a constantly changing programme of fantastic entertainment and parties

Wine

  • Jakkalsvlei Private Cellar - near Herbertsdale - has established Mossel Bay as one of the most unusual wine destinations in a country that’s full of unusual wine destinations. Owner and winemaker Jantjie Jonker produces 9 different labels: Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinotage Coffee Edition, Mount Cuvée (a Pinotage/ Merlot blend), River Cuvée (a Chenin Blanc/ Sauvignon Blanc blend), La Perlé Rosé, a Hanepoot, a Red Muscadel, and a port-style ‘Trop’ (which is made from Tinta Barocca grapes). His dessert wines have taken a number of ribbons at the South African Young Wine Show: Jakkalsvlei Hanepoot was voted champion sweet wine in 2009 and took silver in 2012, while his Red Muscadel was named champion in 2010 and took bronze in 2012.
  • Visit Jakkalsvlei for its wine tastings and wine sales, and for MTB (mountain biking), hiking, picnics, and pizzas. Watch the estate’s web site for details of events - like Pick Your Own Hanepoot (March); Jakkalsvlei Trail Run (October), etc. Jakkalsvlei is open weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and on Saturdays from 9:30 to 3:00 p.m..

A three minute tour of Mossel Bay