site zip: AF ZA GRJ 0042 | neighborhood: Garden Route, Route 62, Overberg, Eastern Cape | region: South Africa, More>>
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 Mossel Bay - Garden Route, South Africa

Mossel Bay - the Jewel of the Garden Route Mosselbaai (in Afrikaans) is a small harbor town located on the Garden Route, a particularly scenic region of South Africa's Indian Ocean coastline. This popular resort town straddles the Cape St Blaize Peninsula and eastwards along the sandy shores of the bay.  It is a busy summer destination as well as an ideal winter retreat.

Mossel Bay is blessed with a mild microclimate all-year round, influenced by the Indian Ocean and Outeniqua mountain range a short distance inland. The annual rainfall of around 17 inches typically falls throughout the year, mostly at night.

Average temperature ranges:
September - April: 16-22 degrees C (61-72 degrees F)
May to August: 12-19 degrees C (54-66 degrees F)
Average days with sunshine: 320 days per year.

Mossel Bay is a sport, adventure and water sport enthusiast's paradise. A wide variety of adventure activities and sports can be enjoyed, including golf,  squash, tennis, bungy jumping, bridge diving and horse riding. Water sports include shark cage diving, ship wreck diving, snorkeling and power boating.

The mild weather allows visitors to enjoy miles of sandy beaches throughout the year.

Read more:
Arrow symbol Archeology and History of Mossel Bay
Arrow symbol Garden Route Golf Courses

The Point Hotel is built on the rocks above a huge natural rock pool and overlooks the endless blue expanse of the Indian Ocean.

From your balcony, watch the Humpback whales, Southern Right whales (in season) and dolphins.


The Point Hotel

Archeology Discoveries at Pinnacle Point, Cape St Blaize

Startling discoveries have been made at Pinnacle Point (site of a golf estate) by an international team of scientists. Excavations of a series of sea caves in the coastal cliffs have revealed occupation by people between 164,000 and 40,000 years ago. This scientific sensation included evidence that early man had made use of marine resources (shellfish and possibly seal and whale) for food. The area includes evidence of stone age fish traps. There's also evidence of more recent Khoisan occupation of the caves, including middens that are believed to have been laid down by herders of the San or Khoekhoen people. St Blaize Cave (a national monument) is the biggest and most important cave situated directly below Cape St Blaize lighthouse. With boardwalks leading to the front of the cave from the nearby parking area, it  provides a popular vantage point for whale and dolphin watching.

Cape St Blaise Cave

Acknowledgements - The Point Hotel, Mossel Bay

History of Mossel Bay

Vasco da Gama coming ashoreIn 1487-1488, Bartolomeu Dias (aka Bartholomew Diaz), Portuguese navigator and explorer, was the first European to lead a voyage of discovery around the southern-most tip of Africa. The small fleet of 3 ships encountered a terrible storm as it rounded the Cape. Diaz is credited with naming this tip of Africa the Cape of Storms, later renamed the Cape of Good Hope. Surviving the tempest and without realizing that he had rounded the Cape, the fleet sailed around Cape Agulhas and along the south eastern coast. Diaz came ashore at a spot near to the present day Dias Museum Complex on February 3, 1488. They were able to replenish their water supply from a spring, but left in haste when the local Khoisan drove them off with stones.

Vasco da Gama, another Portuguese explorer, came ashore in 1497. By that time, the Bay had been named on maps as Aguada de São Brás (the Watering Place of St Blaize). His meeting with the Khoisan was more friendly and he was successful in bartering for cattle.

In 1601 the Dutch navigator, Paulus van Caerden, renamed the site Mossel Bay for the mussels that were havested off the rocks to add to the diet of his crew. Today, mussels gathered in Mossel Bay each spring are rated by gourmets to be among the finest in the world.

This town developed as a busy export harbour for wool, ochre and ostrich feathers. A rich legacy of many historic buildings and museums includes the Maritime Museum with focus on the maritime history and ships of the early days of discovery. It boasts an impressive life-size replica of Bartolomeu Dias' caravel, the ship that he sailed into Mossel Bay in 1488. The Maritime Museum also displays ship models of a bygone era and navigation maps to the East.

Other museums include the Granary with a permanent display of fresh specimens of wild flowers found in this region, and an interesting selection of photographs of the many mountain passes that link the coastal area to the Little Karoo. The Shell Museum and Aquarium (Dias Museum Complex) houses a very large collection of shells and demonstrates their early use by man. The Cultural History Museum has many and varied artifacts of historical importance from the area covering various periods in history. Many of these museums were developed within some of the historical buildings in the town, but there are others, such as the Shirley Buildings, the Munrohoek Cottages and many others which may be visited.

One of the most popular attractions is the Post Office Tree, now a National Monument. The tree is estimated to be more than 800 years old. It is under this milkwood tree in 1500 that Pedro d'Ataide left a letter in a seaman's boot for passing ships. It's a tradition for visitors to Mossel Bay to send cards from the Post Office Tree - letters are still posted there today in a seaman's boot!

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Garden Route Golf Courses

The Garden Route is a mecca for the serious golfer, with many immaculate world class courses and breathtaking vistas of the surrounding mountains and ocean. The 2003 President's Cup was played at The Links, Fancourt.


Mossel Bay Golf Course

Tel: +27 44 691 2379


Mossel Bay Golf Club link

Pinnacle Point Golf Club - Mossel Bay

Tel: +27 44 693 3438


Pinnacle Point Golf Club link

Kingswood Golf Club - George

Tel: 086 1727170


Kingswood Golf Club link

Fancourt Outeniqua, The Links, Montagu - George

Tel: +27 44 873 6116


Fancourt link

George Golf Club

Tel: +27 44 873 6116


George Golf Club

Oubaai Golf Club - Herolds Bay

Tel: +27 44 851 1234


Oubaai Golf Club link

Simola Golf Course - Knysna

Tel: +27 44 302 9677


Simola Golf Course  link

Pezula Golf Course - Knysna

Tel: +27 44 302 5307


Pezula Golf Course link

Knysna Golf Club

Tel:+27 44 384 1150



Goose Valley Golf Club - Plettenberg Bay

Tel: +27 44 533 5082




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