- Walking Trails and short walks such as : 103 steps walk, Vleiland & Nature walk, History walk, Pepper Tree walk, Southern Cross walk, the Island walk, and the Circle walk.
- The Great Brak Museum as well as a Tourism Office (at The Dekke).
- Cycling Routes, including : Poeding Pad (20 km), Perdeplaas route (39 km), Frangrance route (36,5 km). These routes are easy to moderate.
- Fragrance Route. Lavender and chilli shortbread, a historical church, and armfuls of freshly cut lavender.
- A beer brewery nearby called Glenhoff (only brewery in Mossel Bay), as well as Jakkalsvlei Private Cellar (only wine farm in Mossel Bay).
- Some wild life such as the Gondwana Game Reserve and the Indalu Game Reserve. The latter Reserve has a whole herd of elephants whom you can personally feed and walk with, under the supervision of some expert elephant coaches.
- Water sports such as surfing (‘Toads’ being a popular spot), kayaking, sand boarding and kite surfing
- The sand beaches provide ideal long walks. The well known ‘Oystercatcher Hiking Trail’ passes through Vleesbaai. The latter trail should be seriously considered as a ‘bucket’ adventure.
It is widely well known that the town of Mossel Bay can be found halfway between Port Elizabeth and Cape Town. The latter and Port Elizabeth are 800 km apart. Furthermore, Mossel Bay is a holiday destination with numerous festivals, events, adventures and attractions. Don’t believe that Mossel Bay is only sand and beaches. No, it also displays mountains, animals, water streams/rivers and rolling landscapes. But what about it other gems that all form part of the town of Mossel Bay ?
Better known for Art, History, Holidays and Entertainment. Here one can find the ATKV Museum, displaying objects of the Great Trek as well as the Trek of 1938. Hartenbos is adjacent to Mossel Bay proper, close to the suburbs of Diaz, Voorbaai and Bay View.
Little Brak River, Friemersheim, Great Brak River, and Glentana
Also towards the East of Mossel bay, direction George, the following activities can be experienced :
Also known for its food, wine, beer, wildlife and architecture. As far as the latter is concerned, one can find churches, houses with paintings and even a spices storeroom as mortuary. Other interesting things :
Vleesbaai, Boggomsbaai & Fransmanhoek
As for Herbertsdale, these 3 suburbs are also on the Western side of Mossel Bay proper. At the Southern side of the Bay is Fransmanshoek, which is a paradise for rock anglers. Fishing is the most popular activity at Vleesbaai and Boggomsbaai as well. Beaches here provide fishermen with multiple fishing spots, with the local shop providing bait, angling equipment (if necessary) and accessories. You most likely need to acquire a permit to fish here. Other activities :
The Portuguese Bartholomew Diaz was the very first European that set foot on (South) African soil – in 1488 at Munro beach Mossel Bay. Afterwards, the Cape was named in 1497 by Vasco da Gama, another explorer. He arrived in Mossel Bay on the day of St Blaize. The well known Cave at the Point in Mossel Bay was then named the St Blaize Cave.
In 1810 there was evidence found that the Cave had been inhabited by hunter-gatherers who ate mostly shellfish. It was only in 1888 that Sir George Leith excavated and found conclusively that the shellmiddens had been left by pre-colonial inhabitants. There was evidence of Middle Stone Age occupation below the middens. Recent excavations at other sites in the vicinity by Prof Marean of the Institute of Human Origins at the University of Arizona, found evidence going back 160 000 years. One of these sites is located at Pinnacle Point, some 8 km outside Mossel Bay and can be visited by the public by pre-arrangement.
The Vincent building was built in 1820-24 by C. F. Pohl and used as a General Dealer. The discovery of diamonds at Hopetown in 1867 and Kimberley in 1870 chose Mossel Bay as its most convenient import/export gateway. The Mossel harbour brought immense wealth to the Vincent business and led to more space being required. An extension to the Vincent building was built in 1901 & 1903 by C. Wilson and included a large arch to allow ox-wagons to enter the building to offload. Opposite this building is the Vincent Square.
Since 1900 the Mossel Bay Goods Shed in Bland street was used to store cargo from and to ships. The roof covers about 90m X 14m with no obstruction. On the North side of the shed is a platform from which rail carriages could be loaded without lifting. Today this shed is used as a very popular ‘flea market’ with stalls selling almost everything.
The building of our Mossel Bay newspaper ‘Mossel Bay Advertiser’ is located in Church street and was built in 1901 by builders Cochran & Cherry, and was occupied by Standard bank until 1950. Opposite this building was the ‘Outspan’ for ox-wagons and today is a large modernised parking area. Diagonally opposite the MB Advertiser building, is a building built in 1857 for Meyer & Co, used for business and housing the Victoria Hotel. On the 1st floor was a warehouse, and an exterior hoist was used to lift goods from the street into the warehouse. The building was restored in 1989 and is occupied today by Rauch & Gertenbach attorneys. Ironically, the MB Advertiser used these premises between 1931-1988, before relocating to where they are today.
The Dias Museum
The Mosel Bay Maritime museum was initially built as a Mill for wheat (and also a Sawmill for timber) by a progressive farmer E. J. Meyer in 1901. The builder was C. Wilson, the carpenter was E.Riley. The Mill was converted to a museum 1985/6, houses the Caravel built in Portugal and sailed to Mossel Bay to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Diaz’s landing at Monroe beach in 1488.
The Shell Museum
The Shell museum (100 meters from the Maritime museum) was built in 1902 as a grain store for the Mill and converted to a museum by architect Gawie Fagan,as was the Maritime museum. Both museums are just off Market street.
Mossel Bay Tourism’s online guide to local art and culture – www.mosselbayart.co.za – is proving to be popular with visitors and locals alike. The site has become a resource for information about art galleries, artists, designers, craft food, local festivals, and the archaeology of Mossel Bay (which has revealed the earliest evidence for modern human behaviour) – but it’s also become a kind of guide to meeting talented locals, because everybody who takes part has to provide information about when and where their businesses or studios are open to visitors.
MosselBayArt.co.za was built at the request of Mossel Bay Municipality as part of its local economic development strategy – which includes the provision of retail space for micro businesses in The Goods Shed, which is situated at the Bland Street entrance to the harbour. The Municipality currently rents the historic building from the Transnet National Port Authority (TNPA). The online (website) facility also provides the visitor information on art tours, including tours on foot.
The Goods Shed is a popular and important attraction for the town and a vital driver of employment for the people involved. It’s as much a showcase for talent as any of the other galleries on our Art Route.
The Goods Shed is open to the public Tuesdays to Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and from 9:00 to 14:00 on Sundays out of season, and every day of the week from 9:00 to 6:00 during holiday periods. Visit it on line.
The discovery of the archaeology of Mossel Bay’s Pinnacle Point caves is of enormous significance for two reasons, says the discoverer Dr Peter Nilssen.
The 1st reason is the research revealed the earliest evidence for modern human behavior which includes the systematic harvesting of the sea, the use of ochre as a pigment, the development of complex tools, and the use of fire to anneal silcrete to produce a better quality of stone for the production of those tools
The 2nd reason is that fossilized isotopes found in dripstone formations formed when the caves were sealed off from the outside world provided civilization with a picture of the climate of the area over the period 30 000 to 400 000 years ago. Since the caves also have a record of 162 000 years of human occupation, this becomes the one place on earth where archaeologists can study how we have adapted to change of climate over long periods of time.
Read more from www.humanorigin.co.za
A new tour in Mossel Bay is about a very exciting and certainly a unique discovery and subsequent development that is commonly referred to as the Human Origin Experience. This discovery is about the beginnings of modern human behaviour, widely written on now by Martin Hatchuel, Mossel Bay’s Communication Consultant, and Dr Peter Nilssen, credited with the discovery of the archaeology of Mossel Bay’s Pinnacle Point Caves. This event boasts major international attention.
The tour includes a presentation by Dr Nilssen together with Jonathon Kaplan, Director of the Agency for Cultural Resource Management. The caves are now the focus of ongoing international studies and involves more than 40 scientists from around the world. The tour, arranged by the Oystercatcher Trail, includes a walking visit to the Pinnacle Point Caves, and takes place on selected dates. Due to the sensitivity of the site, tours are restricted to a maximum of 12 visitors. These caves are now a Provincial Heritage Site and definitely a first in South Africa.