Mossel Bay, South Africa
Situated halfway between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, beautiful Mossel Bay is a coastal village and harbour of the World Famous Garden Route. This popular holiday town is surrounded by a sunbathed peninsula and the refreshing waters of the Indian Ocean. It is a busy summer destination as well as an ideal winter retreat.
In 1601 the Dutch navigator, Paulus van Caerden, named it Mossel Bay, as he found that mussels were a most welcome addition to the diet of his crew. Today, mussels gathered in Mossel Bay each spring are rated by gourmets among the finest in the world.
Mossel Bay is traditionally regarded as the gateway to the Garden Route and is famed for being the spot where the first European set foot in South Africa. The Portuguese explorer, Bartholomew Dias, came ashore here seeking water after battling a fearsome storm at sea in 1488. The town now commemorates this event with the Bartholomew Dias Museum complex in Market Street, which houses a Maritime Museum and a life-sized replica of the caravel in which Dias sailed.
Cruises are available from the small harbour to view seals, whales and dolphins, and shark cage-diving adventures. The nearby village of Albertinia sports the only Aloe factory in South Africa, and visitors can call in to sample medicinal and skincare products made from this indigenous plant.
Cruise Season – Oct – April
Currency – Rand (R)
Language – Xhosa, English and Afrikaans
Land Area – km²
Electricity – South African/Indian-style plug with two round metal pins above a large round grounding pin
Time – GMT plus two hours
International Country Telephone Code – + 27