Hotels in and around the Mossel Bay suburb
Mossel Bay is the definition of a tranquil coastal town in South Africa. Situated almost exactly halfway between Cape Town in the Western Cape and Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, Mossel Bay has flourished as a popular tourist destination while maintaining its quiet seaside charm.
Mossel Bay's beaches entice visitors from all over the country and, indeed, globe, and are perfect for water sports, or simple days spent relaxing on the warm white sands. This is one of the major factors that make Mossel Bay ideal for tourists travelling with children.
This fishing village is also equipped with conferencing facilities, event venues, golf courses, restaurants, and a multitude of accommodation facilities. In addition, it is situated on the Garden Route, making it accessible to travellers, and close to other tourist attractions. These include Knysna, Plettenberg Bay, Tsitsikamma and many game reserves. Its mild climate ensures that visitors are able to enjoy all of its main attractions at almost any time of year.
The harbour is used extensively by fishing vessels as well as pleasure boats.
Bartholomew Dias discovered Mossel Bay in 1488 when he named it the Bay of St Blaize. This area flourished as a result of its successful trade in wool and ostrich feathers, as well as ochre (used for dying). This town was a bustling epicentre, popular for its commercial success and prospects. In 1601, Paulus van Caerden, a navigator from Holland, discovered the great multitude of mussels in these waters. In addition to their impressive numbers, these mussels were of an excellent quality. He renamed it Mossel Bay (“mossel” being the Dutch and Afrikaans term for “mussel”). These animals are still considered to be superior in this region.
Mossel Bay is situated halfway along the Garden Route, making it easy to find and safely accessible via road. The roads are safe for driving, and signage is excellent.
George has its own airport, which flies to Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg. These destinations are all equipped with international airports for those visitors wishing to fly to and from places outside of South Africa. Cape Town is closest to Mossel Bay.
Taxis and hired cars are available in Mossel Bay. Mossel Bay is fairly small, making it easy to navigate with the use of a map (available from various shops and tourist hotspots). Visitors are advised not to make use of the minibus taxis, which are not always roadworthy and are notorious for their wreckless driving.
The beaches and outdoor activities are definitely Mossel Bay's prime attractions. The hot South African summers and comfortably cool winters allow visitors to enjoy these facilities year-round. There are nature reserves in close proximity, as well as sports facilities and camping grounds. These make for the ideal African experience, while maintaining an air of a true getaway.
Because Mossel Bay enjoys such an important history in terms of South Africa and its development, there are various cultural attractions, including many museums. The Maritime Museum is fantastic for marine enthusiasts who are intrigued by the old ships, sailing courses and ocean-based industries that once sustained a large part of the country. The Shell Museum provides a fascinating glimpse into the various shells found in this area (of which there are many) and the tools, jewellery and implements made from these in ancient and modern times.
Mossel Bay's Post Office is a National Monument. This Milkwood tree was used as a post box over 800 years ago by sailors coming to replenish their water supply in the nearby spring. The letters were then collected and delivered by other ships on their way home.
Mossel Bay benefits from a particularly temperate climate. Summers are between December and March, and are generally hot (averaging about 30 degrees Celsius at noon). Winters (June to August) are comfortably cool, at about 15 to 20 degrees in the day. Most of the rainfall occurs during winter.
Always apply insect repellent and sunscreen when travelling anywhere in South Africa, regardless of the season. The beaches of Mossel Bay are major attractions. It is vital that you use a high-factor sunscreen (at least 20 SPF). In addition, wear protective clothing, a sunhat and effective sunglasses. Do not spend too much time in the sun, particularly not between 10h00 and 14h00.
It is wise to bring your prescriptions for spectacles and medication with you to South Africa so that you can restock at a local pharmacy without having to consult with a doctor or hospital during your stay. Ensure that your tetanus shots are up-to-date as some areas in and around George are fraught with litter, including broken glass, cans and metal.
Even in a fishing village like Mossel Bay, there are areas that should be avoided, particularly after dark. Consult your travel agent or your accommodation provider to ensure that you are aware of such areas. Do not walk around the city centre or tourist attractions carrying large amounts of cash or photographic / video equipment, and do not accept unwanted help from strangers. If you are travelling around by car, do not leave any valuables in the car. Should beggars approach you, you may choose to give them food or water. Avoid giving them money.