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Mossel Bay is the first place where Bartolomeu Dias landed after navigating around the Southern tip of Africa. The name Mossel Bay was given to the town in 1601 by Paulus van Caerden, the Dutch navigator, as the only food he could find in the bay was mussels.
The famous post office tree could be found here. This tree was used by a sailor in 1500 to leave a message in a boot which he hung in the large old Milkwood tree. This action was followed by other sailors over the years. You can still today post a letter under this same old tree. This tree is close to the present day Bartholomeu Dias Museum complex which, amongst other things, house a full scale replica of Bartholomeu Diasï¿½ caravel, which he used to sail around the Cape of Storms. The shell museum displays an interesting collection of South African and other sea shells.
Dolphins and even whales can be seen in the bay from time to time. One can also take a boat trip around Seal Island with its hundreds of Cape Seals. Bookings can be made at the harbour.
From the point one can see spectacular waves crashing into the rocks. Here one can also find one of only two manned light houses in South Africa. The other one being at Cape St. Francis, close to Port Elizabeth.
Mossel Bay have an excellent climate with an average high temperature of 20.4o and a low of 14.4o Centigrade. You will find many kilometres of wind-protected sandy beaches here. The waves also lends itself to surfing.
This page was last updated on
07 June 2009