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The Dias Maritime Museum Complex is situated in Mossel Bay in the Western Cape, South Africa.

Bartolomeu Dias, also known as Bartholomew Diaz, is said to be the first European explorer to set foot on South African soil on 3 February 1488, when he arrived in Mossel Bay. At the Museum visitors can view and explore a life size replica of his ship, the Dias Caraval that brought him to our shores. The replica was a gift from Portugal in 1987.

On arrival Dias named the area “The Watering Place of St Blaize” after he collected water from a fresh water spring, “The Fountain” on the day of the patron Saint Blaize. The Fountain still flows today and can be seen at the Museum complex.

The Museum has many interesting maritime displays with artifacts, maps, art and little treasures from the time of the early Portuguese, Dutch and English navigators. The foyer features the beautiful ceramic mural of blue and white Portuguese tiles, depicting the mythical figure of Adamastor, by Portuguese artist, Gilberto.

The history is exciting and the art and displays exquisite so a visit to the Dias Museum Complex is a must when in Mossel Bay – don’t forget to send a postcard!

Things to do and see


Admission rates to the Museum Complex are between R5 and R40. Prices are subject to change and it is recommended that you contact the Dias Museum Complex to confirm rates.


Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 16˚C and 27˚C with high rainfall in March and October.

Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 7˚C and 21˚C with the lowest rainfall in June and July.


Commercial Airlines offer flights into George Airport, 50 km from Mossel Bay. Car hire facilities are located at the Airports. 

Please note that the Museums are closed on Good Friday and Christmas Day

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