Mossel Bay is situated in the Western Cape, South Africa.
Set against the backdrop of the Outeniqua Mountains, Mossel Bay is a bustling holiday town and port. It is the obvious stopover when visiting the Garden Route as it is exactly halfway between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, 400 km in each direction.
Second only to Hawaii, Mossel Bay is known for having the mildest all-year climate in the world and so makes the town an ideal holiday destination in both summer and winter. Mossel Bay boasts 60 km of sandy white beaches, warm Indian Ocean waters, hiking trails and water sports is just considered a way of life here offering surfers an experience to rival that of Jefferys Bay. It is close to towns such as Swellendam, George, Oudtshoorn and Knysna which adds to the natural beauty of the area.
Many visitors come to Mossel Bay for the beaches, but it has much more to offer so don’t forget to explore the museums, arts and crafts, cultural attractions and of course the natural attractions.
There is plenty of accommodation on offer from Hotels, Holiday Resorts, Guest Lodges, backpackers’ accommodation plus camping and caravan sites in the area.
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.
January/February – Mossel Bay Dias Festival: An annual celebration of the cultural diversity in Mossel Bay with plenty of dancing, art, cultural and entertainment.
July – George Cheese Festival: Approximately 10 000 visitors attends this festival each year for wine, brandy and whiskey tasting…..and of course Cheese!
October – Mossel Bay Sports Festival: An exciting week-long festival offering local and visiting sports enthusiast an opportunity to compete in various sports codes. For those who are not sporty, there is still plenty of fun to be had.
The Khoi San people inhabited this area for a long time and it is them who witnessed the arrival of the first seafarer, Bartolomew Dias, in February 1488. This was the sole source of fresh water along his journey and the first port where he could communicate by way of leaving a letter in the now historical Post Office Tree.
For passing ships it was a pleasant anchorage. When Vasco Da Gama visited the bay on his way to India in 1497 he called it Aguada de Sao Bras ('watering place of St. Blaize').
In 1601, the Dutch navigator Paulus van Gaerden gave Mossel Bay its present name and he was said to have been able to replenish his ships provisions only with mussels.
The origin and growth of Mossel Bay is due to the seafaring trade. While farming became a viable way of life, it was the export of such products that kept the trade alive and developed the harbor.
The history of steam trains is also linked to Mossel Bay and today it has become a centre for restoring and maintaining steam locomotives of all classes.
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