The Post Office Tree in Santos Bay, Mossel Bay, Western Cape
The Post Office Tree is situated in Mossel Bay in the Western Cape, South Africa.
The story of the Post Office Tree is closely linked with the maritime history of Mossel Bay. It is named so because it acted as a mail system for seagoing men in the 1500’s and it is now the centre piece at the Bartholomeu Dias Museum Complex.
The Post Office Tree is an ancient Milkwood that has become one of the favourite attractions in Mossal Bay. It was the start of the South African Mail Sysytem after Pedro De Ataide, one of the Commanders of Cabral’s fleet of ships, left an important letter in an iron pot shoe under this tree on his return journey from the East. The letter, against all odds, found the letter on his way to India. Sailors began to hang shoes with notes in them on the tree for safe delivery and so the postal system in the country developed.
Today there is an old post box, shaped like a boot, at the Old Post Box Tree where people can drop in letters or postcards for delivery and all mail from this post box receives a special stamp to commemorate the importance of this tree as the first Post Office of South Africa. The Tree was declared a National Monument in the 20th Century. If you visiting Mossel Bay, you must stop here and send a note home to folks back home!
Things to do and see
- Milkwood Tree
- Old Book Post Box
- Dias Maritime Museum
- Dias Cross
- Dias Caraval Ship
- The Fountain
- Shell Museum & Aquarium
- Ethno-Botanical Garden
- The Malay Graves
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.
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