Mossel Bay's main attractions are an excellent museum complex; several beautiful historic stone buildings (some of which are exceptionally well preserved); some of the best oysters along the coast; excellent golf; and good beaches with safe, secluded swimming. The area has some of the only north-facing (read: sunniest) beaches in South Africa, which means it's very popular with local families and is always packed in December. Dolphins—sometimes hundreds at a time—frequently move through the bay in search of food, and whales swim past during their annual migration (July–October). View more
You could take a cruise out to Seal Island, home to a breeding colony of more than 2,000 Cape fur seals or, if you're feeling brave, a cage dive to view the numerous white sharks (blue pointers) that hang around the seal colony.
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Depart the quayside and drive to Botlierskop Private Game Reserve for an exciting game viewing experience during this half-day tour.
Situated in the malaria-free Western Cape in South Africa, Botlierskop is blessed with vast and diverse plant communities including woodlands, coastal fynbos, mountain fynbos and renosterveld. The Moordkuil River, a tributary to the Little Brak River, runs through the reserve and adds to the diversity of habitats for the large number of animal species and birdlife. A rich diversity of more than 200 bird species is found within the different macro and micro eco-systems.
The plant species that can be seen growing in the fynbos areas of the reserve include proteas, ericas, restios and geophytes. These provide an ideal plant cover, ensuring a good supply of clean water from the mountain catchments.
Botlierskop is a well-stocked, free roaming private game reserve, which provides visitors with the opportunity to view African wildlife in its natural habitat, from the safety and comfort of 4x4 open vehicles. There are currently 26 animal species and more than 1,800 animals in total on the 3,000 ha reserve.
On arrival at the Day Visitors Centre, refreshments will be served before you board the 4x4 open vehicles for a 3-hour guided game drive.
Visitors have an excellent chance of experiencing close encounters with white rhino, Cape buffalo, blue wildebeest, giraffe, Cape mountain zebra, eland, giraffe, lions (in a 100 ha enclosure) and impala. Other animals that may be seen include bontebok, Cape bushbuck, common grey duiker, Cape grysbok, honey badger, rock hyrax, kudu, nyala, porcupine, waterbuck and steenbok.
After the game drive, return to the Day Visitors Centre, where you will have the opportunity to interact with two of the elephants. Guests will be invited to participate in an elephant feeding session, before re-boarding the coaches for the transfer back to Mossel Bay.
Please note: Botlierskop does not contain leopards and is therefore not a Big Five reserve. Although a moderate amount of walking is required on this tour, it is suggested only for those guests able to tolerate the rough ride of a game-drive vehicle traveling on unpaved surfaces. The roads in the game reserve are gravel, with some inclines; parts of the game-drive are bumpy. Therefore, this tour is not suitable for guests with back or neck problems. It could be difficult for some guests with walking difficulties or hip/knee problems to get in and out of the open vehicles. For safety reasons, children under the age of 6 may not participate. The spotting of wildlife cannot be guaranteed. Wear light clothing, including flat, comfortable walking shoes, and protection from the sun; binoculars are recommended. Guests are not permitted to use mobile phones, smoke, speak loudly, or stand up in the vehicle on or during the game drives, as this will disturb the animals. Thank you for your understanding.
Depart the quayside and enjoy an orientation tour of Mossel Bay, followed by a visit to the Diaz Museum Complex.
Bartolomeu Dias was the first European to set foot on South Africa soil at Mossel Bay. The museum grounds are situated at the very site where he came ashore and made contact with indigenous people.
The Dias Museum complex encompasses a wealth of places of historical interest. The most famous is the Old Post Office Tree. The complex consists of three buildings: the granary that serves as reception and info centre, the maritime museum and the Shell museum & aquarium. Take some time to browse through the shop at the complex.
Return to Mossel Bay Harbour.
Please note: This tour involves minimal walking and is suitable for guests with limited mobility and for those who tuilise a wheelchair, as long as they can embark and disembark the coach with minimal assistance. Guests should dress in comfortable clothing and wear flat walking shoes and sun protection.
Take in the beauty of the environs during this half-day tour through scenic mountain passes.
Drive from Mossel Bay to George, following the coastal road up to the foot of the Outeniqua Mountains. En route, you have the chance to enjoy the stunning panoramic views of the famous Garden Route coastline from the comfort of the coach.
Once you reach George, your journey will proceed inland, taking you away from the coast and up into the Outeniqua Mountains. Here the rugged coastal landscape transforms into the starkly beautiful Karoo, with its desert-like arid climate and breathtaking scenery. Cross the scenic Outeniqua Pass which was constructed between 1943 and 1951, replacing the Montagu Pass as the main route from George into the interior. It was named after the Hottentot tribe who formerly lived there.
Upon crossing the Outeniqua Mountains, you reach Oudtshoorn, the principal town of the Little Karoo. The Klein Karoo is an oasis-like setting in a fertile valley cupped by the Swartberg and Outeniqua mountain ranges, and originated as a settlement along the Grobbelaars Rivers which meanders southwards from the Swartberg, providing fertile soil and water for irrigation. Crops such as lucerne, tobacco, fruit, grapes and grains grow here in abundance.
Stop for refreshments at a local hotel or restaurant in Oudtshoorn before heading back to Mossel Bay via the Robinson Pass.
As you make your way over the pass, the sun-scorched plains of the Little Karoo disappear and the landscape gives way to the delightful shade and greenery of the lush Garden Route forests.
Please note: This tour involves a minimal amount of walking and it is suitable for guests with limited mobility and for those who utilise a wheelchair; however, guests must be able to embark/disembark the coach via the bus steps and have the aid of an assistant or spouse. It involves driving for extended periods of time. Guests sould dress in comfortable clothing and sun protection.