Mossel Bay - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Mossel Bay

Mossel Bay

The rather industrialised town of Mossel Bay, about 250 miles (400km) east of Cape Town, is traditionally regarded as the gateway to the Garden Route and is famed for being the spot where the first European set foot in South Africa. The Portuguese explorer, Bartholomew Dias, came ashore here seeking water after battling a fearsome storm at sea in 1488. The town now commemorates this event with the Bartholomew Dias Museum complex in Market Street, which houses a Maritime Museum and a life-sized replica of the caravel in which Dias sailed. Mossel Bay has some good beaches and all the trappings of a seaside holiday town, with cruises available from the small harbour to view seals, whales and dolphins, and shark cage-diving adventures. The nearby village of Albertinia sports the only aloe factory in South Africa, and visitors can call in to sample medicinal and skincare products made from this indigenous plant.

Information & Facts

South Africa has 11 official languages, including Afrikaans, English, Xhosa, Zulu and Sotho. English is widely spoken.

South Africa's currency is the Rand (ZAR), which is divided into 100 cents. Money can be exchanged at banks, bureaux de change and the larger hotels. ATMs are widely available (there is a daily limit for cash withdrawals) and major international credit cards are widely accepted, except in petrol stations where cash is required. Visitors should be vigilant when drawing cash from ATMs, as con artists are known to operate there. Travellers cheques and some foreign currencies are accepted at larger hotels and shops, but commission is charged, otherwise all commercial banks will exchange them.

Local time is GMT +2.
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