Mossel Bay - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Mossel Bay

Mossel Bay

Mossel Bay is the largest city on the Garden Route and is situated roughly half way between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. It is renowned as the Adventure Capital of the Garden Route and enjoys an ideal climate with an average of 320 days of sunshine per year and a moderate winter.

Mossel Bay was discovered by Bartholomew Dias who in 1488 became the first European to land in South Africa. He was rounding the southernmost point of Africa, Cape Agulhas, when a strong wind blew him off course, into the protected bay of St Blaize, now called Mossel Bay. Here he found fresh water and set up a stop-over point for trade ships that were sailing to the East. Many explorers and traders placed important letters in an old shoe under a huge Milkwood tree which is now more than 500 years old. Today letters are still posted from the Old Post Office Tree.

Adventure junkies come to Mossel Bay here for a range of activities in the immediate vicinity: shark cage diving, for close up encounters with Great White sharks; sand boarding the longest sand dune in South Africa; feed, ride and picnic with elephants; safari and game drives with the Big 5; explore a predator park where you can view white lion, and the only black panther and tigers in SA; tandem skydiving over the spectacular Garden Route coastline where whales and dolphins are often spotted from the air; dolphin and whale watching boat trips; scuba diving; abseiling; helicopter flights and so much more.

Other more sedate attractions include the largest shell museum in South Africa; an indigenous botanical garden with a braille trail fragranced for the sight impaired; a life-sized replica of Bartholomew Dias' caravel styled ship; St Blaize Lighthouse and cave; several world-class golf courses; hiking trails; horse riding; deep sea fishing and sailing.

Mossel Bay is also well known for its wide selection of restaurants and excellent seafood. Many different types of accommodation is offered from backpackers to five star hotels. And there are eight sandy white beaches to relax on and enjoy the sunshine. So whether you want to play or relax Mossel Bay is an ideal destination and the perfect base for exploring the magical Garden Route.

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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