Mossel Bay & Surrounds

Mossel Bay Tourism

Mossel Bay and Surrounds - Local Tourism overview

Mossel Bay has more than 60 kilometres of beaches – and warm, beach-going weather throughout the year (with at least 300 days of sunshine in every 365!); The riches of the Indian Ocean, the Cape fynbos, and the Outeniqua Mountains; Culture that stretches back over 164,000 years; 21st century infrastructure; and accommodation for every budget.

Mossel Bay is situated exactly half way between Cape Town – the provincial capital of the Western Cape Province – and Port Elizabeth (both 400 km away), so it’s your ideal holiday destination, and the logical place to stop and relax on any local itinerary.

The calm waters of the bay are ideal for year round boat – based and land based whale and dolphin watching, particularly between July and October annually. Entertainment includes an intimate casino and the town is very popular venue for concerts and stage performances. Sport events are held throughout the year.

Hartenbos is situated next to the Mossel Bay industrial town, known as Voorbay. The resort is on the banks of the Hartenbos river and is extremely popular and during peak season, December to January, when about 100 000 visitors from the interior flock to the resort. Visitors can enjoy all kinds of activities but boating and fishing are by far the most popular. The Hartenbos resort was started in 1936 by an organisation called the ATKV – Afrikaanse Taal en Kultuur Vereeniging, (The Afrikaans Language and Culture Organisation) which was part of the old South African Railways.

Initially the Hartenbos Resort was reserved for railway workers only, but currently it is open to anyone. The resort has a 10 000 seat stadium which is used for entertainment like traditional dancing festivals and church services. The Voortrekker museum in the Hartenbos resort displays ancient relics associated with the Great Trek in 1938 to Pretoria.

Great Brak has unspoilt beaches, a lagoon that is safe to swim in and generous sea views. The stillness experienced along the banks of the Great Brak River, which also offers a number of picnic spots, has led to this little town being much sought after by those wanting to escape it all. Great Brak is called such because of the brackish water of the Brak Rivers – the lagoon mouth is divided into two sandy channels with a small island between them. A tranquil little haven of sea, lagoon and river, virtually lost in time, wedged between Mossel Bay and Great Brak on the Garden Route, is Little Brak River.

Klein Brak River is mainly a resort area, this part of the coast is renowned for having the mildest climate throughout the year and Little Brak River manages to achieve a subtle balance between energetic seaside activities and contemplative quiet to restore the soul that makes it a wonderful place to stay and one that remains relatively unspoilt.

The river teems with fish and is navigable for about 20 km’s, which makes it a great place for canoeing, boating and fishing, and birdlife in the area is rewarding too, despite the fact that Little Brak River is only some 18 km’s outside of Mossel Bay – a plus for those wanting to shop

Whilst often disregarded simply as a suburb of Mossel Bay, Dana Bay is in fact a conservancy, set in the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom, home to fine examples of coastal and limestone varieties of fynbos under threat from global warming. Limestone fynbos is rich in species and supports among the highest numbers of endemic species in the entire Cape floral region.

The white sandy beach here stretches for miles and is largely undisturbed, inviting lengthy morning and afternoon strolls and sundowner picnics – sunsets are legendary on this part of the coast. Add to this Dana Bay’s easy access to restaurants, museums, harbour and yachting facilities, water sports, and eco adventure opportunities, and the beachfront village becomes something more of an attraction. George’s Airport is an easy 20 minute drive, schools of up to 500 dolphins have been sighted along the coastline, and during whale-watching season, Southern Right Whales are a joy to behold

The pretty little seaside village of Vleesbaai (or Vlees Bay) lies virtually hidden between the bays of Stilbay and Mossel Bay, just north of where the Gouritz River (of bungee jump fame from the Gourtitz River bridge, 65m up) joins the sea at the western end of the Garden Route.

Vleesbaai is an idyllic, shell sampling, sun-drenched beach-filled holiday space in which endless beaches, safe swimming, leisurely walks, dolphin and whale spotting and the nearby Fransmans Hoek Nature Reserve all vie for attention. The good news is that none or all of them can be combined to fill days as and when one chooses, as time literally slows when on this part of the beautiful coast. Vleesbaai is touted by surfers as one of the best kept secrets on the coast and, whilst gentle swells provide great body boarding times, waves can reach five feet.

Just east of the Great Brak River, almost half way between Mossel Bay and George, lies the beautiful seaside village of Glentana, its beaches topped by fynbos covered cliffs that plunge precipitously into the Indian Ocean. The origins of the name, Glentana, are a little murky, but there are those who believe that there is a very strong connection between the town and a certain whiskey still brewed in Northern Scotland that goes by the same name. The rich combination of Milkwood trees, white beaches and rocky outcrops make for a beauty that leaves every visitor rewarded, and even today, despite the demand for property along the Garden Route, manages to remain uncluttered and unspoilt. Glentana Bay lies in an ancient riverbed where shell collecting and fishing are pastimes that have changed little since the origins of the town that began with a smattering of houses in the early 1900’s.

Mossel Bay Tourism:
Tel: +27(0)44 6912202
Fax: +27(0)44 6903077
Web: Visit Mossel Bay Tourism website
E-mail: Click here to e-mail