Mossel Bay

Mossel Bay
—  Town  —
Mossel Bay
Mossel Bay is located in Western Cape
Mossel Bay
Coordinates: 34°11′00″S 22°08′00″E / 34.1833333°S 22.1333333°E / -34.1833333; 22.1333333Coordinates: 34°11′00″S 22°08′00″E / 34.1833333°S 22.1333333°E / -34.1833333; 22.1333333
Country South Africa South Africa
Province Western Cape
Metropolitan municipality Mossel Bay Local Municipality
Founder Paulus van Caerden
Named for Bay of Mussels
Population
 – Total 150,000
Time zone South Africa Standard Time (UTC+2)

Mossel Bay (Afrikaans Mosselbaai) is a harbour town of about 130,000 people on the Southern Cape (or Garden Route) of South Africa. It is an important tourism and farming region of the Western Cape Province. Mossel Bay lies 400 kilometres east of the country's seat of parliament, Cape Town (which is also the capital city of the Western Cape Province), and 400 km west of Port Elizabeth, the largest city in the Eastern Cape Province.

The older parts of the town occupy the north-facing side of the Cape St Blaize Peninsula, whilst the newer suburbs straddle the Peninsula and have spread eastwards along the sandy shore of the Bay.

The warm waters of the Indian Ocean to the south, and the protective barrier of the Outeniqua Mountains to the north, act together to create almost idyllic weather patterns that, combined with kilometre after kilometre of sandy beaches, have given Mossel Bay the reputation for having the finest weather in South Africa. The town is, therefore, indisputably one of South Africa's favourite beach holiday destinations, not least because its weather is conducive to enjoying the beach throughout the year.

Tourism remains one of the most important drivers of Mossel Bay's economy.

The town's economy relied heavily on farming, fishing and its commercial harbour (the smallest in the Transnet Port Authority's stable of South African commercial harbours), until the 1969 discovery of natural offshore gas fields led to the development of the gas-to-liquids refinery operated by PetroSA (Pty) Ltd.

Contents

History

Mossel Bay

Although it is today best known as the place at which the first Europeans landed on South African soil (Bartolomeu Dias and his crew arrived on 3 February 1488), Mossel Bay’s human history can - as local archaeological deposits have revealed - be traced back more than 164,000 years.

Archaeology

Pinnacle Point Caves

According to the presently accepted theory of the Recent African Origin of Modern Humans, all people alive today evolved from a core population of about 600 individuals who lived on the African Continent between 100,000 and 200,000 years ago. The Mossel Bay Archaeology Project (MAP) has shown that the Southern Cape Coast was most probably the point where modern behaviour first emerged about 164,000 years ago.

The Mossel Bay Archaeology Project was created to examine the ancient middens in the Pinnacle Point Caves, most of which lie about 12 km east of Cape St Blaize.

The discovery was made during routine archaeological surveys conducted prior to the development of the Pinnacle Point Beach and Golf Resort,[1] and excavations began in the year 2000 under the leadership of Professor Curtis Marean[2] (a palaeoanthropologist with the Institute of Human Origins at the Arizona State University), and by Dr. Peter Nilssen, of the Iziko South African Museum. The scientific team includes researchers from South Africa (the University of Cape Town), Australia (the University of New South Wales and the University of Wollongong), as well as Israel and France. Funding for the project was obtained from the National Science Foundation (USA); the Hyse Family Trust; the Iziko South African Museum; the University of Cape Town; and the Dias Museum in Mossel Bay.

The Project focuses on a series of caves cut into the sea-facing cliffs on the southern boundary of the Pinnacle Point Beach and Golf Resort,[3] which were occupied between 170,000 and 40,000 years ago by Middle Stone Age people.

The excavations have revealed the earliest evidence for the systematic exploitation of marine resources such as shellfish[4] (which would have provided the Omega-3 fatty acids required for the development of the modern human brain); the earliest evidence for the use of dyes in symbolling[5] (particularly the use of ochre, possibly for body painting or decorative arts); the use of advanced bladelet technology (embedding smaller blades into larger strata to create complex tools); and the earliest evidence for the use of heat treatment in the manufacture of stone tools.[6]

The significance of the finds is increased by the presence of fossilised carbon isotopes in the dripstone formations (stalactites) hanging from the roofs of the caves, which contain a record of the composition of the water that seeped into the caves over a period beginning about 400,000 years ago. As part of their work, the scientists on the Bay Archaeology Project are studying this evidence in order to create a portrait of the climate of the area over the period 400,000 to 30,000 years ago so as to be able to correlate the evidence of human behaviour on the floor of the caves with climate patterns, and thus learn how man has adapted to climate change over the ages.

The findings of the Mossel Bay Archaeology Project have been brought to school children in the Western Cape Province through the work of the SACP4 Education Project (South African Coastal Palaeoanthropology, Palaeoclimates, Palaeoenvironments and Palaeoecology Project),[7] which offers field trips to the Dias Museum Complex and its mock archaeology dig.

Professor Marean delivered the opening address to the 44th Nobel Conference[8] at the Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota, on October 7, 2008. His lecture, ‘The African Evidence for the Origins of Modern Human Behavior’[9] explained his thesis that the climate, vegetation and geography of the Mossel Bay area provided perfect living conditions for the core population of about 600 individuals who were the progenitors of modern humankind.

Cape St Blaize Cave

The Cape St Blaize Cave (34°11′09″S 22°09′26″E / 34.185871°S 22.157214°E / -34.185871; 22.157214) is situated directly under the Cape St Blaize Lighthouse,[10] is the site of one of South Africa’s oldest archaeological excavations. It was first excavated in 1888 by George Leith, then by T. Rupert Jones in 1899, and by A.J.H (John) Goodwin in the 1920s. Goodwin is said to have described the Middle Stone Age Mossel Bay Industry from his findings at Cape St Blaize .

The Cave has revealed deposits dating from about 200,000 years ago to the pre-colonial period, during which time middens were laid down by herders of the San or Khoekhoen people.

Rock Art

The mountains to the north of Mossel Bay are an important repository of South African rock art. This art, which is now associated with shamanistic practices (in which the rock itself is thought to have been considered the veil between this world and the spirit world), was created by the San people, and specimens may date back as far as 27,000 years.

The rock art sites surrounding Mossel Bay are generally located on private land, and are therefore only accessible to the public in the company of registered guides, who will ensure that the integrity of the pieces remains intact.[11]

Modern history

The modern history of Mossel Bay began on the 3rd of February, 1488, when the Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias landed with his men at a point close to the site of the modern-day Dias Museum Complex.[12] Here they found a spring from which to replenish their water supplies. Dias had been appointed to search for a trading route to India by King John II of Portugal, and, without realising it, actually rounded the Cape of Good Hope before landing at Mossel Bay - which he named Angra dos Vaquieros (The Bay of Cowherds). Dias is also credited with having given the Cape the name Cabo das Tormentas (the ‘Cape of Storms’), although King John II later changed this to Cabo da Boa Esperança (the Cape of Good Hope).

Dias’ excursion ashore ended hastily when the local people chased him off in a hail of stones.

By the time the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama reached the area in 1497, the Bay had been marked on the maps as Aguada de São Brás, (the Watering Place of St Blaize - whose feast is celebrated on the 3rd of February).

Da Gama bartered successfully for cattle with the local Khoe people in what is generally regarded as the first commercial transaction between Europeans and the indigenous people of South Africa.

In 1501, another Portuguese navigator, Pedro d'Ataide, sought shelter in Mossel Bay after losing much of his fleet in a storm. He left an account of the disaster hidden in an old shoe which he suspended from a milkwood tree (Sideroxylon inerme) near the spring from which Dias had drawn his water. The report was found by the explorer to whom it was addressed — João da Nova — and the tree served as a kind post office for decades thereafter. (More recently, a boot-shaped post box has been erected under the now famous Post Office Tree, and letters posted there are franked with a commemorative stamp. This has ensured that the tree has remained one of the town’s biggest tourist attractions.)

João da Nova erected a small shrine near the Post Office Tree, and although no traces of it remain, it is considered the first place of Christian worship in South Africa.

The origin of the name Mossel Bay (the Bay of Mussels) has to do with the ascendancy of the Dutch shipping merchants in the late 16th and the early 17th Centuries. In one account, the explorer Cornelis de Houtman named the place Mosselbaai when he stopped there in 1595, whilst in another, the Dutch Admiral Paulus van Caerden named it when he came ashore on the 8th of July 1601. Whatever the case, though, the mussels and oysters on the shore would have been a welcome addition to the limited diet on which ship’s crews were expected to survive in those days.

Although the Dutch governor of the Cape Colony, Jan de la Fontaine, visited Mossel Bay and erected a possession stone here in 1734, the first permanent European building — a fortress-like granary — was built only in 1787. In July of the following year, the first shipment of wheat grown in the area was shipped from the Bay.

Although a British force had invaded the Cape in 1806, and Britain had taken permanent possession of the Colony in 1814, the Mossel Bay area retained its Dutch-given name until its declaration as a magistracy in 1848, when it was renamed Aliwal South, after the Battle of Aliwal in India, where the then governor of the British-held Cape Colony, Harry Smith, had won victory over the Sikhs on the 8th of January 1846. The name Aliwal South never stuck, however — even when the town was officially proclaimed in 1848, and when it became a Municipality in 1852.

From the earliest days of the Dutch settlers, Mossel Bay acted as the major port serving the Southern Cape region and its hinterland, the arid Klein (or Little) Karoo, and during the ostrich feather boom of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, more than 800,000 kg of feathers were exported through the port every year — which may have been the impetus that led to the construction of the first breakwater in 1912.

Fishing and farming remained the main activities of the area during the early years of the 20th Century, and the growth of the port reflected this. The discovery of natural gas fields offshore in 1969, of the FA gas field in the Bredasdorp Basin (also off the Southern Cape coast) in 1980, and of the nearby EM field in 1983, led to the development of the Mossgas gas-to-liquids refinery (commissioned in 1987 and renamed the PetroSA Refinery in 2002).[13]

This changed the nature of the port so that its major business now comes from serving supply ships for PetroSA’s offshore platforms, and from export via its offshore single point (or single buoy) mooring, which is located in about 21 metres of water in an unsheltered roadstead at Voorbaai, in the lee of the St Blaize Peninsula.

The development of the refinery led to a marked increase in property development in Mossel Bay, with the number of houses growing rapidly to accommodate the work force during the construction period.

Many of the people who came to work on the project remained in the town after commissioning, and it would appear from the changing economy of the town that they found work in tourism, light industry or commerce.

Whilst the Port and the Refinery have, of course, had a major influence on the development of Mossel Bay, they have always worked in tandem with the growth of tourism and general commerce so that the town now boasts a balanced and vibrant economy. Tourism in particular has influenced much of the growth since 1994, although the town has been a popular resort destination for South Africans since as early as the late 1800s.

The Afrikaans: Taal en Kultuurvereniging (ATKV or Afrikaans Language and Cultural Society) bought the farm Hartenbos, east of what was then the town of Mossel Bay, in 1936, and developed it as a holiday resort (now known as the ATKV Hartenbos Resort,[14] and considered the biggest self-catering resort in the Western Cape Province). This was a significant step in the development of the town’s tourism economy as it positioned Mossel Bay as a beach holiday destination - and beach tourism remains a major focus for incoming tourism in the 21st Century.

South Africa installed its first democratically elected government in 1994, which brought about sweeping changes in the structure of local government throughout the country - one of the results of which was that Mossel Bay merged with the smaller, neighbouring villages of Friemersheim, Great (or Groot) Brak River and Herbertsdale to form the present-day Municipality of Mossel Bay in December 2000.[15]

Geography

Climate

Mossel Bay’s climate is mild throughout the year as the town is situated in the area where the winter rainfall and all-year rainfall regions of the Western Cape Province meet. Its weather is influenced by the Agulhas Current of the Indian Ocean to the south, and by the presence of the Outeniqua Mountains to the north. Mossel Bay receives 80% of its rainfall at night.

Frost is rare or almost absent and snow has never been recorded on the coastal platform. Snow does, however, occasionally fall on the mountain peaks and can be seen from the town on rare occasions. Prevailing winds are westerly in winter (May - August) and easterly in summer (September - April), and rarely reach storm- or gale-force strength. The average days of sunshine are 320 days per year.

Average temperatures
Season Day time Night time
Summer (September - April) 26°C 12°C
Winter (May - August) 19°C 8°C
Climate data for Mossel Bay
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 23.5
(74.3)
23.2
(73.8)
22.3
(72.1)
21.0
(69.8)
20.1
(68.2)
19.2
(66.6)
18.6
(65.5)
18.2
(64.8)
18.4
(65.1)
19.1
(66.4)
20.5
(68.9)
22.4
(72.3)
20.6
Average low °C (°F) 18.2
(64.8)
18.1
(64.6)
17.1
(62.8)
15.2
(59.4)
13.4
(56.1)
12.2
(54.0)
11.3
(52.3)
11.3
(52.3)
12.1
(53.8)
13.5
(56.3)
15.1
(59.2)
16.9
(62.4)
14.6
Precipitation mm (inches) 30.7
(1.209)
33.1
(1.303)
40.0
(1.575)
38.1
(1.5)
38.3
(1.508)
32.1
(1.264)
32.0
(1.26)
36.6
(1.441)
40.3
(1.587)
39.2
(1.543)
35.9
(1.413)
29.3
(1.154)
426.4
(16.787)
Source: [16]

Topography

Mossel Bay straddles the Cape St Blaize peninsula (which rises to an average height of 96 metres), and spreads out along the sandy shores of the Indian Ocean, eastwards towards the town of George. The Outeniqua Mountains, which form part of the Cape Fold Belt, lie to the north of the municipal area. These mountains of sandstone and shale are characterised by gentle slopes to the seaward side (which are generally covered by montane fynbos and grasslands), and rise to a height of 1,578 m at Cradock Peak, near George (40 km feast of Mossel Bay), and 1,675 metres at Formosa Peak near Plettenberg Bay (150 km east of Mossel Bay).

To the east, the land slopes upwards towards the wave-cut platform (average elevation 245 metres) that characterises the more lush all-year-round rainfall area of the Garden Route. Here the land is mostly covered by grass and farmlands. The deep sandy soils of the western portion of the municipal area also give way to grass and farm-lands, with large stands of typically dry fynbos which are characterised by, amongst others, the Aloe ferox (also known as the bitter aloe, Cape aloe or red aloe) from which skin-care products are made locally, and the Chondropetalum tectorum (Cape or thatching reed) which is used for the roofing of traditional Cape-Dutch buildings.

The municipal area’s boundaries are the Gouritz River in the west, the Outeniqua Mountains to the north, the Maalgate River in the east, and the Indian Ocean to the south. The municipal offices are situated at latitude -34.18179 and longitude 22.139262.34°10′54″S 22°08′21″E / 34.18179°S 22.139262°E / -34.18179; 22.139262

Neighbourhoods

The municipality of Mossel Bay[15] administers an area of 2,007 km2 (775 sq mi), an area that includes the following suburbs and villages:

Glentana 34°02′52″S 22°18′52″E / 34.047806°S 22.314434°E / -34.047806; 22.314434, Outeniqua Strand (Outeniqua Beach) 34°02′54″S 22°17′18″E / 34.048224°S 22.288299°E / -34.048224; 22.288299, and Botha Strand (Botha’s Beach) 34°03′02″S 22°16′09″E / 34.050446°S 22.269244°E / -34.050446; 22.269244

These places relatively recently developed residential areas are popular for their beaches, and are well known for their excellent whale and dolphin watching — hence the establishment of a number of guest houses, bed and breakfasts,[17] and self-catering units.[18]

Great Brak River (Afrikaans: Groot Brakrivier) 34°02′24″S 22°13′17″E / 34.040107°S 22.221394°E / -34.040107; 22.221394

This is a historic village built around the Great Brak River Lagoon, about 27 km east of Mossel Bay’s CBD. It was founded by the Searle family of Surrey, England — of which the elder brother, Richard (originally a labourer), emigrated to South Africa under a Government-sponsored scheme in 1845. He arrived in Great Brak River to work for the Central Road Board in 1850.[19] Richard’s brother, Charles, and sister-in-law, Pamela, are credited with founding the village in 1859.

The Searle family went on to become toll keepers (toll houses were operated by private contractors during the 1800s), and would establish shopping, accommodation, shoe-making and timber businesses in the village.

Today, Great Brak River is chiefly a holiday destination, with beaches and the Lagoon providing the major attractions. The Island residential area is still linked to the mainland by its original, single lane bridge. 34°03′12″S 22°14′21″E / 34.053388°S 22.239118°E / -34.053388; 22.239118

Other highlights in Great Brak River include a local history museum,[20] historic buildings built between 1852 and the mid 1930s, the Wolwedans Dam, and a restored power station dating back to the early 1900s.

The 4-star Botlierskop Private Game Reserve is the biggest commercial attraction in the Great Brak area.[21]

Tergniet 34°03′55″N 22°11′32″E / 34.065245°N 22.192211°E / 34.065245; 22.192211, Reebok 34°04′35″S 22°10′10″E / 34.076514°S 22.169466°E / -34.076514; 22.169466, and Little Brak River (Klein Brakrivier) 34°05′09″S 22°09′17″E / 34.085791°S 22.15466°E / -34.085791; 22.15466

Like Outeniqua Strand and Botha Strand, the suburbs of Tergniet, Reebok, and Little Brak River are popular for their beaches, their excellent whale and dolphin watching, and guest houses, bed and breakfasts,[17] and self-catering units.[18]

Hartenbos 34°07′27″S 22°06′41″E / 34.124062°S 22.111444°E / -34.124062; 22.111444

Hartenbos (probably from the Dutch ‘hart en bosch’ — or ‘deer and bush’) is a both a residential area, and the home of one of South Africa’s most popular holiday resorts — the ATKV Hartenbos (ATKV: Afrikaans: Taal en Kultuurvereniging, or Afrikaans Language and Cultural Society).[14][22]

Hartenbos traces its history as a holiday destination to 1933, when the then South African Railways and Harbours (SAR&H - now separate divisions of Transnet)[23] opened a holiday resort for its lower-ranking employees.

The land was bought in 1936 by the ATKV, and the resort expanded and grew to the point where it now offers more than 900 beds in self-catering units,[14] as well as 570 serviced caravan stands.[14] It also boasts an Amphitheater that’s used for Afrikaans cultural events, for annual Christmas carols, and for a Christmas morning service that’s attended by thousands.

Hartenbos borders five kilometers of beach, and the Hartenbos River. Attractions and facilities include paddle boats, a ‘waterwurm’ (super tube or water slide), a fun park, and a heated swimming pool, as well as flea markets, conference facilities for up to 1,800 people (The Whale Hall), and the Hartenbos Museum,[24] which highlights the Great trek of 1838 (during which the Boers fled the Cape Colony en masse), the Commemorative Trek of 1938, and the history of Hartenbos. See below.

Voorbaai 34°08′48″S 22°06′13″E / 34.146743°S 22.103548°E / -34.146743; 22.103548

Voorbaai is an industrial area and site of the Mossel Bay’s largest shopping centre - the Langeberg Mall.[25]

kwaNonqaba 34°10′26″S 22°05′15″E / 34.173926°S 22.087584°E / -34.173926; 22.087584

kwaNonqaba is a large, lower income dormitory suburb.

D'Almeida 34°10′43″S 22°06′54″E / 34.17856°S 22.115049°E / -34.17856; 22.115049

D'Almeida is a historically important suburb that commands particularly good views of the Bay, and is characterised by stone cottages -made from material mined on the site of each home using large bonfires which were doused with water to crack the underlying rock.

Da Nova 34°10′50″S 22°07′51″E / 34.180575°S 22.130799°E / -34.180575; 22.130799

Da Nova is a dormitory suburb largely for the lower middle class.

Fraaiuitsig 34°10′22″S 22°06′56″E / 34.172839°S 22.115575°E / -34.172839; 22.115575

Fraaiuitsig is a large, middle- to upper class suburb overlooking the Bay (the name Fraaiuitsig means Beautiful View).

De Bakke 34°09′56″S 22°06′46″E / 34.165489°S 22.112678°E / -34.165489; 22.112678

De Bakke is the suburb closest to De Bakke Beach, and characterised by the large, shady De Bakke Caravan Park,[26] which is situated on the ocean’s edge.

Bay Vew 34°10′54″S 22°07′59″E / 34.181631°S 22.133117°E / -34.181631; 22.133117

Bay Vew is a middle-to upper class suburb.

Mossel Bay CBD 34°10′56″S 22°08′30″E / 34.182279°S 22.141786°E / -34.182279; 22.141786

Mossel Bay CBD is a business and residential area on the slopes above Mossel Bay Harbour; characterised by beautiful Victorian and Edwardian stone buildings built by Cornish masons who settled in the area.

Mossel Bay Extension 1 34°10′57″S 22°09′11″E / 34.182563°S 22.15297°E / -34.182563; 22.15297

Mossel Bay Extension 1 is a middle-to upper-class suburb on the slopes above the CBD.

The Point Area 34°11′03″S 22°09′28″E / 34.184213°S 22.157804°E / -34.184213; 22.157804

The Point Area, on a small plateau at the foot of the Cape St Blaize Lighthouse,[27] is a historic and popular focus of the tourism industry; it’s grassy Point Caravan Park[28] is surrounded by 6 pubs and restaurants, the 4-star The Point Hotel,[29] a shark research and exhibition aquarium,[30] mini golf, and Mossel Bay’s art deco-style war memorial. It’s also the site of Milkwood Primary School,[31] is a popular surfing spot (Inner Pool), and boasts two tidal pools (the natural rock pool in front of The Point Hotel is said to be the longest on the South African Coast).

Linkside 34°11′14″S 22°08′50″E / 34.187293°S 22.147107°E / -34.187293; 22.147107

Linkside is a middle and upper class suburb adjoining Mossel Bay Golf Course.[32]

Mossel Bay Golf Estate 34°11′28″S 22°07′37″E / 34.191021°S 22.126851°E / -34.191021; 22.126851

Mossel Bay Golf Estate is a middle and upper class housing between the fairways of the Mossel Bay Golf Course.[32]

Mossel Bay Extension 15 34°11′06″S 22°07′17″E / 34.185128°S 22.121272°E / -34.185128; 22.121272

Mossel Bay Extension 15 is a middle class dormitory suburb.

Pinnacle Point 34°12′10″S 22°05′13″E / 34.202823°S 22.086811°E / -34.202823; 22.086811

Pinnacle Point is an up-market gated residential estate interwoven with the fairways of the Pinnacle Point Golf Course.[3]

Dana Bay 34°12′05″S 22°02′49″E / 34.201332°S 22.047071°E / -34.201332; 22.047071

Dana Bay is a middle-to upper class dormitory suburb and a declared conservancy on the beachfront west of Cape St Blaize .

Nautilus Bay 34°12′52″S 21°58′29″E / 34.214322°S 21.97463°E / -34.214322; 21.97463

Nautilus Bay is a resort suburb set in the Fynbos (Cape macchia) and overlooking the ocean.

Boggoms Bay 34°15′59″S 21°54′38″E / 34.266261°S 21.910686°E / -34.266261; 21.910686

Boggoms Bay is a resort suburb characterised by whitewashed, thatched Cape-Dutch style cottages on the beachside. Forms part of the Fransmanshoek Conservancy.[33]

Vleesbaai 34°17′31″S 21°54′52″E / 34.291882°S 21.914377°E / -34.291882; 21.914377

Vleesbaai is a beachside resort Village and part of the Fransmanshoek Conservancy.[33]

Mossdustria 34°09′43″N 21°59′51″E / 34.162067°N 21.997633°E / 34.162067; 21.997633

Mossdustria is an industrial area originally developed to serve PetroSA’s (previously Mosgas’) Gas-to-Liquids Refinery.[34] Now a locus for general light engineering and manufacturing.

Herbertsdale 34°01′00″S 21°45′51″E / 34.016758°S 21.764216°E / -34.016758; 21.764216

Herbertsdale is a village and farming area north west (inland, about 60 km by road) of Mossel Bay’s CBD.

Brandwag 34°02′56″S 22°03′20″E / 34.048997°S 22.055504°E / -34.048997; 22.055504

Brandwag is a low income housing off the R328 (the main road from Mossel Bay to Oudtshoorn), and 20 km from Mossel Bay’s CBC.

Ruiterbos 33°59′05″S 22°02′43″E / 33.984666°S 22.04514°E / -33.984666; 22.04514

Ruiterbos is a rural area northwards of Mossel Bay’s CBD (inland, along the R328, about 25 km from the centre of town). The Ruiterbos Valley[35] is a tourism hub offering 4x4 trails, hiking trails, arts and crafts galleries, guest farms, horse riding (including the Outeniqua Moon Percheron Stud,[36] home to the largest herd of Percheron draft horses in South Africa), and a historic country hotel — Eight Bells Mountain Inn.[37]

Friemersheim 33°57′20″S 22°08′29″E / 33.955571°S 22.141314°E / -33.955571; 22.141314

Friemersheim is an historic mission station about 20 km north east of Mossel Bay’s CBD. Various small and micro enterprises specialising in furniture, art and crafts, soft furnishing, etc. welcome visitors.

Surrounding municipalities

George (33°57′42″S 22°27′26″E / 33.9618°S 22.457085°E / -33.9618; 22.457085) 50 km to the east of Mossel Bay, George is the regional capital of the Eden District Municipality,[38] which incorporates the Garden Route coastal area,[39] and the Klein Karoo (largest town: Oudtshoorn), the semi-arid area in the rain shadow of the Outeniqua Mountains.

Albertinia (34°12′34″S 21°35′44″E / 34.209318°S 21.595516°E / -34.209318; 21.595516) About 53 km the west of Mossel Bay, Albertinia is best known for its aloe factories, (Organic Aloe Pty. Ltd.,[40] and Aloe Ferox),[41] and as a popular game viewing destination (Garden Route Game Lodge).[42] It is also a source of thatching reeds.

Oudtshoorn (33°34′45″S 22°11′53″E / 33.579073°S 22.198162°E / -33.579073; 22.198162). About 78 km north-north-east of Mossel Bay, Oudtshoorn is the centre of the Klein (or Little) Karoo ostrich farming region. It’s also an important tourism hub, famous for its Cango Caves, game viewing (Buffelsdrift Game Lodge),[43] and its ostrich show farms — Cango Ostrich Show Farm;[44] Chandelier Game Farm;[45] Highgate Ostrich Show Farm; and Safari Ostrich Show Farm.[46] Oudtshoorn is also featured on the Route 62 Wine Route.[47]

Government

The Municipal council has 23 members. The Democratic Alliance (DA) holds a majority of 13 seats in the council, while the African National Congress (ANC) has 7.[citation needed] The Mossel Bay Council is led by executive mayor Alderlady Marie Ferreira, of the DA, who took office after the March 2006 local government elections. No single party obtained an outright majority in those elections. In Mossel Bay, the DA won 10 seats, the ANC won 8, and the Independent Civic Organisation of South Africa (ICOSA), won 3.[citation needed] The DA therefore formed a coalition with ICOSA. However, during the floor-crossing window of September 2007, the DA gained an outright majority — 13 seats — when two councillors defected from ICOSA, and one defected from the ANC. ICOSA subsequently lost its representation in the council when its last ward councillor became independent.

The Municipality is responsible for the following services:

Electricity: (supplied to 31,709 consumers in the 2009/2010 financial year): the Municipality resells electricity generated by the national utility, Eskom.

Water: the municipality’s main source of supply is the Wolwedans Dam, which is managed by the Department of Water Affairs. The Municipality also draws water from its own Ernst Robertson and Klipheuwel Dams, as well as from a network of boreholes, and an effluent water purification plant with a capacity of 5 Ml/day. A seawater desalination plant with a capacity of 15 Ml/day is under construction.

Sewerage: the majority of households in Mossel Bay are serviced by a water-borne, flush sanitation system.

Environmental health: including cleansing services, and refuse removal.

Fire, rescue and safety services: as well as law enforcement and community protection services.

Roads: the municipality is responsible for the planning, construction and maintenance of its urban road networks. The current network includes 417,9 km of paved and concreted roads, and 24 km of gravel roads.

Housing: the municipality seeks to address the housing needs of low- and middle-income families who do not have access to the commercial bond market. It acts as an agent for the South African Department of Housing in identifying potential beneficiaries, and identifying and securing suitable land for housing development. It is also active in sourcing funding, and project management. At the end of June 2010, the waiting list for housing contained 12,543 families.

Libraries: the municipality acts as the agent for the Provincial Government of the Western Cape in the management of eleven libraries (including one mobile library) in the municipal area.

Urban development and control: this includes spatial development planning, control over development and building activities, and the provision of information to property owners and developers.

Vehicle services: vehicle registration, the issue of drivers licenses, etc.

Demography

Although the number of residents is believed to have grown to about 130,000 today, the latest available official figures come from the census[48] of 2001, which showed that there were then 71,439 people living in the municipal area, of which 48.51% were coloured (mixed race), 28.46%, were white, 22.67% were black African, and 0.36% were Indian or Asian. About 77% of counted individuals were employed, and less than 8.5% were illiterate.

Approximately 73.17% spoke Afrikaans at home, 18.83% spoke IsiXhosa, 5.17% spoke English, 0.34% spoke Sesotho, 0.09% spoke Setswana, 0.06% spoke IsiZulu, 0.03% spoke Sepedi, 0.02% spoke Tshivenda, and 0.01% spoke SiSwati.

The population lived in 15,419 households, of which 78.86% were formal dwellings, 48.32% had telephones in the home, 87.86% had electricity, 89.24% had sanitation, and 68.47% had piped water to their dwellings.

Economy

Tourism

Mossel Bay has a strong tourism economy. The summer holiday season (from about mid-December to mid-January) is the busiest time of the year, and, in December 2010, the Municipality estimated that the town provided accommodation for between 50,000 and 60,000 holidaymakers per night during this period.[citation needed]

Attractions

Mossel Bay has been a beach holiday destination for South Africans for more than a century — a situation that received a particular boost after the Afrikaanse Taal en Kultuur Vereniging (ATKV)[49] bought the farm Hartenbos in the 1930s, and began developing it as a holiday resort for its members.

The major attractions were then, and (to a large extent) still are, the dry, warm and stable weather, and the Indian Ocean and its beaches. However, with good roads, modern vehicles and the development of inland accommodation, the broader environment of the area (including the Outeniqua Mountains to the north, and large stands of fynbos or Cape macchia to the west) is now vital to the tourism economy. In addition, the history of the town (Mossel Bay was the site of the first contact between European explorers and indigenous people), and its cultural attractions are important draw cards.

Mossel Bay is situated exactly half way between Cape Town (and the Cape Winelands) and Port Elizabeth (with its game reserves), and is therefore a popular stopping-off and resting point on the itineraries of international visitors to the Western and Eastern Cape Provinces.

Accommodation

Mossel Bay offers a wide range of accommodation, and is unique in that it offers beach-front accommodation for every budget — from camping and caravan sites, through self-catering apartments and resorts, to bed-and-breakfast houses, guest lodges, and luxury hotels.

The ATKV-Hartenbos (which can accommodate about 8,000 people)[14] is the largest camping, caravanning, and self-catering resort in the Western Cape Province.

Natural gas and oil

The PetroSA (Petroleum, Oil and Gas Corporation of South Africa Pty Limited) Refinery — which was commissioned as Mossgas in 1987 — is situated about 13 km to the west of the town’s central business district.

This is one of the world’s largest Gas to liquids (GTL) refineries, and has always been a leader in the challenge of commercialising the GTL processes. It produces 36,000 barrels (5,700 m3) per day (bbl/d) — a crude oil equivalent of 45,000 bbl/d (7,200 m3/d) — using the Fischer-Tropsch process of converting natural gas (which is piped from offshore fields via PetroSA’s FA Platform).

Mossel Bay’s GTL plant serves up to 15 percent of South Africa’s transport fuels requirements. It produces unleaded gasoline, ultra low sulphur diesel, kerosene, low aromatic distillates, drilling fluids, liquid petroleum gas, low sulphur fuel oil, anhydrous alcohols, liquid oxygen, liquid nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and waxes.

Transport

Road transport

Mossel Bay straddles the N2 national highway, which is South Africa’s main coastal road from Cape Town in the Western Cape Province, to Durban in KwaZulu-Natal Province. (Using this route, Mossel Bay lies exactly at the mid-point between Cape Town and the Eastern Cape Province’s capital of Port Elizabeth — 400 km each way).

The Municipality of Mossel Bay maintains 417,9 km of paved and concreted roads, and 24 km of gravel roads. Mossel Bay is a stopping point for all major road transport operators licensed for this region.[citation needed]

Harbour

The Port of Mossel Bay[50] (34°10′48″S 22°08′46″E / 34.180047°S 22.146034°E / -34.180047; 22.146034) is the smallest commercial harbour on the South African coast. It caters mostly for the oil industry (off-shore gas was discovered in late 1980s), and for a small fishing fleet, and is owned and managed by the Transnet National Ports Authority,[50] which falls directly under South Africa’s Department of Public Enterprises.[51]

The depth of the entrance channel is 8 metres, while the maximum permissible draught inside the harbour is 6.5 metres. Pilotage is compulsory from a point 2 nautical miles (3.7 km) northeast of Cape St Blaize.

Bunkering is available on the jetty and at quays 2, 3, and 5. Quay 4 can accommodate vessels of up to 130m, with a draught of 6.5m. A ship repair slipway can accommodate vessels of up to 200 tonnes. Ship chandler and stevedore services are available, as are diving services for hull cleaning, underwater inspection, salvage, etc.

The harbour has two offshore mooring buoys inside port limits: a catenary buoy mooring that caters for ships of up to 32,000DWT (maximum length 204m, draught 12m); and a single point mooring (SPM) marine tanker terminal that’s connected to three hoses for the export of products from PetroSA’s gas-to-fuel refinery, which is situated inland (about 13 km) and directly west of Mossel Bay. The SPM is located off Voorbaai in an open, unsheltered roadstead in about 21 metres of water.

During the 2008/09 financial year Mossel Bay served 1,567 vessels (mostly South African trawlers) with a combined gross tonnage of 3,317,364-gt, and handled a total of 2,014,185 tonnes of cargo (1,940,310t of bulk cargo — mostly oil products — and 73,875t of break-bulk). 773,267 tonnes of cargo was landed, and 1,240,918t was shipped.[citation needed]

15000 people worked on the synthol & refinery plant in Mossel Bay from 1998-2002 from all over the world - changing the landscape of the perception of South Africa Garden Route & giving major credence to South Africa & multi-relations to the world.

Rail

Mossel Bay is connected to the national rail network via a branch line to George. The line celebrated its centenary on 25 September, 2007.

Air: scheduled flights

Scheduled flights serving the Garden Route region use the George Airport (IATA code GRJ), which is situated 40 km east of Mossel Bay’s CBD and is owned and managed by the Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA).[52] George Airport offers scheduled flights to and from Cape Town International Airport, Durban’s King Shaka International Airport, and Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport.

Mossel Bay airfield

Mossel Bay airfield is certified by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)[53] for use by non-scheduled flights and private planes. Air traffic is controlled by George Airport.[54]

Pilot briefing
 
RWY Length Surface Notes
09 1,100m Asphalt Left circuit
27 1,100m Asphalt Left circuit
02 400m Gravel Emergency runway
20 400m Gravel Emergency runway

Facilities: control tower, taxiways, runway lights, fueling facilities, and complimentary tie-down facilities. The airfield is the home of the Mossel Bay Aero Club,[55] which has a clubhouse lounge with bar and kitchen, and braai (BBQ) areas for members’ and guests’ use. Flight training and tandem skydiving are offered.

Education

Pre-schools

Pre-primary school care is generally provided by private institutions.

Culture

Museums

Mossel Bay’s museums rank amongst its most important tourism attractions.

Dias Museum complex

The Bartolomeu Dias museum complex is the largest of the museums in Mossel Bay. It was opened on 3 February 1988. A precursor, the Mossel Bay museum (later the Post Tree Museum Complex), was opened in the 1960s.

Originally designed to celebrate the arrival of Dias and his crews on 3 February 1488, and to protect the Post Office Tree, the Complex now offers a wider look at the history of Mossel Bay from environmental, archaeological, and cultural perspectives.

The complex has seven main components:

The Post Office Tree

The Dias Museum Complex centres around an old milkwood tree (Sideroxylon inerme) that’s been used as a kind of post office since 1501.[56]

In 1500 the Portuguese noble, military commander, navigator and explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral (c. 1467 – c. 1520) headed an expedition bound for India. His aim was to create opportunities to by-pass Italian, Arab, and Turkish monopolies on the spice trade. His fleet of 13 ships first travelled westward to land to Brazil (which Cabral claimed for the Portuguese Crown), before re-provisioning, and sailing south and eastwards around the Cape of Good Hope to India.

After landing at the city of Calicut, (now Kozhikode), Cabral and his men initially established good relations with the local ruler (the Zamorin or Samoothiri), but these quickly soured, and the explorers decamped.

On the return Journey, one of the ships, under Pêro de Ataíde, (1450–1504), became separated from the fleet off Mozambique, and made for Aguada de São Brás (Mossel Bay), where de Ateide hoped to meet up with the others. Not finding them there, he wrote a letter explaining the situation in India to João da Nova (1460–1509) (whom he knew to be sailing for the east) and left it behind in the milkwood tree that would later become known as the Old Post Office Tree. (Some believe the letter was hidden in an old boot, some in an iron pot).

da Nova was the commander of the Third India Armada, which King Manuel I of Portugal had assembled in 1501 for the purposes of trade.

de Ateide’s letter must have had some effect, because the 3rd Armada, which was credited with the discovery of the uninhabited islands of Ascension and Saint Helena, also waged Portugal’s first significant naval battle in the Indian Ocean: the defeat of the Calicut fleet off Cannanore on December 31, 1501.

A post box in the shape of an old boot has now been erected under the tree, and the tree declared a national heritage site (previously ‘national monument’). Letters and cards posted here are stamped with a special commemorative frank.

It has become a tradition for visitors to Mossel Bay to send cards from the Post Office Tree, which is now one of the town’s biggest cultural attractions.[56]

The Maritime Museum

The building that now houses the Maritime Museum was erected in 1901 as a grain and sawmill,[57] and was re-designed in the early 1980s as a permanent exhibition space for a life-sized replica of the caravel which Bartolomeu Dias sailed into the Bay in 1488. The feasibility study (completed in 1982) and design for the redevelopment were conducted by Cape Town Architect Gawie Fagan.

The Maritime Museum also displays various aspects of the maritime history of the early Portuguese, Dutch, and English navigators, and houses a collection of local memorabilia.

The Caravel "Bartolomeu Dias"

The Caravel is one of the two most important draw-cards for the Dias Museum Complex (the Post Office Tree being the other).

Portugal’s Bartolomeu Dias (1451 – 24 May 1500) was the first European explorer known to have sailed round the Cape of Good Hope, which he named ‘The Cape of Storms’ (one of which would, in fact, claim his life), and the first European navigator to land on South African shores.

Dias was a nobleman and superintendent of the royal warehouses in the court of John II of Portugal. On the 10th of October, 1486, he was appointed to head an expedition to sail around the southern tip of Africa in the hope of finding both a trade route to India and the lands ruled by Prester John, the (fabled, as it would turn out) Christian priest and African leader.

In the end, Dias managed neither of his tasks, although his expedition was considered a success because it opened the way for Vasco da Gama’s 1497 voyage to India, during which he visited Mossel Bay, and became the first European to barter with the indigenous Khoisan people. (Vasco da Gama, later the 1st Count of Vidigueira and, for a short while in 1524, the Governor or Viceroy of Portuguese India, was a Portuguese explorer who sailed from Lisbon on the 8th of July, 1497, with a fleet of four ships and a crew of 170 men. He became the first navigator to make a direct voyage to India when he arrived in Kappad near Calicut, now Kozhikode, on the 20th of May 1498).

The caravel on display here was built at the shipyard of Samuel & Filhos, Lda.[58] at Vila do Conde, in Portugal and was lunched by Portugal’s First Lady, Maria de Jesus Simões Barroso Soares, on the 14th of June, 1987.

No accurate plans of any original caravels exist, so the drawings for this replica had to be extrapolated from archaeological evidence, old documents, and even mosaics of the time, a task that was undertaken by the Aporvela (the Portuguese Sail Training Association).[59]

What was known was that the carvel was a lateen-rigged, shallow-draft vessel, probably developed along the lines of 14th and 15th Century Arabic dhows of the Mediterranean Sea. The replica was built at the suggestion of a Mr. Gerald Rose, and sailed to South Africa to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Dias’ voyage.

The crew of the replica was made up of South African and Portuguese residents. The South Africans were Captain Emilio Carlos de Sousa (commander), Gawie Fagan (sailing master), Andrew Blake (navigator), Antonio Farinho, Justin Fox, Charles Latham, and Faustino Lavarhinas, while the Portuguese sailors were José Batista, Rui Casimiro, Jorge Chagas, António Gaspar, António Hipoloto, Luis Levy, Francisco Neves, Luís Pino, José Luís Rangel, and Henrique Vasconcelos.

Named the "Bartolomeu Dias", the replica left Lisbon on the 8th of November, 1987, and arrived in Mossel Bay on schedule on the 3rd of February, 1988, where she took part in the local celebrations of the nation-wide Dias88 Festival. During the festival she also visited the South African cities of Cape Town (on 24 January 1988) Port Elizabeth, East London, Port Edward, and Durban before returning to Mossel Bay, where she was dry-docked in the Maritime Museum.

Other exhibits

Navigational instruments used by the explorers of the Age of Discovery are displayed on the wall alongside the ramp leading to the bridge onto the caravel.

A large collection of maps by early cartographers includes a copy of the Cantino planisphere (1502), which is displayed in the entrance foyer. It is the oldest surviving map of Portuguese discoveries, shows the routes of the three most prominent explorers, and features a fragment of the Brazilian coast which Pedro Álvares Cabral explored in 1500. The collection also includes a copy of the Martellus Map (by Henricus Martellus Germanus), and various other early charts.

A blue and white ceramic mural in the foyer depicts the mythical figure of Adamastor, and was inspired by the epic poem Os Lusíadas (1572), by the Portuguese writer Luís de Camões (c. 1524 – June 10, 1580).

Adamastor, expelled from Olympus for his rebellion against the Gods, and condemned to be transformed into a rugged mountain at the southern tip of Africa, is both a symbol of the forces of nature, which the Portuguese explorers were forced to overcome during their voyages, and the hideous phantom known as the "Spirit of the Cape", which threatened to ruin Vasco da Gama and anyone else foolish enough to enter the Indian Ocean (which Adamastor saw as his own domain).

The mural was created by a Portuguese artist known only as ‘Gilberto’. It was completed in 1988.

An exhibition of local history occupies the top floor of the Maritime Museum.

Auditorium

The Maritime Museum is fitted with tiered bench-seating, and has excellent acoustics. It is often used for lectures and meetings, and for concerts and recitals by local and international musicians.

The Shell Museum

The Shell Museum occupies the old Shirley Building, which is named for Joe Shirley, who once used it for his plumbing business. It was built in 1902 as an extension to the old mill and served as a store house, furniture factory, and motor garage. Old concrete slabs uncovered during renovations indicated that it might also have been used as a wheelwright’s workshop at one time. It was restored to its present condition during the development of the Dias Museum Complex, and was opened as a shell museum in 1988.

The displays have been arranged in a spiral pattern to emulate the interior shape of a gastropod.

Displays on the lower level include various aquaria containing seashells and other marine invertebrates, shell-less molluscs such as sea-hares (Aplysiomorpha) nudibranchs, and marine bony fishes, as well as squid and octopi (cephalopods). A model of a giant squid (Architeuthis sp) which washed ashore at Sea Point (in Cape Town) hangs above the cephalopod tank. A touch tank provides an interactive experience of marine life along South Africa’s shores, whilst an exhibition entitled ‘Man and Mollusc’ portrays a history of man’s use of shells.

The upper-level of the Shell Museum houses South Africa’s largest collection of terrestrial, fresh water, and marine shells (collected from around the world) as well as a whale and dolphin exhibit.

The Granary

The Granary is used as the Dias Museum Complex’s reception, information, and educational centre. It is a multifunction conference room occupies about a third of the available space.

The Granary is a replica of the building that was erected on the site in 1786 by the Dutch East India Company (Dutch: Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie or VOC) to serve the local grain and wool trades. The original granary was demolished in 1949 or 1950 when a large warehouse was erected on the site for the local farmer’s co-op (Suidwestelike Landbou Ko-operasie Bpk.). When that was demolished in 1986, the foundations of the original granary were rediscovered, and the present building was erected on these.

The Granary presently houses an exhibition of the mountain passes of the Southern Cape. A live specimen table is stocked with examples of plants and flowers (mostly of the fynbos or Cape macchia) that grow in the Mossel Bay area.

The Munro’s Hoek Cottages

The two Cape Dutch style cottages in the Dias Museum Complex’s gardens are replicas, built on the original foundations, of houses which Alexander Munro built here in about 1830. Munro ran a seamen’s canteen in one of these buildings, and his family later operated a seal hunting and whaling station from the adjacent beach.

The buildings are now occupied by the Mossel Bay Archaeology Project, and are not open to the public.

The Spring

The fresh water spring which arises downhill from the Post Office Tree is the one from which Bartolomeu Dias, João da Nova, and other early explorers drew water when they put in at Mossel Bay.

Dias named it ‘Aguada de São Bras’ ("The Watering Place of St Blaize") since he landed in Mossel Bay on the 3rd of February, which is the Feast of St Blaize.

The Portuguese historian, Gaspar Correa, described the spring in 1512 as ‘flowing over a rocky verge into a small dam’. which is much the way it looks today.

The Ethno-botanic Garden, Braille Trail, and Field Gardens

The Ethno-botanic Garden (in the area immediately surrounding The Granary and the Maritime Museum) contains a collection of plants that occur naturally in the Mossel Bay area and which have been used by the Khoi, San, Coloured, (mixed-race), and the Xhosa people, and by European settlers, for shelter, food, magic, and medicinal purposes.

A Braille trail follows the edges of the planting area, and makes it possible for the visually impaired to read about, feel, and smell the plants in the collection.

The valley and beach north and east of the Post Office Tree are known collectively as Munro’s Bay. The natural garden of the area preserves the original vegetation that the early explorers would have found here, with milkwoods (Sideroxylon inerme) and wild olives (Olea capensis) the most common tree species.

The garden features a statue of Bartolomeu Dias, a grassed amphitheatre, and mock archaeology digs which are used by the SACP-4 project (South African Paleoclimate, Paleoenvironment, Paleoecology, Paleoanthropology Project)[60] to introduce local school children to the science of archaeology.

Malay Graves

The Malay graves in the grounds of the Dias Museum Complex were discovered in 1968. They face Mecca and are situated close to the Post Office Tree on land that’s indicated in the records as having been granted as a burial ground for Muslims more than 100 years previously.

One of the graves may be that of an Imam or similarly important person who was buried here after dying on board ship.

ATKV Hartenbos Museum

The ATKV Hartenbos Museum concentrates on the Great Trek of 1838 (when the Boers, dissatisfied with British rule, left the Cape Colony en mass), as well as the Symbolic Ox Wagon Trek of 1938 (a re-enactment and centenary celebration of the original event), and the history of Hartenbos itself.[24]

The Museum is well stocked with ox wagons, weapons, and other historic artefacts, and is divided into ten halls depicting various aspects of the overall theme:

  • Hall 1: Preparation for the Great Trek;
  • Hall 2: Outspan (camping and relaxing) at the end of a day’s journey;
  • Hall 3: Repairing the ox wagons;
  • Hall 4: Building the laager (a camp with the wagons drawn into a circle for protections against attack);
  • Hall 5: Relaxation during the Great Trek
  • Hall 6: Daily activities (baking bread, candle making);
  • Hall 7: Settling after the journey (featuring family worship in a Boer homestead);
  • Hall 8: The voortrekkers’ freedom struggle;
  • Hall 9: The Symbolic Ox Wagon Trek of 1938;
  • Hall 10: The History of Hartenbos.

Great Brak River Museum

The Great Brak River Museum celebrates the history of the village of Great Brak River (Afrikaans: Groot Brakrivier; established in 1859), with particular emphasis on the founding family, the Searles. Its collections include photographs dating from 1881 to the present, as well as household and military artefacts.

Historic buildings

Many old stone buildings are preserved in the old quarter of Mossel Bay (the area between Santos Beach and The Point; 34°10′40″S 22°08′34″E / 34.177743°S 22.142794°E / -34.177743; 22.142794) many of these were built by Cornish stonemasons who emigrated here in the late 19th century. Some of the more noteworthy examples are:

The Mossel Bay Pavilion (34°10′36″S 22°08′11″E / 34.176607°S 22.136279°E / -34.176607; 22.136279) is a replica of the Brighton pier head was built on Santos Beach around 1916. It now houses a restaurant and private apartments.

The Maritime Museum (34°10′48″S 22°08′31″E / 34.180015°S 22.141861°E / -34.180015; 22.141861) is part of the Dias Museum Complex. Built as a grain and wood-mill in 1901 and converted into a museum (designed by architect Gawie Fagan) in 1988 to house a replica of the caravel in which Bartolomeu Dias became the first European navigator to round the Cape of Good Hope, and also the first European to land on South African soil (which he did at Mossel Bay on 3 February 1488). The caravel was completed in Portugal 1987, and dry docked here in 1988.

The Shell Museum (34°10′50″S 22°08′29″E / 34.180674°S 22.141394°E / -34.180674; 22.141394) was built as a grain store in 1902 and converted into a museum in 1988. Known as the Shirley Building because it once housed a plumbing business belonging to a Joe Shirley. The renovation and museum were designed by architect Gawie Fagan.

The Granary (34°10′49″S 22°08′32″E / 34.180353°S 22.142338°E / -34.180353; 22.142338) is a replica of a building that was erected here in 1786 by the Dutch East India Company (Dutch: Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie or VOC) to serve the local grain and wool trades. The present building was erected in 1988, and stands on the foundations of the original granary. It serves as the reception, information, and education centre for the Dias Museum Complex.[12]

The Ochre Barn] (34°10′48″S 22°08′34″E / 34.180055°S 22.142856°E / -34.180055; 22.142856) was built in 1849 for the horses of Barry & Nephews (merchants) and restored in 2000 and 2007. It is; now part of the Protea Hotel Mossel Bay.[61]

The 1st Municipal Building (34°10′48″S 22°08′36″E / 34.180031°S 22.143422°E / -34.180031; 22.143422; now the tourism office annex) was erected in 1858 and saw service as a dance hall, telegraph office, wool store, auction house, stage coach stop, and library. The larger, 2nd building (34°10′48″S 22°08′37″E / 34.180102°S 22.143615°E / -34.180102; 22.143615; now the Crafts Art Workshop, a self-help project for local talent) was erected in 1879 and was used by the Municipality until it became a local history museum in 1975. The museum closed in 2001.

Mossel Bay Advertiser Building (34°10′51″S 22°08′35″E / 34.180761°S 22.143025°E / -34.180761; 22.143025) was built as the Standard Bank in 1902 by Cape Town architects Milne & Sladdin, and used by the bank until 1950. Now houses Mossel Bay’s weekly newspaper, the Mossel Bay Advertiser.[62]

The Vintcent Building (34°10′53″S 22°08′36″E / 34.181431°S 22.143411°E / -34.181431; 22.143411) was originally a single storey general dealers. Built between 1820 and 1824 and bought by Prince, Collison & Co. in 1850. Named the Vintcent Building after Joseph Vintcent, who bought a partnership in the company and enlarged the building in about 1859. Now houses shops and offices.

Searle's Manor (34°10′54″S 22°08′47″E / 34.18158°S 22.146461°E / -34.18158; 22.146461) was built in 1902 as a warehouse for Searle & Co. (merchants) of Great Brak River. Restored in 2005–6, it is now used for apartments and offices.

The Customs House (34°10′53″S 22°08′50″E / 34.181502°S 22.147303°E / -34.181502; 22.147303) was built 1874. The ‘wagon stone’ on the south corner was placed there to protect the building from damage by ox wagons.

Mossel Bay Boating Co. Offices (34°10′53″S 22°08′51″E / 34.181415°S 22.147571°E / -34.181415; 22.147571) was built 1901 for the company that owned and ran the harbour. The clock tower is said to have been used to time how quickly ships were loaded and unloaded. The adjoining Goods Shed (34°10′53″S 22°08′53″E / 34.181404°S 22.148019°E / -34.181404; 22.148019; built in 1900, with a clear span of 90 x 15 metres) was used as a cargo store and was at one time used as an indoor flea market.

St. Blaize Terrace houses (34°10′59″S 22°09′12″E / 34.183164°S 22.153349°E / -34.183164; 22.153349) was built in 1909 and renovated in 1986.

Cape St. Blaize Lighthouse (34°11′10″S 22°09′22″E / 34.186028°S 22.156152°E / -34.186028; 22.156152) was built 1864 to designs by the Colonial engineer, R. Robinson. The original light (on a masonry tower 20.5 metres in height) was stationary, but in 1897 a revolving, clock-work light, which required winding every three hours, was fitted. This was used until the late 1970s. The light is now fully automated.[63]

Light Type Automatic lamp-exchanger
Light Character Group flashing, showing two flashes every 15 seconds
Light Range 22 sea miles
Light Power 450,000 CD
Height of focal Plane 0 metres above high water
Position 34 11 10 South, 22 09 25 East

Cape St Blaize Cave (34°11′09″S 22°09′26″E / 34.185871°S 22.157214°E / -34.185871; 22.157214) is considered one of the most significant archaeological sites] in South Africa because it was from the findings that he made here in the 1920s that A.J.H (John) Goodwin described the Mossel Bay industry of the middle stone age (the cave was first excavated in 1888 by Sir George Leith). It remains a popular look-out spot for whale and dolphin watching because of its elevated position and easy accessibility. The St Blaize Cave marks the start of the 12.5 km St Blaize Hiking Trail, which follows a contour path along the cliffs to the west.

The War Memorial (34°11′07″S 22°09′29″E / 34.185412°S 22.158061°E / -34.185412; 22.158061) was designed by W.J. Delbridge of the Royal Institute of British Architects (ARIBA), in the style of the art deco period, and probably modeled on the cenotaph in London], Mossel Bay’s War Memorial was unveiled on the 28th of September, 1928. Plaques commemorate combatants who fell in the First and Second World Wars as well as in the Korean War, and in the South African Border War.

Visual arts

Mossel Bay has a proud tradition as a centre of excellence for the visual arts. A number of private commercial galleries exhibit and sell paintings, oils, sculptures, etc.

The Craft Arts Workshop,[64] (34°10′48″S 22°08′37″E / 34.180102°S 22.143615°E / -34.180102; 22.143615) a project piloted by Mossel Bay Tourism,[65] provides collective work space for about 12 local artists and crafters, all of whom are involved in the training, development and mentoring of colleagues from disadvantaged sectors of the local community. The Craft Arts Workshop,[64] also provides exhibition and sales space for about 50 non-resident local artists.

Performing arts

Because of its position as the premier beach holiday resort town in South Africa, Mossel Bay attracts an extraordinary number of performing artists during the summer holiday period (mid-December to Mid-January). Programmes are published on Mossel Bay Tourism’s on-line diary.[66]

A number of small theatres, including The Barnyard Mossel Bay[67] offer performances throughout the year.

Sports

Like most South African towns, Mossel Bay has a large and active sporting community.

References

  1. ^ Pinnacle Point Beach and Golf Resort.
  2. ^ Curtis W. Marean | School of Human Evolution & Social Change | Arizona State University
  3. ^ a b Pinnacle Point Beach and Golf Resort
  4. ^ Marean, C.W., Nilssen, P.J. Brown, K. Jerardino, A., Stynder, D. 2004. Paleoanthropological investigations of Middle Stone Age sites at Pinnacle Point, Mossel Bay (South Africa): Archaeology and hominid remains from the 2000 Field Season. Paleoanthropology. 1, 14-83.
  5. ^ Marean, C.W., Bar-Matthews, M, Bernatchez, J., Fisher, E., Goldberg, P., Herries, A.I.R., Jacobs, Z., Jerardino, A., Karkanas, P.., Minichillo, T., Nilssen, P.J., Thompson, E., Watts, I., Williams, H.W., 2007. Early Human use of marine resources and pigment in South Africa during the Middle Pleistocene. Nature. 449, 905-908.
  6. ^ Brown, K.S., Marean, C.W., Herries, A.I.R., Jacobs, Z., Tribolo, C., Braun, D., Roberts, D.L., Meyer, M.C., Bernatchez, J., 2009. Fire as an Engineering Tool of Early Modern Humans. Science. 325, 859-862
  7. ^ Visit Mossel Bay | Mossel Bay Museum Brings Archaeology Alive For Students | Blog Archive | Mossel Bay Tourism Accommodation Mossel Bay Real Estate Mossel Bay Restaurant Hotel...
  8. ^ 2008 Nobel Conference - Who Were the First Humans? - Nobel Conference XLIV, October 7–8, 2008 | Nobel Conference
  9. ^ Curtis Marean lecture | Nobel Conference - 2008
  10. ^ St Blaise
  11. ^ For more about the archaeology of Mossel Bay
  12. ^ a b Dias Museum Complex - Mossel Bay
  13. ^ PetroSA
  14. ^ a b c d e ATKV-Hartenbos
  15. ^ a b Mossel Bay Municipality Western Cape South Africa - www.mosselbaymun.co.za
  16. ^ "Climate statistics for Mossel Bay". WorldClimat. http://www.worldclimate.com/cgi-bin/grid.pl?gr=S34E022. 
  17. ^ a b Visit Mossel Bay | B&B’s & Guesthouses | Mossel Bay Tourism Accommodation Mossel Bay Real Estate Mossel Bay Restaurant Hotel Resort Mosselbaai
  18. ^ a b Visit Mossel Bay | Self Catering | Mossel Bay Tourism Accommodation Mossel Bay Real Estate Mossel Bay Restaurant Hotel Resort Mosselbaai
  19. ^ The Story of Great Brak River, Margaret Franklin, 1975, reprinted 2009, C. Struik Publishers, Cape Town. ISBN 0 620 01619 1.
  20. ^ Visit Mossel Bay | Great Brak River Museum | Blog Archive | Mossel Bay Tourism Accommodation Mossel Bay Real Estate Mossel Bay Restaurant Hotel Resort Mosselbaai
  21. ^ Botlierskop
  22. ^ ATKV
  23. ^ Transnet
  24. ^ a b Visit Mossel Bay | Hartenbos Museum | Blog Archive | Mossel Bay Tourism Accommodation Mossel Bay Real Estate Mossel Bay Restaurant Hotel Resort Mosselbaai
  25. ^ Langeberg Mall - Welcome to Langeberg Mall
  26. ^ Visit Mossel Bay | De Bakke Santos Caravan Park | Blog Archive | Mossel Bay Tourism Accommodation Mossel Bay Real Estate Mossel Bay Restaurant Hotel Resort Mosselbaai
  27. ^ St Blaise
  28. ^ Visit Mossel Bay | Point Caravan Park | Blog Archive | Mossel Bay Tourism Accommodation Mossel Bay Real Estate Mossel Bay Restaurant Hotel Resort Mosselbaai
  29. ^ The Point Hotel, Mossel Bay, Garden Route, Accommodation, South Africa
  30. ^ The Shark Lab Aquarium and Research Facility, Mossel Bay
  31. ^ Milkwood Primary School Point Mossel Bay South Africa Caravan Park
  32. ^ a b Mossel Bay Golf Club - Mossel Bay Golf Club
  33. ^ a b Welcome to the Fransmanshoek Conservancy
  34. ^ Untitled Page
  35. ^ Ruiterbos
  36. ^ Welcome to Outeniqua Moon Percheron stud farm | Outeniqua Moon
  37. ^ Eight Bells Mountain Inn
  38. ^ Eden District Municipality - Home
  39. ^ Garden Route South Africa Guide, Accommodation in the Garden Route South Africa
  40. ^ Welcome to Organic Aloe
  41. ^ Welcome to Aloe Ferox - South Africa, the aloe, ferox plant factory in albertinia, south africa, For hundreds of years the aloe plant has been known for its amazing properties...
  42. ^ Garden Route Game Lodge
  43. ^ Buffelsdrift Game Lodge | Garden Route - Oudtshoorn - South Africa | Malaria Free
  44. ^ Ostrich Show Farms Oudtshoorn | Guided Ostrich Tours Oudtshoorn South Africa | Ride an Ostrich
  45. ^ Oudtshoorn Accommodation South Africa Safari Game Lodge Game Drive Sundowner Tour Working Ostrich Farm Wedding Venue South Africa Restaurant Tented Accommodation Western Cape ...
  46. ^ Safari Ostrich Farm
  47. ^ CAPE ROUTE 62 - A JOURNEY TO THE UNEXPECTED
  48. ^ Statistics South Africa 2001 Census
  49. ^ Afrikaanse Taal- en Kultuurvereniging - Wikipedia
  50. ^ a b Transnet
  51. ^ Welcome to the Department of Public Enterprise
  52. ^ Airports Company South Africa - George Airport
  53. ^ CAA Website
  54. ^ [1].
  55. ^ Mossel Bay Aero Club
  56. ^ a b Dias Museum Complex - Mossel Bay
  57. ^ Dias Museum Complex - Mossel Bay
  58. ^ || Samuel & Filhos
  59. ^ Aporvela
  60. ^ South African Coastal
  61. ^ Welcome to the Old Post Tree Square - The Place that made the Garden Route famous, Mossel Bay shoreline with the majestic Outeniqua mountains
  62. ^ George Herald | First for Breaking News, Latest News from George | Garden Route | South Africa
  63. ^ St Blaize The light
  64. ^ a b Visit Mossel Bay | Craft Art Workshop | Blog Archive | Mossel Bay Tourism Accommodation Mossel Bay Real Estate Mossel Bay Restaurant Hotel Resort Mosselbaai
  65. ^ Visit Mossel Bay | Home | Mossel Bay Tourism Accommodation Mossel Bay Real Estate Mossel Bay Restaurant Hotel Resort Mosselbaai
  66. ^ Visit Mossel Bay | Calendar | Mossel Bay Tourism Accommodation Mossel Bay Real Estate Mossel Bay Restaurant Hotel Resort Mosselbaai
  67. ^ Barnyard Theatres

External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mossel Bay — Mossel Bay …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Mossel Bay —   [ mɔsl beɪ], Hafenstadt und Ferienort an der Südküste der Provinz West Kap, Republik Südafrika, 35 000 Einwohner; Fischerei und Fisch verarbeitende Industrie. Seit 1992 wird vor der Küste Erdgas gefördert und in einer Raffinerie zu Treibstoff… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Mossel Bay — 34° 10′ 55″ S 22° 08′ 02″ E / 34.1819, 22.1339 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Mossel Bay — Original name in latin Mossel Bay Name in other language MZY, Mossel Bay, Mossel Bej, Mosselbaai, Моссел Бей State code ZA Continent/City Africa/Johannesburg longitude 34.18307 latitude 22.14605 altitude 43 Population 150000 Date 2013 06 10 …   Cities with a population over 1000 database

  • Mossel Bay — geographical name city & port S Republic of South Africa in S Western Cape on Mossel Bay (inlet of Indian Ocean) population 17,574 …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Mossel Bay (Gemeinde) — Mossel Bay Mossel Bay Local Municipality Symbole …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Mossel Bay Local Municipality — Mossel Bay Municipality   Municipality   Location of Mossel Bay Local Municipality …   Wikipedia

  • Mossel Bay Golf Lodge — (Моссел Бей,Южно Африканская Республика) Категория отеля: 4 звездочный отель Адрес …   Каталог отелей

  • Mossel Bay Apartment — (Моссел Бей,Южно Африканская Республика) Категория отеля: Адрес: Da Nova Apart …   Каталог отелей

  • Mossel Bay Guest House — (Моссел Бей,Южно Африканская Республика) Категория отеля: 4 звездочный отель Адрес: 61 …   Каталог отелей


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.