Situated in the southern Cape area of South Africa, Mosselbaai used to be one of the most beautiful coastal towns on the Garden Route. Long known as a quaint little fishing village waking up only at the start of the “season” — when just about everyone from the interior would converge on the seaside for Christmas and the New Year celebrations — Mosselbaai has now lost all its charm due to unbridled development. The beautiful buildings and houses built of dressed sandstone are under constant threat of demolishment to make way for modern buildings of dubious workmanship.
Also known as Mossel Bay, the name Mosselbaai literally means “Bay of Mussels”. Unfortunately most of these mussels are now gone, like the rest of our heritage. You see, the tourism industry is also trying to rewrite the history of the town by fabricating the influence of the Portuguese seafares on the development of the town. Not only is the ersatz caravel the focus of the campaigns, but now it seems that Bartholomew Diaz actually founded the town of Mossel Bay in 1488. Only he didn’t call it Mossel Bay, nor did he or any other Portuguese settle here, but that is just a technicality according to the tourism bureaux.
The area also has a rich archaeological and cultural history dating back about 350 thousand years. For an incorrect interpretation of this, a visit to the Dias Museum Complex is a definitive must! Our beautiful and highly informative Cultural History Museum was closed and vacated some years ago to make room for an Arts & Crafts shop.
If you are planning on visiting the Garden Route, then we recommend that you bypass Mosselbaai by staying on the N2.
(Note: It looks like the municipality has finally cottoned the idea of cleaning the town, albeit only certain select areas. I wonder who is taking the credit for what I've been saying all these years?)
(Further Note: I have now been publicly reprimanded by the municipality for the above text about my town. Can you spell totalitarianism? But then we should have seen it coming when they and the tourism bureau started using a Templar symbol for a logo.)
History & Heritage of Mosselbaai
- Colonial History of Mossel Bay: 1488 to 1852
- Origin of Street Names in Mossel Bay
- Facts & Fiction about Mossel Bay
- Symbols and Ignorance
- Previous text for this page.
Photographs of Mosselbaai
- Some Photographs of Mossel Bay
- Mosselbaai District, 21 July 2011
- Mosselbaai, 26 January 2011
- Mosselbaai, 12 September 2010
- Mosselbaai, 04 May 2010
- Historic Photographs & Postcards of Mossel Bay