8 things to do in Mossel Bay

As the proverbial ‘ugly duckling’ of the Eden District, Mossel Bay is often overlooked for its more glamorous Garden Route neighbours. But once you see it you may never leave, says Jazz Kuschke.

Jazz glimpsed the real Mossel Bay during surf contests there back in high school. Varsity holidays spent at a friend’s house later cemented the attraction. When he had kids six years ago he decided to raise them there. Here’s why. 

The Point area is a hub of activity in Mossel Bay. Stroll the walkways to Delfino’s, adjoining Point Village, for a coffee, then watch surfing and youngsters getting wave-battered in the tidal pool. Image: Jaco Vollgraaff

DO THIS

Surf the Point. There are two main breaks: Outer Pool is for experienced surfers, while Inner Pool is more forgiving and fun. Ex-professional surfer Lu Whittaker is your go-to for coaching, advice and board rental. 0782973999

Skydive. The skilled crew from Skydive Mossel Bay will strap you into a harness, and join you for the exhilarating trip back to Earth from 3, 000 metres. They  also offer first-jump and free-fall progression courses. Tandem jumps from R3, 100. 0446951771, skydivemosselbay.com

Go sandboarding. Dragon Dune at Vleesbaai, west of town, is a steep, 300m-high adult sandbox and fun for all skill levels and ages; best on a misty morning or after rain. From R350 pp. 0829711405, dragondune.com

Step back in time at the Bartolomeu Dias Museum Complex. Clamber aboard the full-size replica of Bartolomeu Dias’s caravel, sailed here in 1988 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the original landing (Getaway editor Justin Fox was one of the crew). R40 for adults and R10 for children. 0446911067, diasmuseum.co.za

Tour the Point of Human Origins caves outside town. From R275 pp for a 90-minute tour. 0796400004, humanorigin.co.za

See sharks. There’s a good reason why so many shark documentaries have been shot in this bay. Get close by cage diving with White Shark Africa. 044-691-3796, whitesharkafrica.com. Or see them at The Shark Lab, an intimate aquarium and research facility at The Point. 0634081724 

Drive out to Jakkalsvlei, a wine farm near Herbertsdale, for award-winning wines and artisanal pizza. 0443330222. There’s also Reed Valley where you’ll find many a local hanging out on Sundays for live music, good vibes and Portuguese- type tapas. 0446981022

Indulge in a beauty treatment at Pure Aesthetics salon. 0825116606

Dias Caravel. Image: Catherine Hofmeyr

EAT HERE

The Merchant, run by Donavan Sheppard and decorated by artist wife Sammy, is the trendy spot in town. Ask the baristas for a guest-blend cortado, or a Jazz Special. 0653993850

Coffee @ Work is the morning go-to for a to-go cuppa for many locals. 0716921641

The Blue Shed has a great setting and there’s a kids’ play area. 0446910037

Stars Restaurant is a diner offering a wide-ranging menu, in-house roasted coffee and the best Wi-Fi in town. 0446903045

Carola Ann’s is an artisan eatery with a Syrian influence. 0641546393

Jackal on the Beach offers epic views, craft beers and hearty fare. 0446904567

Kaai 4 Braai. ‘Nuff said. 0799803981

STAY HERE

Climb the short trail up to the St Blaize Lighthouse for excellent views. Image: Jazz Kuschke

Point Village manages self-catering accommodation at The Point, Santos and Dias beaches. From R1 ,100 (sleeps two). 0446907782. pointvillage.co.za

The Lookout Apartment is funky mezzanine living in a quiet back street with bay views. Host Kristin McGachy also manages other properties in the area. From R700 (sleeps two). airbnb.com

Point Caravan Park. Be in the thick of the action in this perennially popular grassed and shaded site overlooking the sea. From R210 a site for six. 0446903501, mosselbay.gov.za
Hotel Portao Diaz in the suburb of D’Almeida has views over the bay. It also offers ‘township chic’ backpacker rooms and a Cultural Boma Experience with traditional fire-cooked dishes and entertainment. From R550. 0446930050, hotelportaodiaz.co.za

Where do the locals go?

  • ‘Have a single-origin Kenyan-bean cappuccino at Blue Shed.’ 0446910037 – Jasroop Virdee, restaurant manager
  • ‘The vegan chai (tea, not coffee) at Stars is the best in town. It’s a daily indulgence for me!’ 0446903045 – Sally Hooper, beauty-salon owner
  • ‘A pint or two at Delfino’s after a surf session at the Point. That view is unbeatable.’ 0446905247 – Llewellyn Whittaker, surf coach

Images: supplied

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