“Just a small-town girl, livin’ in a lonely world. She took the midnight train goin’ anywhere…..” We all know this popular song. (Don’t Stop Believin/by Journey) Well, if you are from a small town or not, but want to get on that train or plane going ‘anywhere’, my hometown Mossel Bay is definitely a small town treasure worth the visit! Mossel Bay is a popular tourist destination with loads of activities, friendly people, rich history, pockets of beauty, treasured beaches, a mild and moderate climate (In fact, Mossel Bay has the second most moderate climate in the world next to Hawaii). It is situated about 400km east of the Mother City (a.k.a Cape Town). Now if you are direction-retarded like me, I probably lost you at ‘east’ as I was attempting to appear otherwise. So, I’d rather skip the details and get you into what’s fun in the Bay! As a writer, I could easily give you all the popular places and activities you should visit along the Garden Route, but want to urge you to say bye to boring, throw away the checklist and get off the beaten track!
Reed Valley Entertainment
“Local is Lekker” – A popular expression used by us South Africans to say that local is great (it also means tasty). I will start with the local gems you can visit and afterward point you in the direction of the “lekker” places that surround us. Personally, I think it is best to start you off with a glass of wine and a sparkle of Portuguese cuisine at Reed Valley Wines. Bartolomeu Dias was the first European/Portuguese explorer to set foot in the Bay on the 3rd of February 1488. So in honor of Portuguese travelers and explorers, let’s start here!!! Reed Valley has live music events and great entertainment throughout the year.
Drinking wine at Reed Valley
Waiting for Prime Circle to take the stage at Reed Valley.
The St Blaize hiking trail in Mossel Bay
When you have finished wining and dining, continue for 15km into Dana Bay to start walking the St Blaize Hiking Trail. (This trail is not suitable for children or the elderly. Arrange for a pick-up by the St Blaize Lighthouse at the Point where this trail ends). You will be walking for 13.5 km along the cliffs to the Point, Mossel Bay. About halfway in you can stop and catch your breath at Pinnacle Point’s Clubhouse as the trail passes it. (Pinnacle Point Estate was nominated as “South Africa’s Best Golf Course” by the World Golf Awards). It’s also home to the Point of Human Origin Caves where you’re welcome to explore/book a tour for another day!
Photo: Thomas Ashlock/Unsplash
Photo: Crystal Mah/Unsplash
Local artists in Mossel Bay
Mossel Bay is rich with local talents who have made this place their home. If you are captivated by the arts there are quite a few fantastic places for you to visit. The House of Maria attracts people far and wide. Her gallery is filled with, not only paintings but unique products and gifts designed by the artist. We also have the Yellow Door. A large gallery on the corner of Field and Bland street worth visiting. A charming coffee shop with original products made with love by Rut Art. You can take a photograph on her bright yellow-painted steps outside or at a designated wall inside the gallery. The Pink Hound is an OUT OF THE BOX experience you wouldn’t want to miss. Then a personal favorite of mine is the illustrator, Jared Kohn’s work displayed in a stylish coffee shop, The Merchant; along with the flamboyant work done by the artist, Sammy Sheppard. This gets my heart pumping with passion. These are all places you can visit, browse and get lost in if you want to return home with unique gifts for the family!
Photo: Matthew T Rader/Unsplash
Photo: Clem Onojeghuo/Unsplash
More To See And Do Close To Mossel Bay
There are loads more to explore in our small-town, the heart-warming friendliness of the locals when you go for walks. Feel free to ask the locals for help or guidance. You’ll find them eager to help. We are very proud of our little town. The above venues and activities should keep you busy for a while, but there are two more places you should really try to visit on your holiday in South Africa. It is not in Mossel Bay, but not far from it either.
The first one is Jakkalsvlei Wines (Valley of the Jackal) overlooking a picturesque vineyard. They are always so creative when it comes to their wine pairings and then their pizza is quite delicious. They have a tasty Warthog Hamburger on the menu if you’re into trying new things. We visited their Sundown Festival in April which was thick with fun-dripping atmosphere, live music, and great weather!
Botlierskop Game Reserve
Then Botlierskop is a spectacular game reserve not far from Mossel Bay. Every time I go there, I don’t want to leave!!! It is so majestic and so peaceful. The food at their restaurant is yum, the staff friendly and they have a lovely gift shop. One is able to view some of the wildlife from their restaurant. (Obviously not the lions and elephants. They are kept in separate camps or else you’ll be on the menu). You can book yourself into the Botlierskop Lodge or visit them for the day. There is a place for the kids to swim and play and an area where you can relax and catch up on your latest read. There is a Spa where you can be spoiled with a body massage and then, of course, the Game Drives (You can’t come to South Africa and not go on a Game Drive). There are also other activities, best check their website should you plan to visit!
Photo: Ales Me/Unsplash
Photo: Joachim Riegel/Unsplash
Photo: Julie Wolpers/Unsplash
Have fun! Small-town girl over and out!