Mossel Bay – not the sleepy town you imagine.

“Nature is breathing, we can either make it or break it.”

This was a piece of wisdom by Margreth, a Dutch traveller who has been in Mossel Bay for the past five months. Falling in love with Mossel Bay was natural for Margreth, also affectionately known as Maggie. The safety and cleanliness of the streets and beaches drew her attention, and the hospitality of the locals was irresistible, thus convincing her enough to stay.

A fond memory of hers was the Buffalo Rally in March, a bike rally more commonly known as the Buff. Maggie shared that bikers, or Buffers, and locals are treated to excellent music and cultural performances. She described the Buff as “a lot of noise… but it was very nice to see.” Because it breaks any misconception that Mossel Bay is a sleepy town, the Buff is proof that this small town at the south-eastern tip of South Africa knows how to have fun!

Beside her was Monique, a South African born and raised in Mossel Bay. Monique once moved to Cape Town with her family for a few years, but had returned and has never left since. Monique excitedly recommended visiting the Bartolomeu Dias museum and the Point. The Dias museum’s diverse ethno-botanical collection cements Mossel Bay’s identity as the historical capital of South Africa, while the Point is a spectacular beach with a vantage view of the Indian Ocean. She gives two thumbs up to accessible beaches here.

Monique suggests brisk walking along the scenic route to the Point, allowing one to appreciate the golden rays of the sun that bounce off the deep blue waters as the calm waves softly crash into breathtaking natural rock formations. While Monique advises that public transportation is not very accessible, Margreth eagerly cuts in to reassure that essential facilities and landmarks can be reached easily by walking. The fresh, cool ocean breeze makes travelling around town on foot a pleasant experience.

For those coming in February or March, you are in for a treat because the annual Dias Festival, a local performing arts festival featuring artistes from all over South Africa, takes place. Starting on a Thursday, the Dias festival ends on the Sunday with a captivating gospel show.

Nature enthusiasts would be amazed to know that Mossel Bay embraces nature and environmental conservation as a lifestyle. The municipality implements town-wide projects such as community gardening, and neighbourhood clean-ups. These educate and raise awareness about people’s responsibility as caretakers of the environment. Both Maggie and Monique exuded a pride and passion I have not seen elsewhere when they exclaimed, “these are ordinary citizens cleaning [the neighbourhoods] twice a week!”

Mossel Bay has such versatility as a travel destination. Whether one is looking for cultural festivals, natural heritages, or environmental conservation, Mossel Bay has a smorgasbord of activities and facilities to offer. It certainly will not disappoint!

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