While on our road trip through the Garden Route in South Africa, we left Oudtshoorn early in the morning. We arrived in Mossel Bay just in time for brunch. While doing our research on visiting Mossel Bay, we realized that there were plenty of recommended restaurants in Mossel Bay and we could not wait to try them out!
For information on where to stay when visiting Mossel Bay, click here!
Brunch at the Sea Gypsy Restaurant
According to reviews on TripAdvisor and speaking to friends and colleagues who have been to Mossel Bay, the Sea Gypsy is a must-visit restaurant in Mossel Bay. The Sea Gypsy restaurant is near the Mossel Bay Harbor. It is an authentic place and fits the harbor area like a glove with decor reminding me of a fishing boat. The Sea Gypsy has wooden tables and benches as furniture. On the beams hang shipping memorabilia and fishing items, such as fishing nets. My type of place – somewhere you can kick your shoes off and just sit and relax without worrying about appearances.
The Sea Gypsy was empty when we arrived. The service was quick and efficient. It was not long before we were all sitting and eating Calamari and chips, for which the Sea Gypsy is known. The portions were large, the calamari, fish and the chips freshly fried. It was the perfect way to start the day in Mossel Bay, eating good food while watching and smelling the ocean from the large windows.
Visiting the Bartholomeu Dias Museum Complex
Not far from the Sea Gypsy is the Bartholomey Dias Museum Complex. We decided to stop here to give the kids a bit of an educational element to their holiday.
According to the website of the complex, King João (John) 11, of Portugal wanted to discover a sea route to the tip of Africa. He sent Diago Cão in 1482, but he did not find the tip of Africa. Bartholomeu Dias followed later in 1487. Apparently, Dias sailed past the southern tip of Africa without realizing it. He eventually changed his course to find land again and ended at the Gouritz River. When the waves calmed down sufficiently for him to land, he landed at Saint Blaize. Saint Blaze became Mossel Bay.
Many years later a settlement was established at Mossel Bay.
In the complex, there are five National Monuments of which 4 are buildings that date from between 1830 to 1902. The one building features a life-size replica of Dias’ Caravel, which was probably the highlight for us and the most popular item in the complex. Not only is it a life-size caravel, but everyone gets to walk on the Caravel and go down in the galley to see the sleeping quarters.
Cape St Blaize Lighthouse
When the kids heard that there was a lighthouse in Mossel Bay, they wanted to visit it immediately. I was keen too. We parked in a parking lot at the bottom of a road leading to the lighthouse. There is a nice little hike to the top of the mountain where the Cape St Blaize lighthouse is situated. There are various stopping points, and the views were magnificent. It had rained the night before, and the sand was mud, which made it slightly slippery, but there are bricks and rocks in-between to give you a firm footing.
The ocean in this area was wild with high and rough waves breaking on the rocks at the bottom of the hiking path.
Along the way, there are signs with some information on the sea life, the lighthouse and its history – very informative.
When we arrived at the top of the hiking path, we were disappointed to find the lighthouse was completely fenced in. We tried walking around, but it appears to be inaccessible to the public. This was a big disappointment for us all.
A lazy afternoon on one of Mossel Bay’s blue flag beaches
In the late afternoon, we decided to take the kids to the beach. It was a lovely summer’s day, but there was a chilly breeze, so we thought even if they didn’t swim much, they could at least build sand castles. We went to Santos Beach, which was closest to our hotel. The beach was not busy. The location is convenient; there are some restaurants located close to the beach.
The kids were brave and swam despite the cold breeze, while we built sand castles. The perfect way to spend a few hours in the sun to get much needed Vitamin D.
Traditional South-African food at Kaai 4
After the day’s exploring of Mossel Bay, we were quite tired and hungry. We went to Kaai 4 for supper. Kaai 4 is located near the Sea Gypsy in the harbor area. Kaai 4 has wooden tables, and benches for sitting on and the whole place has a rustic look and feel. You can sit there barefoot with your toes dipped in the sea sand under the tables.
At Kaai 4 all the food is cooked on an open fire. They serve many traditional South-African dishes such as roosterkoek and potjiekos. The prices are reasonable.
We were mistaken for foreigners by the cashiers and had to sit through a lesson on South African dishes before we could order. This was amusing!
The end of our day in Mossel Bay
All too soon our day in Mossel Bay came to an end. We were all tired from all the walking and exploring. One thing we all agreed on – Mossel Bay can be considered for a much longer visit on a future holiday!
Have you been to Mossel Bay or the Garden Route? What did you enjoy most about your visit there?