Hiking in Mossel Bay, Western Cape
Did you know?
The Oystercatcher Trail is one of the BBC's 'Unforgettable Walks to Take Before You Die'.
In Mossel Bay you can explore the beautiful fynbos environment by tackling a number of Garden Route hiking trails. Trails vary according to difficulty and length, and you can choose between guided walks or self-exploration.
The five-day Oystercatcher Trail is very famous and bookings have to be made far in advance. Comfort is a priority on this guided, ‘slackpacking’ trek. There are three versions of the trail. Gold and silver versions are fully catered, while the green version is self-catered. You do have to carry a day pack, but that’s about it: the rest is taken care of for you.
Costs depend on the size of your group, the season and the version of the hike you choose.
The Hunter-Gatherer is the Oystercatcher’s slightly less luxurious sister hike and offers four days of coastline, sand dunes, beaches and marine life. Guides share their knowledge about the area’s Stone Age beach inhabitants as you walk.
If you are on a tight schedule, choose the Cape St Blaize trail. It’s about 13km long and starts at the car park at The Point in Mossel Bay. The contour path leads you along the spectacular cliffs towards Dana Bay.
These hikes are also likely to offer whale-watching and dolphin-spotting opportunities.
If you head into town you can explore the local architecture on the Mossel Bay Historic Walk. There are more than 50 impressive buildings on this walk and the town’s Old Quarter has well preserved buildings. A detailed map (available from the Mossel Bay Tourism Information Office) offers insights into the development of the town during the second half of the 19th century.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Mossel Bay Tourism
Tel: +27 (0)44 691 2202
How to get here
Mossel Bay is approximately 400km from Cape Town on the N2 freeway. An alternative route via Robertson takes you through Bonnievale and Swellendam − a worthwhile detour.
Best time to visit
Mossel Bay enjoys fine weather throughout the year, but the best time to see southern right and humpback whales is from May to October.
Around the area
The Koumashoek circuit starts at the top of the Robinson Pass, approximately 50km from Mossel Bay. It’s a steep, strenuous self-guided hike offset by exceptional fynbos growth and mountain ranges. At 15km, it takes roughly six hours to complete. Grab a map from the Witfontein Nature Reserve offices.
What to pack
Carry water and use a hat and sunblock.