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SSouth Africa is famous for its fynbos, and the Garden Route offers fynbos in spades. In Mossel Bay you can touch, feel and smell the Cape Floral Kingdom. For the visually impaired, a special Braille Trail in this coastal town offers access to this natural marvel.
Visually impaired people can appreciate the fynbos of Mossel Bay by visiting the Braille Trail at the Dias Museum Complex. It’s incorporated as part of the ethno-botanic garden so that the visually impaired can read about, feel and smell the plants in the collection.
The Braille Trail and field garden provide a tactile and visual experience of the unique fynbos vegetation of Mossel Bay. A live specimen display inside the Granary (a faithful replica of the building that was originally erected here in the mid-1700s) is constantly stocked with examples of the indigenous plants that grow in the area.
Fynbos is particularly well represented in the Mossel Bay area. You’ll find common species like the Cape reeds (also called the restios), as well as rarities like the Mossel Bay pincushion that flowers from April to September, and the Albertinia pincushion that flowers from July to October.
For guided tours of the fynbos, Mossel Bay boasts a number of resident tour operators and freelance tour guides – and the Oyster Bay Reserve (a community project adjacent to the Pinnacle Point Beach and Golf Resort) is open to visitors by appointment. It’s been beautifully rehabilitated, and if you’re short of time, a guided walk through its 300ha is an excellent idea – especially since it’s also close to the Pinnacle Point Caves, where some of the earliest evidence of modern human behaviour has recently begun to reveal itself.
TTravel tips & planning info
Who to contact
Dias Museum Complex
Tel: +27 (0)44 691 1067
How to get here
The Dias Museum Complex is situated at 1 Market Street in the centre of Mossel Bay.
Best time to visit
Winter and spring – June to September – are often the best times since that’s when the greatest number of species show off their colours. Museum hours are Mondays to Fridays: 9am to 4.45pm; weekends and public holidays: 9am to 3.45pm.
Things to do
The museum is full of interesting historical exhibits that tell the story of Portuguese explorer to South Africa, Bartolomeu Dias, as well as the Khoi people.
What will it cost?
Entry to the Dias Museum Complex is R20 for adults.
Length of stay
A tour of the garden takes about 1 hour.
Where to stay
Mossel Bay and the surrounding areas have many great accommodation options, including ones with sea views.
What to pack
There’s a lovely shop on site, so take some cash for souvenirs.
The Dias Museum Complex hosts educational programmes throughout the year.