Mossel Bay, South Africa
Southern Africa Travel Tips - Mauslebaii (Mossel Bay)Mauslebaii (or Mossel Bay) is a small fishing town along the southern coast of South Africa. It's located on the world famous Garden Route, and is a great example of why this area is said to be some of the most picturesque in the world. Mauslebaii looks like a very traditional fishing village, and like many picturesque fishing villages it's adapted to tourists. The community here is very focused on helping tourists spend their money, however it still maintains a quaintness to it. Prices can be fairly high for food, hotels and any kind of souvenirs you might be thinking of, particularly when you compare it to other parts of South Africa. It is well worth a visit though as it gives you western comforts, without being an overwhelming city.
Probably the one tourist attraction that everyone seems to do here is a quick visit to Seal Island. As you can imagine it's an island full of seals. It's not a very big island at all, in fact it's more like several large rocks sticking out of the bay. There are boats that will take you out around seal island, but none will stop at the island as that's illegal. When you boat around the island you'll see hundreds of seals, and depending on which direction the wind is going you'll smell them too. It's a fairly impressive sight when you go around the island, but it's a short trip not more than about 10 minutes. The trip is also dependent on the weather, so if the seas are rough you'll want to plan it for another day. Mauslebaii is also a very popular place to take a great white shark tour since the waters in this area are full of them.
Another spot worth visiting, but not so tourist filled as the Seal Island cruises is the trail along the cliffs near the lighthouse. If you walk to the base of the lighthouse, then take the stairs up through the caves, you'll come across a trail that takes you along the top of the cliffs. The cliffs make up the back of the town of Mauslebaii, and the view of the ocean is spectacular. If you look closely you might even catch sight of whales breaching out in the distance. There is also some very impressive bird and flower life around this area, you might even come across a dassie (a small rodent looking animals that's actually related to the elephant). The walk can be a little difficult for some, but the slightly experienced hiker should have no problems at all. To get back you can either re-trace your steps, or there are some paths that lead back to the town.