Mossel Bay is well-known for the Mossgas-project(PetroSA) but it is also a popular holiday destination. The town is built on a hill overlooking the Bay of Mussels and the Outeniqua Mountains. Boat cruises are available for dolphin and whale watchers and in addition, cruises are also available to Seal Island. The island is home to more than 2000 cape fur seals. Santos, the town's main beach, is very sheltered and it makes for safe swimming.
During their annual migration (July - October) a fair number of whales can be seen in the bay. Dolphins also visit Mossel Bay and sometimes up to a hundred can be seen moving through the bay in search of food.
Mossel Bay has a very comfortable climate and tourists can enjoy sailing, fishing, surfing in the bay. A very popular beach is known as the "Poort" because it is between two rocky ridges at Cape St Blaise.
Camping sites and caravan parks are available near the beach. Hikers can walk the Cape St Blaise hiking trail, which follows the coast from Bat's cave to Dana bay.
Mossel Bay was the first landfall for Bartholomew Dias after he was blown off-course by strong winds and unknowingly rounded The Cape of Good Hope in 1488. Early sailors, on their way to the east, used to place their mail in the trunk of a large milkwood tree, so that the mail could be collected by the ships returning from the east. Other sources indicate that mail was placed in an old boot under the tree. Maybe the mail was first placed in the boot and then in the trunk. Vasco da Gama, and after him other portuguese sailors, used to go ashore in Mossel Bay to replenish their water supplies from a small spring near the coast. You can still visit this spring and see numerous artifacts in the Bartholomew Dias Museum Complex. If you are interested in shells, you can visit the Shell Museum. It has a first-rate collection of shells as well as live mollusks and fish in aquariums.