Mossel Bay | Bartolomeu Dias Museum Complex

1 Market Street,
Mossel Bay

S34°10’48”, E22°08’36”

This interesting complex offers a unique experience encompassing several absorbing sites apart from the main building that houses, among other exhibits, an accurate life-size replica of the caravel that carried the Portuguese explorers here more than five centuries ago. Aspects of maritime history of the early navigators are also on display, as well as exhibitions depicting the cultural heritage of the town and district.

The valley and beach adjacent to the museum is today known as Munro’s Bay – a natural garden that preserves the original vegetation of the Mossel Bay area. This peaceful environment offers magnificent views of the bay where Bartolomeu Dias and his men landed on 3 February 1488. The famous 500-year-old Post Office Tree can be found here too (mail posted in the stone shoe under the tree gets the unique Post Office Tree frank).

Also part of the museum complex are a shell museum, an ethnobotanical garden with a Braille trail, Malay graves, the fountain described by Gaspar Correa in 1512, and a replica of the padrão (stone cross) erected by Vasco da Gama in 1497.

Bartolomeu Dias Museum Complex