Mossel Bay. Garden Route. South Africa - Roger and Pat de la Harpe Photography - Photographs, Video and Stock Images.

About 400km to the east of Cape Town on the N2 highway is Mossel Bay, a smallish town of about 130 000 residents. The area was named Mossel Bay (Mussel Bay) by the early 17th century Dutch explorer Admiral Paulus van Caerden, who came ashore in July 1601 to collect mussels from the extensive mussel beds on the shoreline. Earlier still the famous Portuguese explorer,  Bartolomeu Dias,  put in an appearance in the late 1400s in search of fresh water for his crew.

Human presence though, goes back a lot longer than this. There is evidence that shows that caves, some 15 km to the west of Mossel Bay were occupied between 170,000 and 40,000 years ago by Middle Stone Age people. And the same goes for Cape St Blaize Cave just below the lighthouse that goes by the same name, commissioned on 15 March 1864.

But, whatever the fascinating history (and it is fascinating - a visit to the museum is a must), if you are looking for a lazy, relaxing holiday, you could do a lot worse than chillin' out on Diaz or Santos beaches, taking  a wave or two on the point break or stretching the legs on the St Blaize Trail.

Check out more of our stock Garden Route photographs and drop us a line of you'd like to use any of them.

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