Dias Museum Complex

Top choice in Garden Route

This excellent museum offers insight into Mossel Bay's role as an early stomping ground for European sailors. Named for 15th-century Portuguese explorer Bartholomeu Dias, the museum contains the 'post office tree' where sailors left messages for one another, the 1786 Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie; VOC) granary, a small aquarium and a local history museum. The highlight is the replica of the caravel that Dias used on his 1488 voyage of discovery.

Its small size brings home the extraordinary skill and courage of the early explorers. The replica was built in Portugal and sailed to Mossel Bay in 1988 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Dias’ trip. There's an extra fee to board the boat (adult/child R20/5).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Garden Route attractions

1. Cape St Blaize Lighthouse

0.95 MILES

There are wonderful views from the lighthouse, but call ahead to ensure it's open as the hours aren't always observed. There are plans to open a coffee…

2. Botlierskop Private Game Reserve

10.27 MILES

This reserve contains a vast range of wildlife, including lions, elephants, rhinos, buffaloes and giraffes. Day visitors are welcome for a variety of…

3. George Museum

23.95 MILES

George was the hub of the indigenous timber industry and, thus, this museum contains a wealth of related artefacts.

4. Outeniqua Transport Museum

24.11 MILES

The starting point and terminus for journeys on the Outeniqua Power Van, this museum is worth a visit if you’re even remotely interested in trains. A…