Ethno-Botanical Garden

Ethno-Botanical Garden

This is a collection of plants that occur naturally in the Mossel Bay area and which were used by the Khoi, San, Coloured, Xhosa and European settlers for shelter, food and medicinal purposes. As well as for magic and superstitious beliefs.  The Braille trail makes it accessible to visually-impaired people so that they can read about, feel and smell the wonderful collection.

Ethno-Botanical Garden - Dias Museum Complex

The Ethno-Botanical Garden and Indigenous Field Garden

The ethno-botanical garden is a collection of plants that occur naturally in the Mossel Bay area and were used for shelter, food, medicinal and spiritual purposes. It includes a Braille trail created to make the garden experience accessible, enjoyable and educational for our visually impaired visitors.  

An indigenous field garden provides a tangible and visual experience of the unique fynbos, thicket, and milkwood forest vegetation of Mossel Bay. Aloes, bulbs, vygies, September-bush, pelargoniums, everlastings, wild olive trees and a variety of other indigenous plants are to be found here.

A live specimen display inside the Granary is stocked with examples of the indigenous plants that grow in the area. 

Fynbos is particularly well represented in the Mossel Bay area. You’ll find common species like the Cape reeds (or restio’s), as well as buchus and rarities like the Mossel Bay pincushion that flowers from April to September, and the Albertinia pincushion that flowers from July to October.

The Padrão (Stone Markers) 

The Portuguese erected crosses along the shoreline of Africa to record their presence. A stone padrão, or cross, was erected in 1969 as a replica of a wooden cross erected by Vasco da Gama at Mossel Bay in 1497.

Whale Watching in Mossel Bay

Female Southern Right whales of 8 years and older, usually calve once every three years, with a gestation period of 12 to 13 months. An adult Southern Right whale can reach a length of 15.5 meters and can weigh around 43 tonnes.

Between July and October, these whales arrive in the warmer waters of the South African south coast to calve in the calm waters of the bays near its beaches. During this time, you can watch the whales lobtailing, breaching, fluking, or spy-hopping. Whales and dolphins can sometimes be seen from the museum grounds and the veranda of the Maritime Museum. 

Other spots with prime views of the visiting whales include The Point, the St. Blaize Lighthouse and Rheebok (especially the Kusweg area). During a trip on a local whale watching boat with trained guides, you might see Southern Right or Humpback whales, Great White and other sharks, dolphins, Cape fur seals, and various seabirds. 

Marine Conservation

Whales, dolphins, seals, turtles, marine birds and many shark species, like the Great white shark are protected. Harassing, injuring or killing them is illegal. In addition, you may not own any part of their skeletons or their teeth.

Please assist us in protecting marine life. If you find a beached or injured marine animal, please contact the following numbers: 

Mossel Bay: Stranded Marine Animal Rescue Team (S.M.A.R.T.) 072 227 4715

West of Mossel Bay: 072 477 7170 or 083 462 5345

East of Mossel Bay: 071 724 2122

Best, P.B. (2007): Whales and Dolphins of the Southern African Subregion. Cambridge University Press.

Ethno-Botanical GardenEthno-Botanical Garden

COVID-19 Protocols

In accordance with our museum’s approved COVID-19 Lockdown Operational Plan, the operation times at our museum will be adjusted as needed. The museum is operated under strict lockdown rules and regulations. 

  • Visitors without masks are denied entry to the premises. 
  • Visitors are required to sanitize before entry.
  • Visitors’ temperature is tested and those who have 38°C or more are not allowed to enter the premises. 
  • The caravel is closed until further notice. 
  • The aquarium touch tank at the Shell Museum is operated like other tanks, visitors are not allowed to touch the animals. 
  • Only 100 visitors per building are allowed at a time.
Entrance Fees - Complex

Entrance Fees

Complex Entry

Adults: R 20.00
Pensioners: R 10.00
Children under 18: R 5.00

Entrance Fees - Complex & Caravel

Entrance Fees

Complex & Caravel

Adults: R 40.00
Pensioners: R 20.00
Children under 18: R 10.00

Opening Hours
  • Monday To Friday 09:00 to 16:45
  • WeekendsClosed
  • Public HolidaysClosed
  • Lockdown Level 4:Closed

Contact Info

+27 (0)44 691 1067

+27 (0)44 691 1915


1 Market Street

Mossel Bay, South Africa