Bartolomeu Dias Museum Complex

Visit the Post Office Tree and send a card to the folks at home: your stamp will be marked with a special commemorative frank.

The Bartolomeu Dias Museum Complex is built around the Post Office Tree - the oldest post office in Africa. The Complex includes a number of major attractions:

  • The Post Office Tree  - First used as a post office by Portuguese navigators in 1500
  • Maritime Museum - Includes a replica of the caravel in which Dias rounded the Cape, and landed in Mossel Bay in 1488
  • Shell Museum - the largest shell collection in South Africa
  • The Granary - a replica of the first warehouse built in Mossel Bay
  • Dias’ Spring - from which the early navigators drew their water
  • Ethno-botanic Garden, Braille Trail, and Field Gardens - dedicated to the indigenous fynbos (Cape macchia) of the area
  • The Munro’s Hoek Cottages - replicas built on the original foundations of cottages erected in 1830; now occupied by the SACP4 Project (South African Coastal Palaeoclimate, Palaeoenvironment, Palaeoecology, and Palaeoanthropology Project), an international, multi-disciplinary study of finds from the Pinnacle Point Caves which have revealed the earliest evidence for modern human behaviour (dating back to 162,000 years ago), as well as evidence of how the local climate has changed over the period 400,000 to 30,000 years ago.
  • (Please see for more information, videos, etc. The cottages are not open to the public.)
  • Malay Graves - of unknown people from the mid 1800s: one grave may belong to an imam who died at sea.

A QR Codes Tour allows allows visitors to access extensive information about the major exhibits in the complex via their smart phone. When it opened in 2012, this was the first QR Codes Tour  in Africa: the Museum calls it the History-to-Digital Interface.

  • Download a pdf booklet on the Museums of Mossel Bay here


  • Maritime history
  • Local history
  • Live-picked fynbos flowers
  • Shells



  • Daily except Christmas Day and Good Friday.
  • Monday to Friday 09h00 - 16h45
  • Weekends and Public Holidays 09h00 - 15h45


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