Oyster Bay Reserve is a 330-hectare botanical wonder located on the outskirts of Mossel Bay. This magnificent nature reserve is dedicated to conserving, preserving and educating its visitors through a series of community projects.
One of the most exciting projects in the reserve is the Bishops Bird Hide and Dam, a local community construction project designed to blend in with the environment. The wooden structure, which is invisible to birds, is brush-packed with dried branches from local alien vegetation. This project has raised awareness about local birds and is expected to create job opportunities once bird tours start in the area.
The reserve is home to a variety of indigenous vegetation and fauna, making it a prime destination for hiking and exploring the Garden Route. Visitors can take a guided tour with a trained community ranger, who will introduce them to the local vegetation and its many uses, including traditional healing practices.
One of the key highlights of Oyster Bay Reserve is the Pinnacle Point Caves, a current archaeological dig. The caves have made headlines in the past, with Doctor Nilssen and his team revealing signs of shellfish consumption and ochre and bladelet (small tool) use that date back to modern human behavior, pre-dating any similar examples found in either Europe or the Blombos Caves near Stillbaai.
The reserve has introduced zebra through a local game exchange program, and has plans for a bee project that will produce sustainable, marketable honey and help pollinate the reserve’s flowers. A donkey cart project is also in the works, offering guided tours through the reserve.
Popular Activities and Tourist Destinations at Oyster Bay Reserve
The Oyster Bay Reserve offers a variety of activities and tourist destinations for visitors to enjoy. One of the most popular activities is hiking the trails in the reserve, where visitors can explore the indigenous vegetation and fauna of the Garden Route. The reserve is home to a diverse array of plant species, including fynbos, coastal dune forests, and wetlands, making it a prime destination for nature enthusiasts and bird-watchers.
For history buffs, the Pinnacle Point Caves are a must-visit destination. These caves are a current archaeological dig and have revealed signs of shellfish consumption and ochre and bladelet use that date back to modern human behavior, pre-dating similar examples found in either Europe or the Blombos Caves near Stillbaai. Visitors can take guided tours with trained community rangers, who will provide an in-depth look at the history and significance of the caves.
Another popular destination in the reserve is the Bishops Bird Hide and Dam, a local community construction project designed to blend in with the environment. The wooden structure, which is invisible to birds, is brush-packed with dried branches from local alien vegetation and offers an ideal spot for bird-watching.
In addition to the activities and destinations within the reserve, there are also a number of popular tourist destinations nearby. The residential townships of Dana Bay, Kwa Nonquaba, Pinnacle Point, and Heiderand are located near the reserve and offer a range of recreational activities, dining options, and shopping experiences.
Visitors can also explore the nearby beaches, including St. Blaize Trail, which is a popular spot for hiking, swimming, and sunbathing. The Garden Route is also home to a number of world-renowned golf courses, including the Pinnacle Point Golf Course, which is located near the reserve.
Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, history buff, or simply looking for a relaxing holiday, Oyster Bay Reserve and its surrounding areas offer something for everyone. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore this magnificent botanical wonder and all that the Garden Route has to offer.
The Fragrance Route
The Fragrance Route, located just a few minutes’ drive from Oyster Bay Reserve, is a 40-kilometer circular trail dotted with delightful finds in the Garden Route countryside, near the Great Brak River. This route can be visited by appointment throughout the year and offers a variety of experiences for visitors.
Highlights along the Fragrance Route include the Brothers Coffee Roastery, where you can enjoy a steaming hot coffee made with freshly roasted beans, the Kobus Halliday Car Museum with its collection of 104 classic cars, the eco-friendly Hakuna Matata Game Farm home to various antelope species and hand-raised lions, the Santa Bonné export protea farm with its magnificent flowers, the world-class Village Lodge restaurant, the Friemersheim Nursery with its stunning plants, the Shweshwe Stop shop offering clothing, accessories, gifts, homeware, and the non-electric slow-cooker PROEbag made in stunning African-style fabric, Hester Uithaler’s garden where you can sit quietly and enjoy a sweet treat and a cup of tea, and the Great Brak Museum which tells the unique history and heritage of the area.
For those interested in water sports, Mossel Bay is a harbor town nearby with popular options for shark cage diving. George is home to the acclaimed golf estate Fancourt, offering luxury experiences. For those who would like to venture further, Cape Town and its international airport are about six hours’ drive away.
Oyster Bay Reserve is located on the outskirts of Mossel Bay, between the residential townships of Dana Bay, Kwa Nonquaba, Pinnacle Point, and Heiderand. To fully experience this botanical wonder, visitors are encouraged to phone ahead and book a local guide, who will provide an unforgettable learning experience while supporting local communities.