Bartolomeu Dias Museum | Western Cape Government

Bartolomeu Dias Museum


The Dias Museum, one of Mossel Bay’s iconic gems, is currently under construction.

The main building of the Dias Maritime Museum will be closed to the public from 12 May 2023 until further notice. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

The Shell Museum and Aquarium are currently still open. This building houses the largest exhibit about molluscs in Africa! There are also some live molluscs and other small aquatic animals such as an octopus, apple snails, fish, lobsters and soft corals on exhibit.

Visitors can also take in the striking architecture of the museum buildings – featuring both 1900’s styling and the modern elements designed by Gabriel Fagan Architects. The magnificent blue Adamastor tiles, subtle maritime architectural features and stained-glass windows contribute to a remarkable ambience.

Other experiences visitors can look forward to include the world-famous Post Office Tree, indigenous field garden, the spring, Malay graves, the outside of the Munro cottages, the Padrao (Portuguese cross), and several large artefacts such as large antique anchors and canons on the museum grounds. Visitors can also experience the Milkwood forest and the birds and butterflies living there.

There will also be a few attractive temporary displays, including a specimen table with fresh, indigenous examples of and information about local plants.

The museum shop will be temporarily housed in the shell museum. Visitors can get a special Post Office Tree frank for free in the shop.

Entrance will be completely free during the construction period, but donations to the Friends of the Museum are welcome. Visitors can access the museum complex through the Granary entrance.

Newly renovated ablution facilities (including a modern, wheelchair-friendly room) are available.

Visitors are invited to bring along their picnic baskets and have a meal or non-alcoholic drinks in the museum garden. Santos beach will not be accessible through the museum grounds due to construction.

Thank you for your understanding, patience, constructive criticism, positive attitude and flexibility during this period. The best is still to come, and we can all look forward to an exciting new experience to celebrate our heritage.

For enquiries call 044 6911 067 or send an email to

Location: Mossel Bay , Garden Route, South Africa
Office Hours:

Museum hours are subject to change without prior notification

Monday to Friday: 09:00 - 16:45
Saturday and Public Holidays: 09:00 - 12:00
Sunday: Closed

Owned / Funded by / Endorsed by: (Western Cape Government)
Facility Category: Museums
Contact Information:
Street Address:

01 Market Street, Mossel Bay, 6500

Postal Address:

Private Bag X1, Mossel Bay, 6500

General Enquiries:
Telephone: 044 691 1067
Fax: 044 691 1915
Contact Notes:

Contact person: Ms Amanda Human

The content on this page was last updated on 23 May 2023