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“Lacking maintenance and information”

Bartolomeu Dias Museum Complex
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4-Day Garden Route Experience with Ostrich Farm...
Ranked #4 of 30 things to do in Mossel Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 3 May 2014

We visited the museum this morning. The plant information in the ethno botanical garden does not correspond to the plants that are planted around the information boards. The Munrohoek houses are not open for visitors and they are inhabitant by people with private signs all over them. The fountain is filthy with plastic bags and paper all over it. The woman sitting on the ship was not informative at all, she was just playing on her cell phone the whole time. The shell museum was very interesting

Thank Cindy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"post office"
in 65 reviews
"replica ship"
in 25 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 31 reviews
"portuguese explorers"
in 11 reviews
"full scale"
in 6 reviews
"early explorers"
in 6 reviews
"interesting place"
in 5 reviews
"sea shells"
in 5 reviews
"great history"
in 5 reviews
"entrance fee"
in 11 reviews
"the main attraction"
in 7 reviews
"on display"
in 8 reviews
"piece of history"
in 6 reviews
"south african history"
in 6 reviews
"small aquarium"
in 8 reviews
"few hours"
in 10 reviews
"interesting visit"
in 5 reviews

376 - 380 of 573 reviews

Reviewed 1 May 2014

I visited the museum a couple of years ago and while in the area again recommended a visit to a friend who was with me in the area. Having read some of the recent comments on TripAdvisor I was concerned, but we visited the museum anyway.
I think we were lucky because it was raining and the parking attendant was not there.
An entrance fee is only payable if one wants to go onto the boat - the rest of the exhibition is free!

The 3-fold brochure available at reception contains sufficient (basic) information and is a useful guide for the visit. It includes information about the historic buildings on site and the features and monuments in the garden.

Highlights for me was the Dias caravel replica, post office tree, padrao (stone cross) and the remainder of the Maritime museum.

The caravel replica was built for an actual voyage in 1987/88 from Portugal to Mossel Bay - to commemorate Dias's journey of 500 years ago. This explains the "modern" toilet and kitchen as the crew surely did not have to endure the same circumstances as those of 500 years earlier. The remainder of the caravel is a replica of similar size and layout - and worth the visit (and fee) as it would be a shame if this cannot be maintained for future generations to see as well.

The maritime museum also contains "and exhibition ... displays the cultural heritage of the town and district". I found this to be out of place.

I also found the exhibitions in the granary and the shell museum to be very old - reminding me of primary school project attempts - and believe it is a pity that this cannot be maintained in better standard as I believe the content and message should be reserved as well.
Having said that - I thought it was interesting and all and all worth the visit.

Definitely something worthwhile to do in "not so good weather" in Mossel Bay.

Thank Karien C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 April 2014

This is supposed to be a tourist-magnet, for us it turned out to be a real disappointment. We arrived here around mid-day and the first surprise for us was that this was the first time we had to pay for parking. We came from Port Elizabeth through Oudtshoorn to Mossel Bay and passed several attractions and bigger cities and we never had to pay for parking.

Once inside you have the option of paying for a 'normal' ticket or one including going on the boat. We opted for the inclusive one. The displays everywhere are in a pretty poor condition and look very cheap, that was the first thing we noticed and not very informative. The grounds are kept nicely, but again nothing special about them. Then you go over to the building where they have the Caravel-replica and you notice this is THE attraction. A bit of a downside is that when you go inside you see quite a few modern things, like the kitchen and toilets. Not what you'd expect to see.

Next stop was the aquarium, which is the biggest disappointment of all. The individual aquariums seem too small for the animals that are in there. A lot of them seemed to have too little sand for the animals to play/hide in, whatever their preference is. The displays look cheap, unkept and a mess of things that are gathered and placed there. It is worlds apart from the 'Two Oceans Aquarium' we would visit later on in our tour through Africa.

You get the impression that the funds are either lacking, or only spent on the maintenance of the grounds and caravel, not much else. For us a place we will avoid in the future.

Thank ddoron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 March 2014

There is A LOT of reading involved if you are visiting (otherwise there isn't much else to do). Lots of history involved and the big ship was an excellent experience in getting a feel of how the sailors survived in the past. The "touching tank" is great for children and adult alike as there is quite a large variety of sea creatures one can feel. I don't know why but there is a lot of outdoor park greenery so this is also a good place to just sit down and absorb the sea views.

Thank Yoydna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 17 March 2014

After entering via the granary we were a little skeptical on what we would find in the complex. We were pleasantly surprised by the very well laid out and stocked Shell Museum as well as the museum holding the replica of the ship. All very interesting and informative. Strolling around the lawns you will come across a variety of displays / historical items (blind flora walk, whale skeleton, post office tree, etc).

Thank Rob G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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