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Vleesbaai is a seaside vacation town, situated between Mossel bay and Gouritsmond in Western Cape, South Africa. Vleesbaai is an idyllic, shell sampling, sun-drenched beach-filled holiday space in which endless beaches, safe swimming, leisurely walks, dolphin and whale spotting and the nearby Fransmans Hoek Nature Reserve all vie for attention.

The southern side of the bay of Vleesbaai is protected by the Fransmanshoek peninsula which shelters Vleesbaai from the open ocean currents. This makes for favourable swimming conditions, although there are light rip currents which bathers should be aware of, and when on-shore winds prevail, there can be an increase of blue bottles and jellyfish.

During the holiday season the beach at Vleesbaai is a hub of activity. Water sports like surfing, kayaking and kite surfing all take place, but within designated swim areas to keep swimmers safe. Among the local surfing community there is a place called “Toads” along the rocky shores of the Fransmanshoek peninsula that provides a beautiful right-hand break for surfers when conditions are right.

The tranquil sandy beaches of Vleesbaai and surrounds are ideal for long walks along the beach. It has become a favourite pastime for inhabitants, whether they are there temporarily on holiday or live there permanently, with the stretch along the beach between Vleesbaai and neighbouring Boggomsbaai proving to be one of the most popular routes in the morning and evening times. Hikers that participate in the Oystercatcher Hiking Trail from Pinnacle Point near Mossel Bay to Gouritzmond will pass through Vleesbaai on day 4 of the trail.
In Unforgettable Walks to Take Before You Die, the book in which authors Steve Watkins and Clare James rate walks worldwide, the Oystercatcher Route is one of only two South African Trails mentioned (the other is Cape Nature’s Tierkloof Trail).

Many marine animals frequent the bay and if your timing is right you will be fortunate to see schools of dolphins. Furthermore, should you visit Vleesbaai during the months of September and October you will in all likelihood see Southern Right whales and their calves taking shelter in the bay.

Walking along the shore you might come across the Oystercatcher birds, with their distinctive red beaks. They actually do not eat oysters but go for the mussels. The oystercatcher is quite a shy bird and comes out only when the beaches are clear. Oystercatchers are monogamous and will never take another partner. They live until 30 or 40 years so if a bird loses his partner, he will spend the rest of years a lonely bachelor and vice versa. Wild oysters are still to be found on the rocks exposed during low tide, however due to over harvesting by humans has left the number available quite depleted.

Motorists traveling in and around Vleesbaai must take heed of tortoises and small buck that can often be found crossing the road.
The Vleesbaai sand dunes are a popular 4x4 route, taking participants over beautiful sand dunes between Vleesbaai and Kanon (Cape Vacca). This 12 km dune route has a medium difficulty grading and provides enjoyment for drivers of varying skill levels.

Fishing is also a popular pastime in Vleesbaai and the beach in the bay provides the shore fisherman with multiple fishing spots. You can find bait and angling equipment and accessories in the local shop. The low tide also exposes “red bait” that can be harvested from the rocks. However, ensure that prior to setting out, your fishing and bait permits are current. These permits can be obtained at any post office, the closest of which is at Johnson’s Post, approximately 7.3 km westbound on the way to Gouritzmond.

Vleesbaai can be accessed by tarred road by turning off the N2 national highway onto R325 route, or alternatively there are a couple of dirt roads that offer a more direct route to Vleesbaai from the N2. Although the dirt roads are shorter in distance, the tarred roads offer more comfort. The nearest large town is Mossel Bay towards the east, a 34 km drive to the town centre from Vleesbaai via the R325 and N2, eastbound. The nearest commercial airport is 68 km away at George International Airport, which is also situated towards the east of Vleesbaai.