- City Area : 251,03 km² (96.92 sq mi)
- Calling Code : +27 (0) 41
- Currency : South African Rand (ZAR)
- (EST) City Population : 312,392
- Official Languages : Afrikaans, English, Xhosa
- Time Zone : UTC/GMT+2
- Airport: Port Elizabeth International Airport
Visiting tourists with not much time and wanting to see most cities in South Africa have numerous domestic cheap flights in which to do so, that touch-down in most major cities.
Airlines landing at Port Elizabeth International Airport include:
- South African Airways
- Air Seychelles
- British Airways
- South African Express
Reasons to Visit
- Port Elizabeth (PE), well known as the friendly and the windy city, is also the fifth largest and second oldest city in the country, little wonder its major sea port was already operating back in the 1830s. Its airport is conveniently located just a few kilometres from the city. PE has everything on offer for a great vacation including more sunshine than anywhere else in South Africa. Its made up of a rich history and home to St Georges Park, the oldest cricket ground in the country and has the oldest Bowling Green. Many top sportsmen, particularly cricketers, hail from Port Elizabeth as well as playwrights, singers, songwriters, models and actresses.
- The city’s location on one end of the picturesque Garden Route advantageously provides plenty of wildlife and adventure sport activities. There are stunning beaches, dunes, wild-life sanctuaries, reserves, great spots to go hiking, mountain biking, boating, fishing, diving, surfing, whale watching and birding. The city has museums and galleries, historical monuments, restaurants, pubs and entertainment attractions to keep you enthralled and happy.
- There’s accommodation to suit every persons need and pocket. Backpackers, luxury and affordable hotels, self-catering options, holiday rentals, private lodges, guest houses, B&Bs and well established holiday resorts for caravanning and camping.
Places to Visit
- Bayworld Museum Complex located in the hub of PEs beachfront is a top city attraction that comprises a natural and cultural history Museum, a Snake Park and Oceanarium. Research and education programmes focus on maritime and local history, reptiles and marine life. The main aim of these programmes is to enhance awareness for the need of conservation. The complex is open daily from 09h00 to 16h30 excluding 25th Find out more at www.bayworld.co.za.
- Located in Summerstrand is the Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment World, currently undergoing a face-lift to the tune of R1 billion! You can try your luck on the slots or in a card game, enjoy a scrumptious meal at one of many great restaurants, relax with a coffee, check out the latest block-buster movie or stroll through shops and speciality stores.
- In the citys old hill district, for 1820 settler history and architecture, the Donkin Heritage Trail is a popular 5km trail that links 51 historical places of interest. Visitors can take a guided tour or go solo. Donkin Heritage Trail booklets are sold at the Donkin Reserve Information Office at Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism. Phone +27 (0) 41 582 2575.
- Red Location is one of the oldest settled townships in Port Elizabeth. Its name stems from the corrugated iron barrack buildings that rusted into a deep red colour. A number of political and cultural leaders were born or lived in Red Location besides it being a hide out for anti-apartheid fugitives. The Red Location Museum situated in New Brighton township, is only one of two in South Africa that specialises in apartheid history and is the only one to house an internal mausoleum. A local tour will enlighten visitors to daily life in an extraordinary township, well worth a visit. Phone +27 41 408 8400 for further enquiries.
- The South African Air Force Museum branch in Port Elizabeth displays planes from the 1930s to modern day including valuable artefacts. Its library contains more than 600 books related to aircraft and aviation while the art gallery exhibits a varied collection of works by artist Don Bell. Visit the museums workshop to see what interesting projects are currently being worked on. The museum also offers guided tours for school groups or specialised interest groups. To book phone +27 41 505 1295.
- The Kragga Kamma Game Park located within the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality is a lush coastal forest and grassland reserve that’s highly rated. You don’t need a 4×4 for a self drive, your normal car will do. For a close encounter with a predator, book a 2-hour guided tour in an open vehicle with professional guides. Additional activities include cheetah tours, birding, the forest walk and functions. The reserve has superb accommodation that blends in with nature comprising lodges suitable for families, chalets, cabins and comfortable safari tents that are en-suite with two single beds, a shower, toilet and basin, a deck, braai and view of the park. For an adult self drive the cost is R65 and R30 for scholars aged between 3 to 18 years. The guided 2-hour game drive is R185 per person. Safari tents are R250, log cabins R300, chalets R375 and lodges R425, all per person per night.
- Close to PE is the renowned Addo Elephant Park. Established in 1931 with only 11 elephants, today it has over 600 and is the country’s third largest (633 mi²) national park. Besides elephants there are lions, black rhino, buffalo, leopard, spotted hyena, numerous antelope and zebra. The park stretches from semi-arid Karoo areas over craggy mountains, through river valley mouths and includes the Bird and St Croix Island groups. This spectacular park doesn’t have the Big Five but the Big Seven, with southern right whales and great white sharks off Algoa Bay. Wet your appetite for adventure by going to the website at https://www.sanparks.org/parks/addo/.
- There are many outstanding eateries for a great night out but for a special evening of fine dining, not to be missed is the Old Austria Restaurant in Westbourne Road, Central. Once a rectory, it’s the oldest restaurant in Port Elisabeth and still run by original family members. The restaurant’s menu offers a fabulous variety of truly mouth watering dishes including classic Austrian dishes with choices from one of three menus: the main menu, the set menu or the light lunch menu. The establishment also handles private and corporate functions. Phone them on 041 373 0299 or go to oldaustria.co.za. The Bridge Street Brewery cafe bar and bistro located in South End is a great place to relax with friends, family, good food and beer in a chilled atmosphere.
The best way to get the most out of your visit is in a hired car on a good road network, especially tourists on limited time and business people attending meetings. There are numerous car hire companies based at the airport including Avis Car Rental, Hertz, First and others as well as in and around the city.
For a quick ride somewhere or night out and back to your accommodation, a metered taxi is ideal. Its best to pre-book as they’re not easy to find on the street. There’s King Cab [email protected], or Hurter Cabs [email protected] and both accept credit card payments.
Popular among locals and inexpensive, they’re most often packed with journeys either being hectic with prayers or relaxed with laughter.