Welcome to our guide to the best attractions and things to do in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Nestled on the shores of the Indian Ocean, this beautiful city is known for its stunning beaches, excellent wildlife viewing opportunities, historic landmarks, and vibrant culture. Whether you’re a first-time visitor, or a seasoned traveler, Port Elizabeth has no shortage of things to do and see. In this post, we’ll take you on a journey through the top sights and experiences that this city has to offer. So, grab your sunscreen, put on your walking shoes, and get ready to explore the best of Port Elizabeth!
The 2 Best Guided Travels in Port Elizabeth
The 2 Best Guided Travels in Port Elizabeth
1. Addo Elephant National Park Full Day Tour
Get picked up from your hotel in Port Elizabeth, Bluewater Bay, or Colchester and spend a full day exploring the beautiful Addo Elephant National Park with an expert local guide. The tour includes a 3-hour game drive in the park to see the big elephants of Africa in their natural environment, as well as lions, antelopes, endangered black rhinos, and zebras. You’ll also visit the original elephant section of the park with an expert local guide. Enjoy a delicious lunch and light refreshments during the tour. The air-conditioned 4×4 Jeep will make your transportation comfortable. At the end of the tour, you will be dropped off at your pickup location in Port Elizabeth. This full day tour is a great way to feel close to nature and explore the third largest National Park in Africa. Park entry fees and tips are all included in the price.
2. Port Elizabeth Walking City Tour
Explore one of South Africa’s oldest cities on a 2-hour guided walking tour. Start at Port Elizabeth’s Campanile Memorial at the entrance of the railway station. Follow the Route 67 Arts and Heritage Trail and discover historical and modern-day elements that pay tribute to Madiba’s 67 years of service to South Africans.
Visit the Donkin Reserve at Belmont Terrace, where you can admire old Victorian churches, newly renovated terraced cottages, and a lighthouse that once guided ships into Algoa Bay. You will also see Fort Frederick, City Hall, Market Square, and St. Georges Park, which is the oldest cricket ground in South Africa.
The tour includes a pick-up and drop-off from your accommodation establishment and a professional guide who will accompany you for two and a half hours. Discover the best attractions and take in the beauty of Port Elizabeth on this enjoyable walking city tour.
Frequently Asked Questions about Port ElizabethPort Elizabeth is a beautiful coastal city in South Africa offering visitors a range of activities and attractions. Whether you are a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, you may have some questions about the city. This guide aims to answer some of the most commonly asked questions by tourists about Port Elizabeth.
1. What is the best time of year to visit Port Elizabeth?The best time to visit Port Elizabeth is between March and May or September and November, as the weather is mild and sunny during these months. However, if you prefer warmer weather, summer (December to February) is also a great time to visit as the temperature can reach up to 28°C. Keep in mind that this is also the peak tourist season, so accommodation and activities may be more expensive.
2. What are the main attractions in Port Elizabeth?Port Elizabeth offers a diverse range of attractions to suit any taste. Some of the most popular attractions in the city include:
Nature and Wildlife:
- Addo Elephant National Park
- Kragga Kamma Game Park
- Seaview Lion Park
- Kings Beach
- Hobie Beach
- Sardinia Bay Beach
Culture and History:
- The Donkin Heritage Trail
- The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum
- The South African Air Force Museum
3. Can I swim at Port Elizabeth beaches?Yes, you can safely swim at most of Port Elizabeth’s beaches, including Kings Beach and Hobie Beach. However, always pay attention to the flags indicating the conditions of the sea, and only swim in designated areas. Be aware of the strong currents on some beaches and follow the instructions of lifeguards.
4. What is the currency used in Port Elizabeth?The currency used in Port Elizabeth and throughout South Africa is the South African Rand. Most establishments in the city accept credit and debit cards, but it’s always a good idea to carry some cash for small transactions and tipping.
5. Is it safe to walk around Port Elizabeth?Port Elizabeth is generally a safe city, but like any large city, it’s always advisable to take precautions. Avoid walking alone at night in deserted areas or on unlit streets. Stick to well-lit areas and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Avoid displaying expensive items and keep your belongings close to you.
6. How do I get around Port Elizabeth?There are several ways to get around Port Elizabeth, including public transport, taxis, and car rentals. The city also has a good road network, and it’s easy to navigate. Walking and cycling are also popular options, and many attractions are within walking distance from each other.
7. What is the weather like in Port Elizabeth?Port Elizabeth has a subtropical climate, which means it has mild winters and warm summers. The average temperature in summer is 25°C, and in winter, it’s around 15°C. The city experiences mild rainfall throughout the year, but the rainy season is from June to August.
8. What language is spoken in Port Elizabeth?South Africa has 11 official languages, but English is the most widely spoken language in Port Elizabeth. Afrikaans and isiXhosa are also commonly spoken in the city.
9. What should I pack for a trip to Port Elizabeth?When packing for a trip to Port Elizabeth, it’s best to pack light, comfortable clothing, and footwear suitable for walking and outdoor activities. Be sure to pack sunscreen, a hat, and mosquito repellent, especially if you plan to go on safari or spend time outdoors. Don’t forget to bring a camera to capture the stunning scenery!
10. What are some popular food options in Port Elizabeth?Port Elizabeth has a rich culinary tradition, and there are many local and international food options available in the city. Some popular food options include:
- Fresh fish and chips
- Grilled calamari
South African Cuisine:
- Braais or BBQs
- Biltong or dried meat
- Bobotie or a traditional meat dish
How to Spend Your Time as a Tourist in Port ElizabethIf you’re planning a trip to South Africa, Port Elizabeth should definitely be on your list. Located in the Eastern Cape Province, Port Elizabeth, known as the “Friendly City,” is an ideal destination for those who want to experience the beauty of nature, wildlife, and history all in one place. In this guide, we’ll take you through how to make the most out of your visit and explore the many things to do in Port Elizabeth.
1. Visit the Wildlife
Port Elizabeth is home to a variety of wildlife reserves and parks, and it’s the perfect spot to witness animals in their natural habitats. The Addo Elephant National Park is the most popular of them all, and it’s located just an hour away from Port Elizabeth. It’s one of the only reserves in the world where you can see the Big 7, which includes lions, leopards, rhinoceros, elephants, buffalo, southern right whales, and great white sharks. Spend a full day here and you won’t regret it. Another option is the Kragga Kamma Game Park located in the city limits. This park is home to several species of animals, from giraffes and zebras to cheetahs and leopards, and offers up-close encounters with animals.
2. Dive into History
Port Elizabeth has a rich history and several museums, historic attractions, and monuments pay tribute to that. A visit to the Donkin Reserve offers a great view of the city and the beachfront, while the Horse Memorial honors the animals who served in World War I. If you’re a history buff, visit the South African Airforce Museum, which displays aircraft used in various wars and also offers visitors a chance to “fly” a simulator. For a glimpse of prehistoric times, the Bayworld museum is the place to go. It features a variety of exhibits, including a natural history museum, a snake park, and an aquarium.
3. Explore the Outdoors
There’s plenty of outdoor activities in Port Elizabeth. Take a walk on the beach, which is over six miles long, at the something beach or stroll through the St. George’s Park, the oldest park in Port Elizabeth, which is home to a bird aviary, a cricket stadium, and a garden. For some hiking, go to Baakens Valley and enjoy the nature around you. Treetop Canopy Tours offers a unique experience, allowing you to enjoy the incredible scenery from a zipline.
4. Taste the Local Cuisine
South African food is known for its exotic combinations and flavors. Port Elizabeth has a great selection of restaurants and cafes where you can try some delicious local food. Situated in the heart of the city, the Richmond Hill area has many options to offer, from cozy cafes to upscale restaurants. For something informal, try the restaurant in Victoria Park, while the Boardwalk complex has many restaurants with stunning ocean views.
5. Attend Festivals and Events
Port Elizabeth hosts several events and festivals throughout the year. From music and theater performances to sporting events, there’s always something to do. The city comes alive during the National Arts Festival every June, the Ironman competition in April, and the Summer Season series in December. Keep an eye out for upcoming events and make sure to add them to your itinerary.
Book Your Tour Now
Port Elizabeth is a welcoming city with something for everyone – wildlife enthusiasts, history buffs, nature lovers, gastronomists, and adventurers. There’s a great selection of activities to choose from, whether it’s exploring the outdoors or indulging in the local cuisine. The city’s warm weather and blue skies make it an ideal vacation destination year-round. Use this guide to plan your visit, and we guarantee that you’ll have the trip of a lifetime.
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