Port Elizabeth, known as the “Friendly Cityâ€, is one of South Africa’s largest cities. Situated in the Eastern Cape, at the end of the Garden Route, it stretches along Algoa Bay and boasts one of the country’s major seaports. Visitors can expect blue-flag beaches, historic buildings, and an abundance of water sporting opportunities. Browse our accommodation for the perfect fun in the sun holiday!
Port Elizabeth was established in 1820 to house British settlers as a way of strengthening the border between the Cape Colony and the Xhosa. It was founded by Sir Rufane Shaw Donkin, the acting governor of the Cape Colony, who named it after his late wife, Elizabeth. Today, Port Elizabeth is a superb value-for-money holiday destination, offering a diversity of natural, cultural, and historical attractions. A number of spectacular accommodations await visitors to Port Elizabeth.
Port Elizabeth is fast becoming known as the “water sports capitalâ€ of South Africa. Situated along Algoa Bay’s magnificent coastline, Port Elizabeth boasts the perfect combination of warm water and protected beaches, complemented by a subtropical climate. Water sports to be enjoyed include swimming, scuba diving, fishing, surfing, windsurfing, and kite boarding. Other worthwhile water activities are sunset cruises and dolphin and whale watching tours from Port Elizabeth harbour.
Nature lovers will enjoy day trips to Addo Elephant Park (70km), the third largest park in South Africa. It is home to over 500 elephants, black rhino, Cape buffalo, lion, spotted hyena, leopard, Burchell’s zebra, and a variety of antelope. Other attractions include St George's Park, Cape Recife Nature Reserve, The Island Nature Reserve, Van Stadens Wild Flower Reserve, Groendal Wilderness Area, Kragga Kamma Game Park, and Seaview Lion Park.
For an overview of Port Elizabeth's history, do the Donkin Heritage Trail through the CBD. The trail includes "The Campanile", a bell tower built nearly 100 years ago to commemorate the 1820 Settlers, which offers a spectacular view of Port Elizabeth; the Donkin Reserve, declared a national monument; and the old stone Fort Frederick, built in 1799. Make sure to visit the Horse Memorial honouring the thousands of horses that died during the Second Boer War, Piet Retief Monument, and Prince Alfred's Guard Memorial before you leave. Other national heritage sites to visit in Port Elizabeth include the Erica Girls School Building, Pioneer's Memorial Synagogue, the Victorian houses along Newington Road, the Opera House, and Feathermarket Hall. The Old Parsonage, South African Air Force Museum, and South End Museum are also well worth a visit.
Explore the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum in St George’s Park, browse the unique arts and crafts at Wezandla Gallery and Craft Centre, or visit Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. Alternatively, shop and gamble at the Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment Complex, view the Port Elizabeth Apple Express, or visit the Bayworld Museum Complex. Other activities in Port Elizabeth include cycling tours, golfing, bird watching, and hiking.