Port Elizabeth

  • Port Elizabeth is the city with the most pleasant climate in South Africa. Nicknamed "the friendly city", it does indeed reserve a warm welcome for its visitors. With 800,000 inhabitants, Port Elizabeth is a very agreeable city. Standing at the edge of a bay, it is home to some interesting fauna and flora. Also next to it is Addo National Park and its elephants, black rhinos and buffalo, which are ...
    © Colin Mead / age fotostock
    Port Elizabeth

    Port Elizabeth is the city with the most pleasant climate in South Africa. Nicknamed "the friendly city", it does indeed reserve a warm welcome for its visitors. With 800,000 inhabitants, Port Elizabeth is a very agreeable city. Standing at the edge of a bay, it is home to some interesting fauna and flora. Also next to it is Addo National Park and its elephants, black rhinos and buffalo, which are ...

Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Expert destination South Africa

Port Elizabeth is the city with the most pleasant climate in South Africa. Nicknamed "the friendly city", it does indeed reserve a warm welcome for its visitors. With 800,000 inhabitants, Port Elizabeth is a very agreeable city. Standing at the edge of a bay, it is home to some interesting fauna and flora. Also next to it is Addo National Park and its elephants, black rhinos and buffalo, which are among the largest herds in the country. Port Elizabeth is also home to several monuments, such as the Campanile, a 52m high bell tower, and 7 Castle Hill Street, the oldest house in the city. As for the children, they will be overjoyed by 'The Springs', a large amusement park.
Port Elizabeth is sometimes regarded as a simple point of passage for travellers heading to Cape Town or Johannesburg; they thus miss out on discovering this peculiar city, as famous for its architectural heritage as much as it is for its nightlife. The surfing spots here are among the best in South Africa, if not the world.

Port Elizabeth: what to do?

Port Elizabeth is a must for sports enthusiasts of all kinds. Golfers, divers and water sports fans will be delighted by the bay, where you can go kayaking, surfing, water-skiing and more! The beautiful beaches are also the perfect place to relax and enjoy the day.
The natural surroundings are so enchanting that it will be almost impossible for you not to go for a hike.
You will also see the great Nelson Mandela Stadium, where most of the games of the 2010 World Cup were hosted. Those who love legendary places or who are just curious will probably want to visit or even try to see a match here.

The entire city is very pleasant to visit, and in particular the historical city centre, with its State Library, statue of Queen Victoria and City Hall building.
Addo National Park is one of the places you absolutely must visit in the region. It is a true sanctuary for endangered black rhinos, which live here along with nearly 450 elephants.
Don't miss the Humewood Museum which logically, being by the ocean, includes a splendid oceanographic section. Among the many displays you will be able to see a whale skeleton, a snake park and several model boats.
The Horse Memorial (with a special focus on the loss of this animal during the Second Boer War) is particularly interesting.
The King George VI Art Gallery comprises art works and diverse creations which make it definitely worth the visit.

  • The particularly pleasant climate.
  • The surfing spots are some of the most beautiful in the world.
  • The great diversity of possible activities.
  • Safety, or rather lack thereof, remains one of the city's negative points.
  • Sometimes the wind is very strong.

Reminders

Keep an eye on your belongings at all times.
Even though malaria is very rare in Port Elizabeth, you should still get vaccinated.

To avoid

Walking in the townships or the slums surrounding the city. Port Elizabeth is hardly a safe haven so be on your guard!
Going out without minding the weather. The Windy City deserves its nickname: the gusts sometimes blow up to 62 mph.

Port Elizabeth: what to eat?

There is lots of seafood to be enjoyed in Port Elizabeth, and the crab, squid and oysters are very tasty. The restaurants located by the beach offer a magnificent view of the sea, which means it will not only be a feast for your stomach but for yours eyes as well! Biltong, a dried meat cut into thin slices, is an especially popular speciality in the country. It is sometimes eaten with bobotie, a bread made with almonds and milk. Another popular meat is lamb, which is served in many different forms.
South Africa is renowned for its alcohol, especially for its wines, beers and liqueurs, like Amarula, a cream liquor made from the extracted sap of the African marula tree.

Port Elizabeth: what to buy?

The streets of the Boardwalk are the perfect place to do some shopping!

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