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Port Elizabeth travel guide
Known as 'The Friendly City', Port Elizabeth is the fifth largest South African city and the capital of the Eastern Cape.
Ideal for family holidays, Port Elizabeth is a city which feels more like a town - big enough to have everything you need but small enough to feel as right at home and welcomed.
As PE has the largest stretch of coast between Cape Town and Durban, it is a popular holiday destination for those seeking summer sun and sandy beaches. Many people end their travels up the Garden Route from Cape Town with a few nights in PE, and the Addo region, renowned for its elephants and other big game, is a very popular destination for those wanting a Big 5 safari experience to round off their South African travels.
Port Elizabeth Attractions:
Action adventure: Watersports – from kite and wind surfing to scuba diving, hang gliding and paragliding and also mountain biking, quad biking, 4x4 off road courses – just some of the adrenalin seekers’ activities available in the PE area. Iron Man takes place in PE each year, where endurance athletes compete while the streets are thronged with supporters.
Beaches: Port Elizabeth has a great selection of beaches - Hobie Beach, Humewood, Summerstrand, Kings Beach with its popular promenade and the MacArthur Baths are all great for days on the beach. Snorkeling, scuba diving, kite boarding and surfing are possible at a number of PE beaches. Go to Maitland River Mouth beach for fun on the giant sand dunes.
Culture: PE has a numerous interesting museums and galleries, from the St Croix Motor Museum for lovers of vintage automobiles, to the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum which houses a collection of South African art (specifically from the Eastern Cape), British art, international printmaking and Oriental art.
Golf: PE boasts a number of excellent golf courses including the award winning Humewood Golf Course.
Historical sites: PE has a wealth of historical sites and buildings. Look out for the Donkin Reserve, the Victorian Feather Market Square, the City Library and City Hall, the Campanile and Fort Frederick. Take a walking tour or get a registered tour guide to help you explore these and other historical sites.
Safari: Visit Addo Elephant National Park or one of the top safari lodges in the Addo region - such as the Amakhala collection - for excellent game viewing and luxury accommodation in the bush. The Kragga Kama Game Park is close to the city and offers day game drives. Thunzi Bush Lodge is another popular Eastern Cape safari lodge.
Shopping: The Greenacres Shopping complex offers all the shopping opportunities you could need, while The Boardwalk near the beach also has a host of shops plus plenty of entertainment for the whole family. The Ostrich Emporium is a fascinating place to pick up exotic items.
Township Tours: We recommend you use Calabash Tours, a Fair Trade in Tourism SA accredited company which offers ethical tours and which also gives back to the communities you'll visit. Their shebeen tour is especially popular.
Train ride: Enjoy a ride on the ever popular Apple Express
Our Portfolio of Port Elizabeth Accommodation
PE is a great stop over en route to the Wild Coast and ideal for short family breaks. Portfolio Collection offers a great selection of accommodation in Port Elizabeth, especially in attractive suburbs like Summerstrand and Walmer.
To see PE’s best side, visit during summer months, although beware of the strong afternoon winds – enjoy the beach and outdoors in the morning and choose other entertainment in the afternoon when the breeze can turn into something stronger!
Big game safari holidays in Port Elizabeth are popular year round and we can recommend some wonderful accommodation for those looking for a bush getaway.
In winter you can enjoy the sight of whales frolicking in the bay, or take advantage the cities many art and cultural opportunities, enjoy coffee at the popular Vovo Telo café and bakery - or go shopping!