Welcome to Port Elizabeth, South Africa!
Port Elizabeth, or PE, if you want to sound like a local, is the fifth largest city in South Africa. Port Elizabeth is first and foremost a place of fun and beauty. Surrounded by sandy beaches all over and beautiful year-round weather, Port Elizabeth seems like paradise--it’s surprising that more people don’t just live here. Port Elizabeth borders the Indian Ocean, and because of the yearly great weather, the water is always warm and the beaches are always brimming with locals enjoying the sun and the surf.
Port Elizabeth is a perfect place for worldwide locals who want to experience the culture, nature, and beautiful beaches, but that just scratches the surface of what Port Elizabeth has to offer. Here is an insider’s of some of the best things to do around Port Elizabeth.
Worldwide Local Tip: Thanks to the 2010 World Cup, the transportation system in Port Elizabeth has undergone a massive renovation project. If you want to get around town as a tourist, then the bus is a perfect way to do it. Taken by locals, students, and tourists alike, the system is pretty far-reaching and you’ll never have to wait longer than 15 minutes to catch a ride.
Head Straight to the Beach
Once arriving in Port Elizabeth Airport, you’ll probably want to head to where the locals do and hit the beaches. There are a lot of options for good beaches in Port Elizabeth, so picking one all depends on what you’re looking for. Humewood Beach has wading pools and water slides, while King’s Beach has kiosks and restaurants nearby and is arguably the most popular beach, in Port Elizabeth. Pollock Beach is great for those looking to do some watersports or surfing, and Hobie Beach has some cool sheltered rock pools and is great for windsurfing. No matter which you choose, there will always be something to draw you out of the hotels in Port Elizabeth--South Africa’s gorgeous beaches should definitely do the trick.
Worldwide Local Tip: If you’re up to venture out a bit, the beautiful Sardinia Beach is one of the most pristine beaches in Port Elizabeth. Since it’s a little out of the way, the beach is often quieter and sometimes deserted entirely. This is a perfect spot for long walks with your sweetheart.
For the Animal Lover
Beaches are great and all, but there is some amazing wildlife around P.E that should absolutely be a part of your visit here. Visit the gentlest giants of the world at Addo Elephant National Park. The park is outside the city and is a great experience for nature and animal lovers. Covering over 440,000 acres of parkland, the nature reserve also extends out to nearby islands off the coast. The park was established in the 1930s and started with only eleven elephants, and now it has over 600 of them. Addo Elephant National Park also has many other species of animals such as hyenas, leopards, lions, and zebras.
Worldwide Local Tip: Addo Park offers tons of great tours for the day, which includes a safari and even a tour of the grounds on horseback. A really amazing opportunity, however, is that guests are able to book a night or two in the park campsite or a cottage; stay under the stars surrounded by the sounds of nature!
Visit the Boardwalk
One of the hotspots around town that both locals and visitors enjoy is the Boardwalk. Located on a stretch of land that sits on an artificial lake, the Boardwalk is a great way to spend an afternoon out of the sun or during a rainy day. There are boutiques and specialty stores, as well as restaurants and entertainment like movie theaters, bowling alleys, swimming pools, and even a full service spa.
Worldwide Local Tip: Located on the nearby beachfront, is the South End Museum. If you’re looking for a great way to learn about the history of the area, the South End Museum traces the history of former residents of the area during apartheid. Entry is free, and it’s a great way to learn about the local culture.
Have an Unforgettable Time in Port Elizabeth, South Africa!
Whether you’re looking to lounge on the beach or to take in some of the local nature, Port Elizabeth is a beautiful place that will make worldwide locals want to spend every moment outside in the sunshine. There’s a reason why the city is known as “the friendly city,” and with amazing weather, beautiful beaches, and friendly locals, it is not hard to see why.