Nelson Mandela Bay / Port Elizabeth is a major seaport and one of South Africa’s largest cities, situated some 770 km east of Cape Town. The city (nicknamed “The Friendly City”) is also referred to as Africa’s Watersport Capital and the “official” gateway to the scenic Eastern Cape Province and the world renowned Garden Route.
The Boardwalk in Port Elizabeth
The Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment World is a stylish location on the beachfront, which provides a mix of family fun, entertainment, shopping, dining and gaming. The complex, open 24 hours a day, is set around a series of man-made lakes and beautiful gardens lit by 40 000 Tivoli lights. The casino has 700 slot machines and 20 gaming tables, including blackjack, magic poker and roulette.
Port Elizabeth’s Bay World
The Bay World offers daily dolphin and seal presentations and the exhibits within the Oceanarium include an underwater observation area in the aquarium, a dolphin research centre, and tanks housing sharks and stingrays.
Donkin Heritage Trail and Other City Tours in Port Elizabeth
The popular Donkin Heritage Walking Trail, which encompasses 47 places of historic interest, starts with Victorian styles, followed by art nouveau, art deco and modern buildings.
Other city tours include a visit to the local shebeen, the previously illegal drinking house particular to every South African township. Alternatively, visitors can experience a “ghostly” historical tour, a haunted tour or a graveyard tour.
Kragga Kamma Game Park
The Kragga Kamma Game Park is situated just 25 minutes from the City Hall and is home to white rhinos, buffalo, cheetah, giraffe, zebra and many other species, all of which roam freely, allowing great photo opportunities. The visitors are welcome to drive through the park in their own vehicles (there is no need for a 4×4), although two-hour guided tours are also offered.
Holmeleigh Farmyard, an animal touch farm, is located off Kragga Kamma Road. The children can experience farm-life firsthand by feeding and learning about farm animals.
Algoa Bay and Whale Watching
A huge diversity of marine life can be viewed in the bay all year round, including bottlenose dolphins, Cape Fur seals, gannets and cormorants. In season, the “gentle giants of the ocean” can be spotted along the coastline: Humpback whales pass by during June and July and the Southern Right whale mates and calves in the bay from July. The Bryde’s whale is present throughout the year.
Algoa Bay, Main Beaches and Diving
The city’s main beachfront area along the Marine Drive leads to the renowned Humewood, King’s, Hobie and Pollock beaches. The 40km of golden sand, warm water, calm sea and fair breezes, make the city one of the best sailing and water sport venues in the world. Because of its excellent waves, surfers particularly favour the Pollock Beach.
The diving sites in the bay boast beautiful reefs, shipwrecks, and multitude of fish and coral species. Reefs and pinnacles range from depths of 10 to 30 meters and visibility of up to 30 meters has been recorded.
Addo National Park
Situated about 70km north of the city centre, Addo National Park offers guided or self-drive options and accommodation. It is home to more than 400 elephants as well as more than 185 species of birds, the black rhino, numerous buck species and the unique flightless dung beetle.