Port Elizabeth is known for its beautiful beaches, charming downtown area and wildlife spotting opportunities. The city sits along the shores of Nelson Mandela Bay, at the western edge of the Sunshine Coast. Founded by British settlers in the early 1800s, Port Elizabeth’s history, scenery and clean surf breaks make it a haven for backpackers, surfers, families and young couples alike.
Port Elizabeth features 25 miles (40 kilometers) of pristine beaches, which stretch along Algoa Bay and Nelson Mandela Bay. Swim in the calm waters of King’s Beach and learn about the Eastern Cape’s underwater world at Bayworld. Enjoy family-friendly beach fun at Humewood Beach, one of South Africa’s oldest Blue Flag beaches. Hobie Beach is an exciting destination for surfing, windsurfing and scuba diving. Spot migrating whales from Shark Rock Pier and join local cultural festivals.
Discover Port Elizabeth’s history on the Donkin Heritage Trail, a self-guided walk past approximately 50 historical city center sights. Among these are Market Square, Donkin Reserve, No. 7 Castle Hill Museum and the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum. Follow Route 67 to discover 67 public works of art that celebrate Nelson Mandela’s 67-year contribution to politics and anti-apartheid movements. Learn about local apartheid struggles at the South End Museum. Step onboard military aircraft at the South African Air Force Museum.
Rent a car or join an organized tour and visit the nearby wildlife centers for the chance to spot Africa’s famous “big five” animals. See buffalo, cheetahs and giraffes roaming free at Kragga Kamma Game Park. Get up close to lions at Seaview Predator Park. Find Addo Elephant Park, Amakhala Game Reserve and Shamwari Game Reserve within 90-minutes’ drive from the city.
Reach Port Elizabeth by flying to Port Elizabeth International Airport, just a 10-minute drive from the city center. Get around using public buses, low-cost taxis or a rented car. With plenty of outdoor activities, average temperatures of 63°F (17°C) and the mild water of the Indian Ocean, Port Elizabeth is a true year-round destination.