Port Elizabeth

Donovan Leong
Feb 12
It is the fifth largest city in South Africa, lying 770km east of Cape Town where it forms part of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.

For a panoramic view of the city, climb up to the top of Donkin lighthouse. The pyramid serves as a tribute to the wife of the founder of PE who unfortunately passed away after giving birth. The area outside the Donkin reserve is a public space for youth to gather and hang around. 

Besides history and nature, PE is also home to some of the best craft breweries. And what better way to cool down on a hot summer day by having a taste of some ice cold beer. As a NMB passholder, I signed up for a beer tour, which offered craft beer tasting at three different places including Dockside brewery. I was also introduced to the process of beer making.

Strolling around the old town

The old town has a rich British influence in the architecture and is worth checking it out. Near the town square, there is a beautiful Victorian Gothic building which is the only historic building in South Africa built as a Public Library. It is currently closed due to maintenance works as leaking pipes have been damaging the library books, but the exterior is still free for admiring.

Understanding the history of the area

Did you know the history behind the feather market centre? Go there to find out more! 

And today it has been converted into an events hall where important functions are being held.

Elephant spotting

Addo Elephant National Park is well known for spotting elephants which are abundant in the area. It is preferable you have your own transport as the safari is located on the outskirts of the city. You can get really up close to the elephants if lucky. 

It is the third-largest national park in South Africa and also incorporates St Croix and Bird islands, you can do a self-drive and camping to experience getting close to elephants in the wilderness.

diving time

Diving in the waters of the Indian Ocean is a must when you visit PE. Sometimes you can even spot sharks or dolphins in the waters. PE is known for diving in the clear blue waters of the Indian Ocean surrounded by the Algoa bay, with a variety of options such as reef and wreck dives, ragged tooth shark dives and even sardine run where you get to experience the annual sardine migration!

find out more about penguin conservation in the area

Another place to check out would be Sundays River, don’t worry about the name as it is open all days of the week. As much of an adrenaline rush as snow boarding, but available all year round, weather-independent, sand boarding at the Sundays River will give you the ultimate buzz as you ramp up the speed on near-vertical dunes. 

While skiing can only take place in winter, sand sledding is an all-year round event thanks to the dunes located just outside PE. They are formed by the weather conditions and the landscape is breathtaking indeed.

go for an educational tour at Bayworld to learn more about marine species and let your children gawk at the marine biodiversity

the boardwalk has many activities to do for the whole family, be it trying your luck at the casino to watching a play or even just strolling in the massive gardens with children in hand.

one of the best safaris in the region, go to this private game reserve to experience glamping or just to take a look at the big 5.

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