Port Elizabeth  (or just PE if you want to sound South African) is South Africa's fifth largest city and is located on the Indian Ocean coast half-way between Cape Town and Durban, in the Eastern Cape, about 260 km from Knysna. Also known as the friendly city and the windy city, it tends to live up to both names.
A perfect complement to the Garden Route, the Friendly City is a major sea port and tourist destination set along the beautiful shores of Nelson Mandela Bay. The centre of the South African motor industry is spoiled by moderate and warm temperatures all year round with scattered rain throughout the year - climatic attributes which contribute to an outstanding quality of life. A popular and significant destination for water sports, Port Elizabeth also offers many historical attractions, such as the Historic Donkin Heritage trail, taking visitors along the footsteps of the 1820 settlers. British heritage is reflected in the Port Elizabeth Cricket Club, and the Oldest Bowling Green in South Africa. Port Elizabeth’s greatest treasures, however, are malaria-free wildlife areas in its vicinity, and clean beaches washed by warm water.
Port Elizabeth was founded by British settlers in 1820 and was named after the wife of Rufane Donkin, Acting Governor of the Cape Colony at that time. The city is located on the Algoa Bay and forms together with the neighboring towns of Uitenhage and Despatch the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality.
The tourist information is in the Donkin Reserve in the town center and another office at The Boardwalk (Marine Drive).
Port Elizabeth Airport is located just a few kilometres out of the city and has regular flights to Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and other South African airports. See also Discount airlines in Africa.
The central train station is in the city centre near the harbour.
Shosholoza Meyl  operates daily inter-city trains to Johannesburg and Bloemfontein. You can also get to Cape Town, Kimberley, Pietermaritzburg and Durban (by changing trains in Bloemfontein), to East London (by changing trains in Noupoort, Colesburg or Bloemfontein), to Mthatha (by changing trains in Noupoort and Amabele) or to Grahamstown (by changing trains in Alicedale).
MetroRail  operates frequent commuter trains to Uitenhage and the surrounding suburbs during weekdays, with a reduced service over weekends.
The Apple Express  is a narrow-gauge (2 feet/610 mm) tourist train that operates from a separate station in Humewood Road near King's Beach. It departs regularly for Thornhill Village via the Van Staden's River bridge, the highest narrow-gauge rail bridge in the world.
All major South African coach companies offer regular schedules to and from Port Elizabeth. The city is also on the Baz Bus route.
All the national car rental agencies have offices in the city.
- CABS Car hire 90A Hugh Road, Walmer +27 (0)21 386 5500 http://www.cabs.co.za/ email@example.com +27 (0)21 385 1110
There is a public bus transport system within the city. For the world cup 2010, the system has gone a major renovation with new buses and you wait no longer than 15 minutes to get a bus. Schedules can be obtained online on http://www.algoabus.co.za/port-elizabeth-bus-routes/route_list/schedule.aspx. Maybe the buses do not cover the nooks and crannys of the city, but then why not hop on one of the many city tours available? In Port Elizabeth, using the Public transport has not been a problem - this is used commonly by tourits, students and locals. Yes in South Africa, like in many countries in Africa and other continents, tourists should remain alert, aware of their environment and use common sense.
- Algoa Bus Company +27 (0)41 404-1200
- Hurter Cabs +27 (0)41 585-5500 firstname.lastname@example.orgCredit cards accepted.
- King Cab +27 (0)41 368-5559Credit cards accepted.
The main form of transportation for most people is the (minibus) taxi. Toyota Hiaces or VW Caravelles or the like, modified to cram in as many seats as possible, will take you across town for R4.50. Some of them are still more a road hazard than anything, but a recent clean-up in the taxi industry means that their standards are improving.
Each taxi operates on a laid-out route. They are more frequent during daytime than at night.
How to get on. Stand on the curve of a trafficked road. When a taxi approaches, it may flash its headlights to 'ask' if you want to go. Just stick your hand out.
How to get off. You might be able to tell the 'bouncer' your desired destination when you pay, but in any case just tell the driver "next stop", in a clear, firm voice, if you can make yourself heard above the music pounding from the sound system.
Note that this is not always a safe way to travel.
- As of Feb 2009, taxi strikes have become common. Taxi drivers are protesting the new transportation plans and upgrades ahead of the 2010 world cup. In early February a PE taxi protest turned violent with taxi drivers stoning buses and possibly aiding in the derailment of a train outside PE.
- Donkin Reserve In memory of Rufane Donkin and his wife Elizabeth, after whom the city is named. The lighthouse built in 1861 is open to the public. PE tourism has their office here
- Townships: organized tours are offered by the Tourist information. There is a safety concern regarding township tours though.
- Alexandria Dune FieldsThe largest coastal dune field in the southern hemisphere is located just outside PE at the villages of Colchester and Cannonville.
- Tour Nelson Mandela Bay City http://www.lathita.co.za/frameset_luxury.htm Dickens Street, Central Port Elizabeth +27 (0)41 373-7758See Town Hall, Feather Market Hall, the Old Post Office, Fort Frederick, Donkin Reserve, Settlers Park, and the Horse Memorial all in one fabulous tour.
- Wezandla African Arts and Crafts Gallery +27 (0)41 585-1185 +27 (0)41 585-1186 27 Baakens Str http://www.wezandla.comBrowse African Art
Museums, Galleries and Heritage
- South Africa Airforce Museum +27 (0)41 505-1295 +27 (0)41 505-1403 http://www.sa-transport.co.za/aircraft/saaf/museum_index.html Open 8AM to 3:30PM Mon to Fri and 10AM to 6PM on Sun Entrance is free
- Bayworld http://www.bayworld.co.za Marine Drive, Humewood +27 (0)41 584-0650 Open 9AM to 4:30PM.Has a museum, oceanarium and snake park. There are currently no dolphin performances.
- Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum 1 Park Drive, Central St George's Park entrance +27 (0)41 506-2000 http://www.artmuseum.co.za M-F 9AM-5PM, Sa-Su 2PM-5PM A selection of South African art, especially from the Eastern Cape.
- No 7 Castle Hill Museum +27 (0)41 582-2515 Open 10AM to 1PM and 2PM to 5PM, Tuesday to Friday. 2PM to 5PM on Mondays and 10AM to 1PM on Saturdays Entrance fee is R6Dating back to 1827, it is the oldest Settler cottage in PE.
- Red Location Museum +27 (0)41 408-8400 email@example.com +27 (0)41 408-8401 http://www.southafrica.info/about/history/redlocation-museum.htm 10am to 4pm Tues to Fri and 9am to 3pm Sat and Sun Adults:R12, Pensioners, Disabled and Unemployed: Free on Wed between 12pm and 4pm, Discount for studentsThe museum which bridges the past with the future
PE is a wonderful jumping-off spot for game viewing. There are elephants and other birds and animals at Addo Elephant National Park and many privately owned game reserves in the area.
- African Dawn Wildlife Sanctuary http://www.africandawnsanctuary.com African Dawn Bird and Wildlife Sanctuary offers a selection of birds and wildlife to view
- Beaches Hobie, Humewood, Kings and Wells Estate Beach are the main swimming beaches. Humewood, Wells, Kings and Hobie have all been awarded Blue Flag status .
- Algoa Bay Yacht Club http://www.abyc.org.zaHave a meal and go sailing
- Apple Express +27 (0)41 583-2030 http://www.pe.org.za/appleexpress.html R130 for adults and R60 for kids under 13A 100 km narrow gauge classic steam trip with a stop on the Van Stadens River Bridge.
- Boardwalk Casino firstname.lastname@example.org +27 (0)41 507-7777
- Kragga Kamma Game Park Follow the M15 west from the city center for about 15 minutes +27 (0)41 379-4195 http://www.kraggakamma.com Gates are open from 8AM to 5PM R30 entrance fee email@example.comYou can either sleep in the camp or take self drives during the Day. White Rhino, Buffalo, Cheetah, Giraffe, Zebra and others. Excellent value small park.
- Links Humewood Golf course http://www.humewoodgolf.co.za
- Raggy Charters +27 (0)41 378-2528 firstname.lastname@example.orgWhale Watching, Penguin Island Cruises and Fishing Charters
- The Mountain Club of South Africa +27 (0)41 365-5543 email@example.com http://eas.mcsa.org.zaClimbs, walks and a rock climbing school.
- Voetsac Hiking Club +27 (0)41 581-2109There are a number of hiking trail, and walks in and around the city: Maitland Nature Reserve, Aloe Hiking Trail and more.
- The Peoples Observatory cnr Westview and Macfarlane, Newton Park +27 (0)41 363-9040 Meetings every first and third Wednesday of the month at 8PMView the southern skies.
- Roseate Tern hiking trial +27 (0)41 585-9711 Next to Pine Lodge Resort off Marine Drive, Summerstrand9 km circular trail.
- Sandboarding +27 (0)41 586-2276 firstname.lastname@example.orgThe Maitland dune mountain is one of the largest in the country and perfect for sand boarding.
- SurfThe Pipe at Pollok Beach is where you want to go for surfing.
- Eastern Cape Wilderness Motorcycle Tour +27 (0)41 373-7785 email@example.com http://www.lathita.co.za/frameset_motorcycle.htm Central Port Elizabeth, Dickens Street A motorcycle tour starting and ending in Port Elizabeth that takes you through the superb Eastern, Southern and Western Cape regions of South Africa.
- Chelsea Mashie Golf Club Chelsea Mashie Golf (Follow the M15 west from the city center for about 15 minutes) Next to 'Kragga Kamma Game Park' +27 (0)82 774 7679 http://www.chelseamashie.co.za 33°58'41S 25°27'55E
- Sakhume Museum & Xhosa Culture Centre Human Dignity Centre On the road leading from Walmer 10th Ave to Schoenmakerskop (Victoria Drive) Beyond and opposite the Walmer Country Club. 0769786627/014-3662082 9-15H00 R20 p.p The Walmer Township is one of the only areas in south Africa that avoided forced removals. The friendly community is poised to welcome you to their culture and to show you their history. Tours leave every hour on the hour Monday to Friday from the 14th June 2010. If you contact us before visiting, we will ensure a Xhosa Culture presentation. You will also be able to view a children's project and locals will be available to take you into the township to see shacks and local life first hand.
- Pumba Private Game Reserve +27466032000 http://www.pumbagamereserve.co.za Day guests can experience the Day Safaris, which are conducted all year round. Each package is tailored to the needs and wants of the individual group, but individual safari times will depend on the season. Visitors can look forward to seeing cheetahs, rhinos, elephants, hippos, lions, buffaloes, White Lions, leopards and a host of other exiting animals.
There are a number of very good diving locations:
- Bell Buoy - Depth 12m to 18m. Colorful soft coral and a rocky bottom.
- Devil's Reef - Depth 7m with pinnacles up to 1m.
- Evan's Peak - Depth 12m to 40m. Close to St. Croix island.
- Haerlem Wreck - Depth 21m. Navy vessel sunk in 1987
- Phillips Reef - Visibility up to 10m.
- Riy Banks - Depth 18m to 40m. Coral and game fish.
- Thunderbolt Reef - Depth 15m to 30m. Orange and lilac hard coral.
- Ocean Divers International +27 (0)41 581-5121 firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.odipe.co.za 10 Albert Road, WalmerOne of the oldest dive schools in South Africa. PADI courses, own training center with indoor pool.
- Pro Dive +27 (0)41 368-7880 http://www.prodive.co.za At Hobie Beach
- Curios can be bought along the beach. Haggle down the prices though.
- African Hides can be purchased by appointment from Ostrich Emporium SA +27 (0)41 5812148.
- Siyalcha Dolls +27 (0)41 454-3465Traditional Xhoza dolls
- The Boardwalk Marine Drive, Summerstrand +27 (0)41 507-777 email@example.comOffers several shops. fast-food restaurants and a casino
- Greenacres Shopping CentreAn excellent place to spend a Saturday at around noon. There are many, many shops and plenty of restaurants. There is a lively vibe over the weekend, and the mall can be reached easily. It is also commonly refered to as "The Bridge", because it is joined to the mall of that name.
- Walmer Park Shopping CentreA nice place to eat at, and there are a few nice shops.
Brooke's Pavilion has excellent views over the beaches and ocean. Any one of the restaurants there are a good idea for breakfast with a view.
- Blue Waters Cafe http://www.bluewaterscafe.comWell priced and has an excellent view of the ocean.
- Fishmonger The Broadwalk, Marine Drive, Summerstrand +27 (0)41 583-6895Indulge yourself in succulent prawns, calamari, fish & chips and curries.
- Leonardo's The Broadwalk, Marine Drive, Summerstrand +27 (0)41 583-1302 +27 (0)41 583-1304Fantastic pizza, and has a very pleasant atmosphere.
- Mauro's Restaurant No. 1, McArthur Bath, Beach Road, Humewood +27 (0)41 582-2700 +27 (0)41 582-3629 About R100 a meal
- Ocean Grill Mercado Centre, Corner of Admiralty and Strandfontein Roads, SummerstrandSeafood restaurant with classy and elegant decor ; serves good sushi and other seafood meals.
- Old AustriaIs just off Cape Road and is one of the classier restaurants in Port Elizabeth.
- The Oyster Catcher +27 (0)41 582-1867 +27 (0)41 582-1869Located in the harbour. The seafood is particularly tasty. Very popular - if you want to get a table you must make a reservation.
- Tiffany's +27 (0)41 584-0696 Brookes Hill, Beach Road, HumewoodTea, coffee, light meals and fantastic pastries and cakes in a great location looking out over the sea.
- Ginger Restaurant Marine Drive +27415831229 http://www.ginger-restaurant.co.za The atmosphere is friendly, airy and chic and the food a combination of the finest, fresh ingredients with an Eastern Cape influence.
- Barney's Tavarn +27 (0)41 583-4500 At the BoardwalkLively pub.
- Ekhaya Pub +27 (0)41 586-1156For African Jazz
- Ibhayi Brewery Tours +27 (0)41 404-3527 firstname.lastname@example.org 47 Kohler StreetTour the beer brewery and have a couple of pints at the Bay and Barrel afterwards.
- News CafeLocated at the Boardwalk and is always lively and full. They serve good food, and it is a nice place to catch a drink.
- Blackbeards Tavern Within The Chapman Hotel http://www.chapman.co.zaDoes a splendid Seafood Extravaganza.
- Tapas Part of Brookes pavilions. Live music over weekends. Good place to get loaded on beers. Get there early if you want to sit down.
- Rasoi 79 Heugh Road, Walmer +27-41-581-0333 This is an excellent place for Indian food. The ambiance is nice, and the staff is extremely friendly. It is a great idea to catch a dinner at Rasoi when in PE.
|This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:|
|Mid-range||R500 to R1000|
Accommodation ranges from hostels to more luxury accommodation. Whatever you want, you can find without trouble.
- Kings Beach Backpackers 41 Windermere Road, Humewood +27 (0)41 585-8113 +27 (0)41 585-1693 email@example.com http://www.backpackafrica.co.za From R60 pppn Cool little backpackers with friendly staff. Check out the kitchen you have to add your name and comment to the millions added over the years by previous backpackers. The staff can arrange safari trips to [[Addo Elephant National Park|Addo]] and Schotia Safari Parks for around R1000 (be warned that this is R200 more expensive than doing it yourself, but this does include travel to and from the parks, which are approx 30 miles away.
- Lungile Backpackers firstname.lastname@example.org 12 La Roche Drive, Humewood +27 (0)41 585-2042 +27 (0)41 585-2083Offers private single/ double rooms as well as dorms and has a pool.
- Port Elizabeth Backpackers 7 Prospect Hill, Central +27 (0)41 586-0697 email@example.com http://www.pebackpackers.za.org Doubles R220, singles R150 and dorms R80pn
- Algoa Guest House 87 Brighton Drive, Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth +27 (0)41 583-3511 http://www.algoaguesthouse.co.za 3PM 11AM from R320 per person sharing We are located in the beautiful upmarket seaside suburb of Summerstrand - only 200 metres from the beach and in close proximity to the airport, university, golf course, restaurants and casino. Tourists and business people alike enjoy a relaxing stay at Algoa Guest House. All suites are private and comfortable with a mini kitchenette and their own entrances and patios. Suites are serviced daily and have free internet access, TV’s and DVD facilities.
- The Admiralty Beach House 9 Admiralty Way, Summerstrand +27 (0)41 583-1271 +27 (0)41 583-3720 firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.theadmiralty.co.za From R340Located 100m from Summerstrands Beach, near Marine Drive. It features a wonderful garden and some rooms have sea-view. ADSL is available in all rooms
- Alcyone Accommodation 29 Admiralty Way, Summerstrand +27 (0)84 693-1483 http://www.alcyone.co.za From R400Offers you self-catering accommodation in private en-suite units that sleep 2max, family unit sleeping 4-5, and a 1 bedroom appartment with views sleeping max 3; 500m from the beach, close to the Humewood Golf course and Hobbie Beach; self-contained, fully equipped and with complimentary Wi-Fi
- At Sta-Plus Guest House email@example.com 11A 10th Avenue, Summerstrand +27 (0)41 583-34112 http://www.atstaplus.comLarge sheltered swimming pool, BBQ facilities, off-street parking, laundry service. 150m from Pollock Beach, 5 min from golf course, university, or boardwalk casino.
- Beachwalk B&B +27 (0)41 583-3594 firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.beachwalk.co.za 1 Second Ave, Summerstrand From R250 pp sharing60m from the beach and 400m from the Boardwalk. 4 star
- Bishops Inn 14 Killarney Road +27 (0)41 585-6828 http://www.bishopsinn.co.za 2:30PM 10:30AM From R540 to R1200 per unit per night 33°58'29.81S 25°38'26.95E +27 (0)41 585-6850 bishopsinn email@example.comBishops Inn offers superior rooms and 1&2-Bedroom self-catering suites opposite Kings Beach. All rooms have Wi-Fi access.
- Conifer Beach House firstname.lastname@example.org 39 Windermere Road, Humewood http://www.conifer.co.za +27(0)41 585-5959 4 Star accommodation. Saltwater swimming pool, 2 minutes walk from Kings Beach, off-street parking, laundry service, WiFi. Close to golf course, university and boardwalk casino.
- Edward Protea Hotel Belmont Terrace +27 (0)41 586-2056 +27 (0)41 586-4925Located on the northern end of the Donkin Reserve. May have seen better times but still offers Edwardian style and wonderful views over the Donkin Reserve to the Ocean.
- Holiday Inn La Roche Drive, HumewoodClose to King's Beach. The hotel is a short walk away from Bayworld Aquarium.
- Homeleigh Halt Guest House 253 Main Road, Walmer +27 (0)83 414-3301 email@example.com http://www.homeleighhalt.com From R290pps incl. breakfast
- Jabula Lodge 36 Avonmount, Summerstrand +27 (0)41 583-1263 firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.jabulalodge.co.za From R560 per room
- Kragga Kamma Game Park +27 (0)41 379-4195 email@example.com http://www.kraggakamma.com Follow the M15 west from the city center for about 15 minutes From R150 to R300 per person per nightLuxury tents, thatched chalets, log cabins and thatched lodges. Book for two nights or more and get a free game drive
- Pine Lodge Resort +27 (0)41 583-4004 firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.pinelodge.co.za Marine Drive, Cape Recife From R300 to R1000 per unit per night3 star log cabins in the Cape Recife Nature Reserve
- Seaview Hotel km outside the city on way to +27 (0)41 378-1653 email@example.com http://www.seaviewhotel.co.zaBuild in 1935.
- Sir Roys at the Sea +27 (0)41 582-2377 firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.sirroys.co.za From R350 pp sharing Cnr Perrot and Newcon roads, Humerail
- Treetops Guest House +27 (0)41 581-0147 +27 (0)41 581-5525 email@example.com 44 Albert road, WalmerFree transfers to and from the airport
- The Beach Hotel +27 (0)41 583-2161 +27 (0)41 583-6220 firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.thebeachhotel.co.za Marine DriveThe four star hotel offers homely comfort in its 58 spacious, en-suite bedrooms with all modern amenities, a stunning pool deck and three superb restaurants.
- Hacklewood Hill Country House Prospect Road, Walmer +27 (0)41 581-1300 http://www.hacklewood.co.za email@example.comUnsurpassed luxury five star hotel in the classic country house tradition. Imagine a bygone era of colonial charm, good conversation and the fine dining.
- Belgian +27 (0)41 582-2275 16C Lower Valley Road, Baakens Valley 9AM to 12PM, Monday to Friday
- British +27 (0)41 363-8840 +27 (0)41 363-8842 5th Floor, First Bowring House, 66 Ring Road, Greenacres Open 9AM to 12:30PM, Monday to Friday
- Danish +27 (0)41 453-2696 3 Fearick Street, Sidwell 8AM to 5PM, Monday to Thursday and 8AM to 12PM on Friday
- French +27 (0)41 360-2730 3 Digby Road, Framesby 8AM to 4:30PM, Monday to Friday
- German 1 Circular Drive / The Fig Tree +27 (0)41 397-4721 Open 8:30AM to 12:30PM, Monday to Friday 33°58'44.62S 25°33'10.58E +27 (0)41 397-4730
- Italian +27 (0)41 373-6443 16 Dyason Street, Mount Croix 10:30AM to 12:30PM, Monday and Wednesday and 8:30AM to 10:30PM, Tuesday and Friday
- Go to Jeffreys Bay for surfing.
- Tour the Garden Route on your way to Cape Town.
- Drive to the City of Saints (Grahamstown) and back through pineapple plantations and along the rugged coast.
There are many local safari and nature parks within easy reach of PE:
- Visit Addo Elephant National Park.
- Kariega Game Reserve 90 minutes outside PE +27 (0)46 636-7904
- Shamwari Game Reserve 45 minutes outside PE +27 (0)42 203-1111 +27 (0)42 235-1224
- Pumba Private Game Reserve 60 minutes outside PE (transfers available) (0)46 603-2000 http://www.pumbagamereserve.co.za (0)46 603-2001 firstname.lastname@example.orgDiscover wildest Africa in true luxury at the Pumba Private Game Reserve in South Africa. This Eastern Cape safari lodge has achieved a 5-star rating for its unrivalled beauty, world-class service and the abundance of wild animals on its doorstep. In addition to the famous Big 5 (lions, leopards, buffalos, rhinos and elephants), guests of the game reserve have the rare opportunity of seeing the magnificent White Lion, stalking prey and lazing under the trees in its natural environment.
- Visit Mountain Zebra National Park.
- Visit Tsitsikamma National Park.
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