Best Places to Visit in Port Elizabeth
Port Elizabeth, known locally as “PE”, is South Africa’s third largest port and boasts some of the cleanest urban beaches in the country. The Eastern Cape has more than 40 kilometers of coastline surrounded by the crystal-clear waters of the beautiful Algoa Bay, where water sports are one of the main activities, from surfing, sailing, swimming, fishing to windsurfing, kitesurfing and scuba diving.
Travelers who prefer to stay dry can take a harbor cruise for the chance to spot whales such as humpback, south right, and Bryde, depending on the time of year. But Port Elizabeth isn’t just about the sea. Route 67, an arts and heritage route in the city’s historic centre, celebrates the fascinating, sometimes turbulent history of this friendly colonial city.
In the surrounding area, private game sanctuaries and the popular Addo Elephant National Park attract wildlife lovers with affordable DIY and guided safaris. Explore more of this seaside city with our list of the best places to visit in Port Elizabeth.
10 Best Places to Visit in Port Elizabeth
Let’s explore the top 10 Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Port Elizabeth:
1. Kragga Kamma Playground
Kragga Kamma Game Park is less than 30 minutes drive from Port Elizabeth and invites day-trippers to self-guided or guided safaris. More affordable than other game viewing options, the park boasts an impressive wildlife collection, including white rhinos, buffaloes, giraffes, zebras, and monkeys. A favorite is a cheetah in its own enclosure with a walkway for better viewing opportunities. All other animals roamed freely.
This is a great option for those who do not have time for a longer hunt in the national park; visitors can easily explore the park in two to three hours. The trails that run through the park are suitable for two-wheel-drive vehicles, but the park also offers guided open-range Land Rover tours.
About a 10-minute drive from Kragga Kamma Playground, Holmeleigh Farmyard is another creature-filled family attraction. Kwantu Private Game Reserve, about 85km from Port Elizabeth, and Shamwari Game Reserve, 75km south of the city, offer more expensive, more luxurious safari experiences and a range of luxury stays.
Official website: http://www.kraggakamma.co.za
2. Route 67
Route 67, in the city’s historic centre, is an art and heritage trail that showcases 67 works by Eastern Cape artists – Mandela’s dedication to public life each year. Bringing together the city’s British heritage and African history, the trail tells the story leading up to the 1994 elections.
Start from the Donkin Reserve at the lighthouse to follow the trail downhill. From here, visitors can take a leisurely stroll and admire the colorful mosaics, frescoes, sculptures and carved poems. There are several historical sites and art galleries along the way. Note the 67 steps leading up to the second largest flag in Africa. Also, check out Nelson Mandela’s hand-to-hand metal cut as he led a group of South African voters to the first democratic election in 1994.
3. Donkey Reserve
Located in the historic center of the city, Donkin Reserve is a small park established in 1820 by Port Elizabeth’s founder, Sir Rufan Donkin. A highlight of the park is the pyramid-shaped thorny monument to Elizabeth, wife of Sir Donkin, inscribed with the words: “In honor of one of the most excellent of men, he named the town below himself.”
The nearby lighthouse was built in 1861 and houses the Tourism Office. Here, visitors can pick up a map and offer panoramic views of the five-mile Donkin Heritage Trail, which covers 47 historic sites from Town Hall to St George’s Park, including the Clock Tower built to commemorate the settlers who arrived here in 1820. of the city.
From the clock tower, a street down the highway leads to the market square, the historic center of the city. Leave valuables before walking and check with locals as some areas can be dangerous. Donkin Preserve is also the start of Route 67, the city’s popular arts and heritage trail.
4. South African Coastal Bird Conservation Foundation
At the Cape Recife Nature Reserve, the South African Coastal Bird Conservation Trust welcomes visitors who come to visit the rescued marine life and learn about these fascinating creatures. The center is home to seabirds, particularly the world’s largest African penguin breeding colony, in nearby St. It focuses on African penguins from Croix Island.
Most of the staff are knowledgeable volunteers who share their passion for the information tour work through the Bird Hospital and educate visitors about the center’s rehabilitation efforts and the dangers these wild animals face. One of the best times to visit is around 2:30 PM for feeding time, where visitors can sit in the cafe and watch these charismatic creatures gobble up around the pool.
Official website: https://sanccob.co.za/
5. Port Elizabeth Beach
Port Elizabeth has some of the cleanest and safest city beaches in South Africa. More than 40 kilometers of sun-drenched beaches surround the shores of Algoa Bay. The best option for swimming is Wells Estate Beach with its children’s pool and water slides. Shady Humewood Beach and popular Kings Beach with kiosks, restaurants, skate parks and other entertainment nearby. All of these beaches have earned the coveted international Blue Flag status for exemplary water quality, safety and environmental management.
Hobie Beach, near the Boardwalk Recreation Center, has a shady rock pool perfect for swimming and windsurfing. Pollock Beach is a top surfing spot, and the pristine Gulf of Sardinia in a marine reserve is perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving, but fishing is prohibited. Avid fishermen should head to northern beaches like New Brighton Beach and Bluewater Bay.
6. Addo Elephant National Park
South Africa’s third largest national park, Addo Elephant National Park, located 72 km north of Port Elizabeth, offers nature lovers a true African safari. The park covers more than 444,000 acres and stretches from the Karoo in the north to the Zuurberg Mountains and the coast. It also includes offshore islands that provide shelter to important breeding populations of Cape Gannets and African Penguins.
The park was established in 1931 to protect the last 11 South African bush elephants from extinction. More than 600 of these majestic animals roam the park today, including buffalo horns, black rhinoceros, lions, leopards, zebras, spotted hyenas, countless antelopes, and more than 185 bird species.
Other adventure activities here include night safaris, horseback riding and hiking trails. Travelers can choose accommodation options according to their budget – available from cabins and cabins to campsites, restaurants and shops. Day visitors are welcome and can explore the park by car or take a guided tour.
Official website: http://www.sanparks.org/parks/addo/default.php
Located in Summerstrand, a 12-minute walk from the beach, The Boardwalk is a recreational facility and conference center on an artificial lake. Tourists and locals alike will find plenty to do here. Browse boutiques and specialty shops, dine at restaurants and cafes and enjoy entertainment such as a five-screen cinema, an amphitheater for live performances, playgrounds, bowling alleys and adventure golf. The fitness center features two swimming pools, and if you want to pamper yourself, you can relax at the full-service spa.
At night, the complex comes alive with musical fountain shows. More than 100 individual jets spray water 60 meters into the air illuminated by colored lights, and water screens show multimedia presentations. Adults and children of all ages will find fun to see and do here, and it’s a great option for the beach in wet weather.
Official website: http://www.suninternational.com/boardwalk/
8. Van Stadens Wildflower Conservation Area
About 40 kilometers west of Port Elizabeth, Van Stadens Nature Reserve is ideal for hiking and picnicking. The well-maintained trails are easy to walk, and hikes range from gentle trails to rough woods with old native trees and more challenging hikes along flowing streams. Walkers to the Van Stadens Bridge will be rewarded with beautiful views of the steep canyon and great photo opportunities.
At the reception, a flower room displays an astonishing array of flowers, including many types of meringue. Wear comfortable walking shoes and prepare for a picnic.
Official website: http://www.vanstadens.co.za
9. Shamwari Private Wildlife Sanctuary
Shamwari Private Game Reserve is one of the best private game reserves in South Africa and is famous for its conservation work. Just 75km from Port Elizabeth, it’s well worth a few nights here. Shamwari Private Game Reserve Lodge is beautiful, the food is great, and the wildlife view is spectacular.
Shamwari also runs a number of animal conservation programs, including Born Free Big Cat Sanctuaries. The facilities are educational and home to rescued big cats from around the world. Day visitors to the cat sanctuary can do this on a limited basis, but you should contact the shelter first for information. Just show up.
Official website: www.shamwari.com
10. Storm River Bridge
The Storm River Bridge, also known as the Paul Sauer Bridge, is located at the eastern end of the famous Garden Route and its surrounding area is an ecotourism destination. Known as the Deck Arch Bridge, the bridge itself is a work of art for engineering enthusiasts, and it was crucial to build it in 1953. In fact, the suspension bridge, standing 36 meters above the Storm River, was the tallest concrete arch bridge in South Africa until the nearby Bloukrans River Bridge was built in 1984.
You can cross the bridge that serves as the gateway to Tsitsikamma National Park. Stop for stunning views of the rocky canyon below. The Storms River area also has canopy tours as well as bungee jumps from the higher Bloukrans River Bridge (20 km west of the N2).
Hope you like our choice of the best places to visit in Port Elizabeth. If you think there are some more beautiful places to visit in Port Elizabeth, we should cover them. Write us below in the comment box.