The sun rises over the beautiful city of Port Elizabeth, and with it comes endless opportunities and adventures just waiting to be explored. Gaze upon the long stretch of pristine coastline offering visitors a chance to frolic in the warm Indian Ocean. Take a walk back into the tumultuous history of South Africa at any of the museums in the city. As an award-winning wildlife destination, Port Elizabeth offers nature lovers and bird watchers close encounters with the diverse wildlife. Not only is the city home to stunning beaches, museums and bustling nightlife, Port Elizabeth has some of the friendliest people in the country, dubbing the city “The Friendly City”. Whether just passing through or looking for a brief escape, here are 10 reasons Port Elizabeth is an underrated and must visit gem of South Africa.
1. Bayworld Oceanarium and Museum
Who said education isn’t fun? Spend a day at Bayworld which offers guests an array of entertainment options at the Museum, Oceanarium and Snake Park. Situated in the heart of Port Elizabeth’s beachfront, get an insight onto the diverse and robust marine life of Port Elizabeth at the Oceanarium. Be amazed at the agility of the bottlenose dolphin at the dolphin lake, admire the playfulness of the African penguin or marvel at the other aquatic marvels on offer.
Embark on a journey through time at the Port Elizabeth Museum featuring exhibitions with a unique blend of cultural and natural history. Discover historic treasure, learn about prehistoric dinosaurs and marvel at the intricate cultural beadwork. Then meet slithering friends at Snake Park as well as other reptiles like lizards, tortoises and crocodiles.
Bayworld Oceanarium and Museum
Address: 23 Beach Rd, Humewood, Port Elizabeth, 6013
Website: Bayworld Oceanarium and Museum
2. Donkin Heritage Trail
Walk the footsteps of South Africa’s tumultuous past on the 5 km (3 mi) long heritage trail. The trail commemorates the trek made by the 1820 settlers and is a perfect self-guided tour for history buffs. Along the trail, visitors are introduced to 47 historical landmarks like the King George VI art gallery, numerous churches, the Donkin reserve and much more. Visitors can take this tour on their own as it is easy to navigate with maps available for purchase pinpointing the 47 landmarks on the trail.
Donkin Heritage Trail
Address: Port Elizabeth, South Africa
3. The Seaview Lion and Predator Park
Live out your Lion King dream and become one with the pride at the Seaview Predator Park. Boasting views of the sea, this privately-owned park grants visitors unique opportunities to come up close and personal with the king of the jungle and all his friends. The park is home to lions and tigers as well as giraffes, zebras and bucks. Visitors are encouraged to take self-drives through the conservation park. For a once in a lifetime experience, walk and play with lion cubs at the sanctuary or every Sundays the public are welcomed to view the feeding of the lions.
The Seaview Lion and Predator Park
Address: Lower Seaview Road, Seaview, Port Elizabeth, 6611
Website: Seaview Predator Park
4. The Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment Complex
Stay entertained at The Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment Complex, offering tons of activities for the whole family. Set among a series of manmade lakes and picturesque gardens, visitors can appreciate the arts at the Boardwalk Amphitheater, strike it rich at the casino boasting 700 slot machines or choose to dine at one of the international restaurants at the complex. Kids stay entertained at the cinema or have their go at the arcade games, kiddies rides and 3-D games. The Boardwalk Casino is a world within a complex.
The Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment Complex
Address: Beach Road, Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth, 6019
5. Cape Recife Lighthouse
Take a walk on the wild side with a visit to Cape Recife and experience the natural diversity and splendor of the Port Elizabeth coastline. The Cape Recife Lighthouse stands as a beacon over the natural wonder and is one of the most distinguishable landmarks of the area. From here you may get an opportunity to get a glimpse of the cape clawless otter or merely soak up the sun and pristine beaches of the area. The Cape Recife area also offers guest a host of exhilarating activities like golf and snorkeling. Cape Recife is a highly sought after and must visited area for tourist.
Cape Recife Lighthouse
Address: Schoenmakerskop, Port Elizabeth, 6011
6. Kragga Kamma Game Reserve
You can’t visit South Africa and not have a go on a game drive. Experience the splendor of South Africa’s natural wonder at the Kragga Kamma Game Reserve, boasting a wide selection of African game. Go on a self-drive through the lush forestry of the park and catch glimpses of white rhinos, buffalo, zebras, cheetahs, giraffes and much more. Want to learn a little more about the area and its inhabitants? Then go on a guided tour on an open Land Rover with a professional guide. Bird lovers can enjoy the cheerful chirps of the vast species of bird life or for the daring, get a close encounter with tame cheetahs.
Kragga Kamma Game Reserve
Address: Kragga Kamma Rd, Port Elizabeth, 6015
Website: Kragga Kamma Game Reserve
7. Maitland Sand Dunes
Adventure seekers should not let the opportunity of sandboarding on the golden sands of Maitland Sand Dunes pass them by. The Maitland Beach boarders the indigenous forest of the Maitland Nature Reserve, and boasts an impressive stretch of pristine coastline and sand dunes. Guaranteed to keep visitors entertained for hours, hike up the sand dunes and then board down at incredible speeds. Best part? It’s fun and easy to learn.
Maitland Sand Dunes
Address: M9, Uitenhage Farms, Port Elizabeth
8. Sardinia Bay
Meander to the coastal cove of Sardinia Bay and stumble across endless stretches of picturesque coastline. The Sardinia Bay Nature Reserve is a marine protected area aimed at conserving the diverse marine life of the area. Visitors can frolic in the warm Indian Ocean or stroll down the golden beaches. For the more adventurous at heart, Sardinia Bay is an idyllic spot for scuba-diving to experience the beauty of the underwater world. Untouched by seaside development, experience the serenity of this beachside paradise.
Address: Schoenmakerskop, Port Elizabeth, 6011
9. Addo Elephant National Park
Port Elizabeth offers a myriad of opportunities to experience the diverse and vibrant wildlife of South Africa in authentic, untouched settings. None more so than the Addo Elephant National Park, which is now the third largest national park in South Africa and a sanctuary for a wide range of wildlife. This national park offers visitors an array of opportunities to explore the park like horse-riding, guided walks, game drives and hikes. Pack a picnic bag and enjoy brunch under the African sun at any of the picnic spots scattered around the park. The Addo Elephant National Park is home to the Big 5 (Lion, Elephant, Rhino, Leopard and Buffalo) and a variety of antelope species.
Addo Elephant National Park
Address: R335 Paterson Road, Addo, 6105
Website: Addo Elephant National Park
10. Route 67
Nelson Mandela is not only an iconic and internationally recognized leader but a pivotal and acclaimed freedom fighter that helped shape the very fabric of the nation. The traveller who appreciates history as well as art will enjoy a walk at Route 67. Route 67 commemorates Nelson Mandela’s 67 years of work dedicated to the freedom of South Africa through the use of art. Route 67 features 67 public artworks as well as 67 steps leading to the second largest flag in Africa. The route showcases the celebration of art, color and heritage.
Address: Donkin Reserve, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Authentic South African experiences
Port Elizabeth is alive with possibilities for tourists in search of adventure, historical enrichment and natural awakenings. Often overlooked for bigger cities like Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban, Port Elizabeth has so much to offer visitors with activities for people of all ages. It’s the friendly city just waiting to be explored.
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