Port Elizabeth

Aerial view of Port Elizabeth coastline.
Overview

You'll be lured by Victorian buildings, township tours and Blue Flag beaches in Port Elizabeth. Nearby, travel along the scenic stretch of South African coast known as the Garden Route, nicknamed 'a taste of Eden', or get wet at Jeffreys Bay, a world-renowned surfing spot.

Background

You can explore Port Elizabeth on foot, as its other name, the 'ten-minute city', suggests. Start in the city centre and see the quaint Victorian houses in the Donkin Reserve park, collectively declared a national monument. From here the carefully restored, 19th-century No 7 Castle Hill Museum, one of the oldest settlers' cottages, is just a stroll away. It's worth taking a city tour to get an understanding of the city's history during apartheid, when residents were forcibly moved into black and coloured townships. In the evening, enjoy drinks in a shebeen township bar. Humewood Beach has Blue Flag status, while nearby Jeffreys Bay attracts surfers from around the globe.

First-time visit

Travel back to the 19th century in the Donkin Reserve park where the houses have been beautifully restored. Vary your holiday by alternating sightseeing in the city centre with lazy beach days on the sandy Sunshine Coast. For a stylish base near Port Elizabeth's main attractions, book a centrally located Victorian manor house and enjoy seafront meals at the Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment World complex.

Return visit

Return to Port Elizabeth to explore the Addo Elephant National Park, located 44 miles north of Port Elizabeth. Or, for closer animal encounters, visit the reptiles at the Snake Park, in the Bayworld Museum, also home to a blend of cultural, historical and prehistoric displays on South Africa. The big dunes at Sardinia Bay are peaceful and secluded, while further along the coast the five-mile Sacramento Trail is an excellent hiking route.

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