Port Elizabeth is the third-largest port in South Africa and has some of the best city beaches. The city is surrounded by more than 40 kilometers of beaches offering everything you could want. However, there are many other things that you can do when you visit the Windy City.
Visit The Beaches
The beaches in and around Port Elizabeth are some of the cleanest and safest in the country. Each of the beaches has something to offer. There are some beaches that are extremely popular and have Blue Flag status. These beaches include Humewood Beach and Kings Beach.
If you want some sheltered rock pools, you should head to Hobie Beach. At this beach, you can also swim and windsurf. You can also head to Sardinia Bay for some snorkeling and scuba diving. If you want to spend the day fishing, you should head the northern beaches such as Bluewater Bay and New Brighton Beach.
The Addo Elephant National Park
Any trip to South Africa will be incomplete if you do not see some of the Big Five. The Addo Elephant National Park is the third-largest national park in the country and covers 444,000 acres. It is located 72 kilometers north of Port Elizabeth, but is worth a visit.
The park was started in 1931 when there were only 11 South African bush elephants left. Today, there are more than 600 who wander the park alongside black rhino, zebras, lions and 185 species of bird. The park offers night game drives and hiking trails. You can visit for the day or stay in the accommodation within the park.
If you love art, Route 67 is a must-see. This is the historical hub of the city and highlights 67 pieces of art made by Eastern Cape artists. The number is a dedication to each year that Nelson Mandela devoted to public life.
The heritage trail brings the British heritage of the city and African history. The story that is told leads up to the 1994 elections when Mandela was elected as president. You can follow the trail downhill when you start at Donkin Reserve. The trail will end at Campanile which is a 52-meter high tower that was erected in honor of the first settlers.
Van Stadens Wildflower Reserve
If you want to hike and picnic, you can head 40 kilometers outside the city to the Van Stadens Wildflower Reserve. The reserve has well-maintained paths that you can follow and the walks all vary in difficulty. There is a path for everyone from gentle paths through native trees to challenging hikes that go along streams and through thick forest.
While walking in the reserve, you should head to the Van Stadens bridge. Here you will have stunning views of the steep ravine. You also get to see all the native flora of the area.
If you want to stay inside, you should head to The Boardwalk. The Boardwalk is in Summerstrand and just a 10-minute walk from the beach. This is a leisure resort and relaxation center build on an artificial lake.
The Boardwalk offers a range of stores from boutiques to specialty stores. There is also a 5-screen cinema, an amphitheater that hosts live shows and adventure golf. If you visit the center at night, you can see the musical fountain show. There is something for everyone at The Boardwalk and it is a great place to go when the weather makes the beach impossible.
Port Elizabeth has a lot of attractive so you will never be bored. You can head to one of the Blue Flag beaches or to the Boardwalk when the weather does not work with you. There are also a number of nature reserves around the city as well.