Port Elizabeth is South Africa’s second oldest city and also the commercial capital of the Eastern Cape. It is situated on the South Eastern Coast of South Africa (most southern country on the African continent). We form part of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro which also includes the towns of Uitenhage and Despatch (approx 1.5 million people).
What do the locals call Port Elizabeth? Anything from ‘PE’, ‘The Friendly City’, ‘The Windy City’, ‘Die Baai’ to ‘Ibhayi’.
Yes, there is another Port Elizabeth in the world, but not anywhere close to here – in New Jersey in the United States of America. Bet you didn’t know that!
About their people: they like to refer to themselves as laid back. Their economy is booming, but they still have that small-town feel. Johannesburg (South Africa) drivers say they're awful, they think the same of them. Port Elizabeth is a rapidly developing metro and is also a proud host city in the Soccer World Cup 2010!
Construction work is happening at a frantic rate – the new soccer stadium, infrastructure, not to mention the Coega deepwater harbour – with the international aluminium smelter group Alcan signing recently as the anchor tenant.
What’s ‘lekker’ about PE? Just about everything: great (moderate) weather all year round, beautiful beaches (including the Blue Flag beaches St Georges Beach and Humewood beach), low crime rate, strong economic growth, major university (NMMU) and schools, the Boardwalk Casino, major hotels and guesthouses (online-bookings available on this site), shopping centres, very little traffic conjestion and much more to mention.
They used to be called the 10-minute city (get anywhere in 10 minutes), but things have changed. Not to worry though – They are now an official 20 minute city! . Get to know the city, Port Elizabeth, it’s a great place to holiday in, do business in or stay in.
Location : Eastern Cape > Port Elizabeth > Summerstrand
The popular Hobie Beach, in the vicinity of Shark Rock Pier and the Boardwalk, is the venue for the annual "Splash Festival".
Location : Eastern Cape > Port Elizabeth > Walmer
Pro Dive is a 5 Star PADI Dive Centre offering internationally recognised PADI diving courses from introductory to instructor level.
Coastal Fynbos Trail
Location : Eastern Cape > Port Elizabeth > Schoenmakerskop
The Coastal Fynbos Trail is a circular trail of about 7 km starts at Sappershoek which is located at the east end of the seaside village of Schoenmakerskop.
PE Harbour Tours
Location : Eastern Cape > Port Elizabeth > South End
Boat Harbour Tours and oyster farm. Information on historical aspects on PE and the harbour.
This is the place to be for a PARTY!!!
They have booming clubs and the hottest people come out at night!!
The diversity of cultures in Nelson Mandela Bay together with its superb positioning makes it an interesting and exciting culinary destination. Home grown oysters and citrus, tender lamb shanks made with a rosemary and garlic sauce, Malay mutton curry served with basmati rice, patty pans and prickly pears, potjiekos and home made bread – what more could you want?
Silver cutlery, white linen and haute cuisine in a five star hotel; listening to the night sounds of the African bush while enjoying venison under the stars at a bush braai; sorghum beer and traditional African food in a noisy tavern during a township tour – this culinary diversity is not easy to beat!
Order ‘the catch of the day” (and an eloquent South African wine) at any seaside restaurant while looking over the bay or a juicy steak, jacket potato and a bottle of “red” from the friendly waiter in a buzzing family restaurant or enjoy a light pub lunch with a full bodied South African beer in a local pub - and we know you’ll be back for more!
A take away from a fast food restaurant is an easy option when you are in a hurry but every now and then you should take the time to relax with a good old cup of coffee and a piece of milk tart or a koeksister (or three). Nelson Mandela Bay restaurants add their unique flavour to dishes from around the world. There you can find anything from Al fredo pasta to seafood pizza and lamb shanks made with a traditional Greek sauce.
If you are feeling wild, you can try a zebra, buffalo or crocodile potjie made on a fire in the middle of the bush. A visit to the Bay will be incomplete without tasting a freshly made vetkoek smothered with your choice of home made jam and a cup freshly brewed rooibos tea. To get a taste of the traditional life, eat pap and sheba on a visit to a traditional village.
They welcome you to Nelson Mandela Bay, land of milk, honey, braaivleis, pap and sheba and incredible South African wine.
Location : Eastern Cape > Port Elizabeth > Humewood
Type : Type, Backpackers
Lungile is definitely one of the most upmarket beachfront backpackers in the country, very homely with a great vibe. Situated overlooking the city and the ocean, its only a 2 minute walk from the beach, restaurants, entertainment centre and nightlife. Luxurious family rooms, doubles, twins & single rooms at the most affordable price.
Latitude : -33° 58' 43.65" S
Longitude : 25° 38' 37.60" E
The Hippo Backpackers offers you comfortable accommodation at our warm and cosy hostel in the heart of historical Port Elizabeth. You will find their warm and comfortable rooms in a homely atmosphere. You have the option to be part of the unique "Hippo Tours" to experience the locals best kept secrets. Have a lekker braai at the end of your days work. Relax body, mind and spirit with a few laps in the pool followed by a cold frosty of course.
Latitude : -33° 57' 30.70" S
Longitude : 25° 36' 30.61" E
Nelson Mandela Bay's well-equipped airport, harbour, highways and roads link Southern Africa, and the Eastern Cape in particular, with other major national and international destinations.
The centrally situated Port Elizabeth Airport is easily accessible from all parts of the city. A number of flights are available that connects Nelson Mandela Bay with domestic and international destinations, through the Durban, OR Tambo and Cape Town International Airports every day. The Airport is serviced with regular flights by South African Airways (SAA) as well as certain local and national airlines including SAA - SA Express and British Airways/Comair and Kulula as well as other airlines.
Scenic helicopter flips, tours and charters are available to tourists who want to get a bird's eye view of the Bay, the coastline and surrounding areas. Whether it is an affordable five minute flip, a half an hour scenic view of the city or a one and a half hour trip of Addo Elephant Park - they will provide! Fly wherever you like – if you want to see it they will take you!
Taxis, hotel transport and plenty of car hire options are available from the airport while shuttle services offer a convenient mode of transport in and around the city, as well as in the surrounding areas. Taxis offer reliable, convenient, courteous and quick service. As a rule, taxis throughout South African cities do not cruise you are advised to telephone a taxi for service. Municipal buses, operating as a service to especially people living within the Nelson Mandel Bay, travel to all parts of the city and residential areas. Buses depart from the Market Square Bus Station, located beneath the Norwich Union Centre Building, Strand Street, on a frequent basis.
Various affordable car hire companies are available for visitors who prefer to explore the city by themselves. –You can choose from small economy class cars to convertibles and 4x4's. Trailers and caravans are also available for hire at different outlets.
To hire a car in South Africa, the driver must be in possession of an international driver's permit or a valid South African driver's license. Major car rental companies have branches in all cities and at all the airports. As a general rule, hired vehicles may not be driven across the border to other African countries; arrangements should be made with car rental companies.
The accessible and usually traffic-free, well maintained roads and freeways make driving an easy, scenic experience for the self-drive tourist. Getting around in the Bay is not time consuming as Port Elizabeth is known as the 15min city. Service stations with convenient 24-hour filling stations and shops are plentiful throughout the city and the surrounding areas and offer fast and friendly service. Our Visitor’s Guide and maps will ensure that you do not miss the "must see" attractions and it will enable you to plan your trip and find your way around.
An excellent road network throughout the country links the largest metropolitan areas with the smallest villages. South Africans drive on the left side of the road, the speed limit in urban areas is usually 60 km per hour, on rural roads 100 km per hour, and on freeways 120 km per hour, unless otherwise indicated. Wearing seatbelts is compulsory. Driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious offence and traffic laws are strictly enforced.
A popular and unique mode of transport in Nelson Mandela Bay is "cruising" on water of course! This is the ultimate eco-tourism experience and could be the highlight of your stay. This is the ideal way to take in the scenic beauty of its ocean life, meet our whales, dolphins and seals eye to eye. There are many different options to choose from, whether you prefer a chartered boat or a guided excursion or the wind to take you out to sea, we'll provide what you need!
Some visitors claim there is no better way to see the breathtaking expanse of South Africa's countryside than by train. The Eastern Cape, and South Africa as a whole, is covered by an extensive rail network. Nelson Mandela Bay is the central point of the Eastern Cape's rail network and includes the famous Apple Express route between the city and the surrounding farming district.
Nelson Mandela Bay is also included in the routes of the Shosholoza Meyl (a holiday train), as well as the Blue Train, flag ship of South African trains and rated as one of the most luxurious trains in the world offering five star accommodation facilities, service and meals!
A well developed railway infrastructure links the harbours to the interior of the country and to neighbouring states and Spoornet operates services between most major cities in South Africa. Nelson Mandela Bay’s mainline railway station is situated in the centre of the city off Strand Street, alongside the Campanile and the harbour entrance. It is important to confirm times, dates and fares of passenger trains when planning your trip. Contact the Main Line Passenger Services toll free for information at 086 000 8888.
If your need is to travel in a relaxed way, by road, to other cities and even provinces, you can book yourself onto a luxury inter-city coach, operating regular services between major cities and towns in South Africa. For further information and bookings contact Computicket or one of the many inter-city coach companies.
Bicycle hire is also available in Port Elizabeth so if you want to explore Port Elizabeth with a bike you can contact Leisure Cycle Tours and Adventures on +27 (0) 74 114 4811, www.leisurecycletours.com.
In other words, whether your preference is: "boats, planes or automobiles" - they can cater for your every need and will welcome you to their friendly city and beautiful environment in what ever way of transport you may prefer!