Known for being one of the more laid back South African cities, it’s no surprise that Port Elizabeth often goes by the nickname the “friendly city” more than its official title most of the time.
But a casually relaxing atmosphere is not all that this windy city has to offer.
Whether you’re a local looking for a few new experiences, or planning a trip to this coastal paradise, it’s quietly waiting to show you some amazing historical sights, and experience activities you may never have associated with P.E.
One of the ultimate ways to truly explore everything Port Elizabeth has to offer, from both its past and present, is to take on the Donkin Heritage Trail. This impressive tour will take you happily ambling through 51 historical landmarks of the Old Hill area in central Port Elizabeth.
The trail revolves around the love story of the founder of Port Elizabeth, Rufane Donkin and his wife Elizabeth – whom he named the town after when he was appointed to oversee the first British settlers to Algoa Bay.
Have your sea legs ready and raring to go on an adventure? Then take in the sights, sounds and history of the area from the beauteous vantage point of Sunday’s River.
Since Sunday’s River is officially the fastest flowing river in South Africa, this will be no amble down a stream, but rather a speedy trip to keep all entertained the whole time. Starting in the Sneeuberge Mountains, this majestic river flows through the Karoo to finally meet the ocean at Algoa Bay.
Want a more authentic experience of Port Elizabeth? You don’t have to do all the normal tourist activities – you could buck that trend completely and take a guided tour through one of Port Elizabeth’s lively townships.
See a more dynamically cultural side to Port Elizabeth on one of these amazing tours, where you get to really experience the everyday life of the people you’re meeting, and be invited to partake in that life for a short time.
Just a short drive from the city centre, the Kragga Kamma Game Reserve is well worth a visit for all nature and wildlife lovers. Here animals from zebras, to Cheetahs, white rhinos and a whole range of South African animals roam the park freely, meaning that you are guaranteed sightings, whether you choose to take a solo drive through the park, or a guided tour.
Hunting is also strictly prohibited in the game reserve, so the animals are calm and more trusting of visitors.
Like your sight-seeing with an adrenaline rush on the side? Then you have a number of options as you experience Port Elizabeth.
You can either go on a tour of the city that incorporates a zip line adventure or a bungee jump off the world’s highest bungee jump, or you could get up close and personal with the varied wildlife of Port Elizabeth. These are not your average tourist sight-seeing tours – P.E. will definitely live up to its name as the friendly city when it takes you into its embrace with these wild experiences.
Have any Port Elizabeth experiences to add, or tried one of these? Let us know in the comments!