Port Elizabeth / Nelson Mandela Bay - regarded as the "official" gateway to the scenic Eastern Cape Province and the world renowned Garden Route, home to Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage and Despatch is the only metropolitan area that was allowed by the former president to bear his name. By adopting his name, the metro strives to align itself with the "spirit of freedom" eminent in the life and life-long philosophy of this great man.
Port Elizabeth / Nelson Mandela Bay offers genuine, warm hospitality to all who stop to explore it, a diversity of water and beach sports on offer throughout the year, magnificent unspoilt beaches (some of the finest in the country), warm waters and calm seas offer safe bathing spots. With wildlife close-by in a malaria free environment, and nature reserves on the doorstep (more than a million hectares in total in the Eastern Cape), what more could you want?
Port Elizabeth / Nelson Mandela Bay received the "Cleanest Metro in South Africa Award 2002" and "Blue Flag Status" has again been awarded to Humewood Beach. This is an international award only given to those beaches that meet excellence in safety, amenities, cleanliness and environmental standards.
The financial infrastructure of Port Elizabeth / Nelson Mandela Bay is also well established. All the major banks, building societies, insurance companies, as well as telephone companies, have their provincial regional offices in Port Elizabeth / Nelson Mandela Bay. They are connected with all the major financial centres of Southern Africa and the rest of the world. Their managements have international exposure and their administrations are based on the most advanced technology.
Port Elizabeth / Nelson Mandela Bay is today the biggest coastal city between Cape Town and Durban (which are situated 800km either way), with approximately 1.5 million inhabitants, and the industrial hub of the Eastern Cape, with well-equipped road, rail and air links to every other major city in South Africa and international destinations. All major airlines touch base atPort Elizabeth / Nelson Mandela Bay, and passenger trains run frequently between the city and Johannesburg.Port Elizabeth / Nelson Mandela Bayhas very accessible motor free-ways and is commonly referred to as the "10-minute city". The uncongested motorways are "user friendly" and getting around is an easy, scenic experience.
Port Elizabeth / Nelson Mandela Bayis situated on the scenic Algoa Bay whose shores are lapped by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. It is a vibrant vacation destination and appropriately nicknamed "The Friendly City". This coastal city basks in year-round sunshine and experiences a daily average of 7 hours sunshine. Winter temperatures range from 7°C to 20°C and the summer highs can exceed 26°C. This wonderful climate (rated as the 4th best weather in the world) and scenic location combine to lure tourists.
The Friendly City (South Africa's
5th largest city in terms of population and the 2nd largest in terms of
area)... offers a watersport mecca, game parks, nature reserves, ethnic
culture, art and entertainment for everyone...
Enjoy a host of attractions including intriguing historical sites, scenic nature trails, a magnificent natural world and exhilarating water sport activities all packed into one South African destination called Port Elizabeth / Nelson Mandela Bay.
The Eastern Cape offers 800 km of untouched and pristine coastline along with some of the world's best beaches.
Port Elizabeth / Nelson Mandela Bay alone boasts 40 km of magnificent coastline and protected beaches, complemented by a perfect combination of warm water, calm sea and fair breezes. These beaches include; KING'S BEACH, HUMEWOOD BEACH, HOBIE BEACH, POLLOCK BEACH, BRIGHTON BEACH, BLUEWATER BAY, ST GEORGE'S STRAND & WELLS ESTATE. The wide expanses of golden sands are ideal for safe and sheltered swimming, snorkeling, body surfing, sunbathing, yachting, windsurfing, surfing, jet skiing, fishing and beautiful beach walks. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer season at all the main beaches.
The Eastern Cape is a surprisingly good game-viewing destination with 3 national parks, and 1 provincial park.
ADDO ELEPHANT NATIONAL PARK
Situated 73 km fromPort Elizabeth / Nelson Mandela Bay, the
park is a true conservation success story. The Addo Elephant Park is home
to a herd of 300 elephants, and allows close-quarter viewing.
TSITSIKAMMA NATIONAL PARK
The Tsitsikamma National Park, also known
as "the place of much water", is where the great breaking waves of the
Indian Ocean relentlessly pound rocky shores; where temperate high forest
and fynbos (indigenous flora) roll down to the sea and where ancient rivers
carve their paths to the ocean down rocky ravines.
MOUNTAIN ZEBRA NATIONAL PARK
The park is situated 12 km from the picturesque
town of Cradock, and is 280 km from Port Elizabeth / Nelson Mandela
Situated on the eastern border of the Cape Floral Kingdom, the "Valley of Baboons" is the ideal place to chill out: remote, rugged, and scenic. The Baviaanskloof is rapidly assuming national conservation and heritage prominence. Time out in wilderness restores one's soul and we become more aware of ourselves.
Baviaanskloof will soon be the 3rd biggest wilderness area after the Kruger Park and Transfontier Park, and lies just 1 hour fromPort Elizabeth / Nelson Mandela Bay.
Activities include; hiking, rock climbing,
canoeing, swimming, snorkeling, kloofing, birding & mountain biking
to name a few.
WORLD'S HIGHEST BUNGEE JUMP
The world's highest bungee-jumping site is to be found at Blaauwkrans on the Storms River. A daring adrenaline-rushing dive from this bridge ensures a dazzling 180m of freefall at 193 kmph, taking seven seconds - even the rebound is higher than the Victoria Falls.
JEFFREYS BAY - SUPER TUBES
Experience the perfect wave in Jeffreys, the
surfing capital of South Africa and a major international surfing venue that
attracts visitors from all over the world to experience the "perfect wave".
Southern right whales and their calves are regularly spotted from the high dunes, usually between May and November, and common and bottlenose dolphins are often seen close to shore.
Often overlooked by travelers in search of glitz and glamour, Port Elizabeth / Nelson Mandela Bay is probably South Africa's best kept secret. In other words: Whether your interest is wild life, sea life, agriculture, adventure, business or history, you will find Port Elizabeth / Nelson Mandela Bay to be a perfect and exciting destination.
Port Elizabeth / Nelson Mandela Bay is known as the Friendly City. Tourists who visit long enough will discover the hospitality that earned the city its name. It has a major seaport and is a well worth visiting tourist destination along the beautiful shores of Algoa bay. It has an impressive mix of diverse eco-attractions and is an adventurous holiday destination.
Port Elizabeth / Nelson Mandela Bay is fast becoming known as the Water sport Capital of South Africa due to abundant attractive beaches, each with its own attractions and activities. The 12 popular surfing-spots inPort Elizabeth / Nelson Mandela Bay only augment this. There is even more world renown surfing conditions in Jeffrey's Bay, just a few kilometres away. Port Elizabeth offers activity throughout the year, especially wind-surfing and fishing. In fact, Algoa Bay is regarded as one of the best sailing venues in the world, while scuba diving is of world class quality with beautiful reefs, shipwrecks, fish and colourful coral species.
The annual Algoa Bay National Sailing Week, held in May, is a national sailing regatta. It consists of top-class racing yachts from all over South Africa competing in the spectacular five-day challenge. The event promises exciting spectator viewing, with most of the races taking place around buoys off Shark Pier.
There is an airport that is relatively central to most of the areas of interest. Flights go to and from major cities such as Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, as well as some smaller cities. Most major car rental agencies are located at the entrance.
Port Elizabeth / Nelson Mandela Bay boasts a wonderfully moderate climate all year round. Due to
this, it has been rated as having the fourth best weather in the world! The
sea temperatures average 16°C in winter and 23°C in summer. Rain can
be expected all year round. Winters are notably mild while summers are dry and
warm with relatively low humidity.
Port Elizabeth was founded due to the growing influence of Britons at the Cape near Fort Frederick. They built Fort Frederick here primarily to gain better control over the rebellious Boers of the hinterland in 1799. In 1820, the first 4000 British settlers landed at Algoa Bay near Port Elizabeth / Nelson Mandela Bay. The city grew rapidly after 1873, when a railroad to Kimberley began.
The town was named after the wife of the former Cape Governor Sir Rufane Donkin. There was a stone pyramid erected in her honour in the Donkin Reserve, a memorial park in the centre of Port Elizabeth / Nelson Mandela Bay.
One ofPort Elizabeth / Nelson Mandela Bay's not to be missed tourist attractions is Bayworld. It is located on the beachfront. It is comprised of a Snake Park, Museum, Tropical Park and Oceanarium. The Snake Park houses a wide variety of exotic and indigenous snakes as well as an impressive variety of Eastern Cape Reptiles and the Oceanarium hosts daily seal and dolphin presentations.