Located on the eastern tip of South Africa, Port Elizabeth is one of the country’s major seaports and prominent tourist locations. Hugging the coastline of Algoa (Nelson Mandela) Bay, PE is blessed with a temperate Oceanic climate, ensuring that tourists enjoy their visit regardless of the month or season. Internationally renown for its pristine beaches, protected waters, excellent surf and great range in adventure sport options, visitors looking for an action-packed holiday won’t have to look too far. Not sure which activity is right for you? Read along for a comprehensive list of all Port Elizabeth’s top adventure activities.
Coastal Adventures: From Deep-Sea Fishing to the World’s Best Surf
South Africa as a whole is known for its plethora of water based activities, and the “Windy City” certainly doesn’t lack in this area. The gorgeous Nelson Mandela Bay hosts a number of annual water sport competitions with everything from surf lifesaving to power boating, and incredible sporting facilities to boot. Look around to pick and choose from ample choices of windsurfing, jet skiing, paragliding, surfing, and fishing spots to name a popular few. Hobie Beach’s Shark Rock Pier is known for its perfect waters and winds that are just ideal for kite & wind surfing, and the neighboring coastal spot of Jeffrey’s Bay has some of the best surf spots in the entire world.
The Algoa Bay is also home to some gorgeous protected regions where coral reef, old shipwrecks and great schools of tropical fish make up world-class diving sites. Dive courses are available all over the bay region and equipment for all the above-mentioned sports can be rented within the Port Elizabeth area.
If you’re looking for a quieter day in the outdoors, canoeing, kayaking or just lounging on one of its many “blue flag” beaches is always a tourist favorite (blue flag means top water quality, excellent life saving records and easy access for those with disabilities). King's Beach, Wells Estate Beach and Humewood Beach are amongst the most popular and safest beaches in the Eastern Cape region. This is where you can indulge in some relaxing island cruises (Saint Croix Island being one of the best!), sunset cruises and marine-life watching tours. Everything from Cape Fur Seals and African Penguins to whales and dolphins inhabit the region, making Port Elizabeth one of the Cape’s best cruising locales.
From horseback riding and four-wheeling to mountain biking and trekking, the “Friendly City” has options galore for every outdoor enthusiast. The Maitland Sand Dunes are one of the city’s most popular attractions, where visitors can trek to the top for some amazing views and then “sandboard” their way back down to the bottom - always a traveler’s favorite! For those who prefer two wheeled-adventures, The Zwartkops Mountain and Baakens River Trails are perfect spots to take your mountain bikes out for a picturesque and challenging cruise.
Excellent hiking/trekking trails crisscross the area, from the Sacramento Trail and the Van Stadens Wild Flower Reserve to the Humpback Dolphin and Lower Guinea Fowl Hiking Trails, some of which offer excellent guided hikes. One of the most memorable hiking trips in the area is an eco-tour through the Tsitsikamma indigenous rainforest alongside a certified Port Elizabeth tour guide - truly unforgettable!
If you think we’ve reached the end of PE’s adventurous attractions, think again! Visitors keen to spot some wildlife will love the Addo Elephant National Park (the country’s third largest national park), South African Marine Rehabilitation and Education Centre (where visitors can see and learn all about various species of rescued marine birds) and the Kragga Kamma Game Park (home to sprawling herds of Africa’s most famous game). The Donkin Heritage Trail takes visitors along a walking tour of the area’s top historic sites while the Port Elizabeth Boardwalk has some amazing entertainment and restaurant options, with casinos, live shows, shopping and so much more. Visitors of all ages and predilections will have no trouble finding something to keep them excited and entertained in this major South African hub; so book your vacation to Port Elizabeth today!
Image Details and Licenses: https://flic.kr/p/7MzQ2K (Danie Mouton, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0), https://flic.kr/p/7RaH2X (Scott Hadfield, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0), https://flic.kr/p/DWVKd (Brian Snelson, CC BY 2.0), https://flic.kr/p/3kN8G (steve mcnicholas), CC BY-NC-ND 2.0), https://flic.kr/p/7Hk2WR (Marco Maas, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0), https://flic.kr/p/8SrJr7 (NH53, CC BY 2.0), https://flic.kr/p/8hsn7R (Jimmy Baikovicius, CC BY-SA 2.0)