Recently renamed Gqeberha (and affectionately known as PE), Port Elizabeth overlooks Algoa Bay in South Africa’s Eastern Cape. It’s famed as a water sports hub, with everything from kiteboarding to surfing and scuba diving on offer and is a gateway to the ever-popular Addo Elephant National Park.
Things to do in Port ElizabethOn the edge of St. George’s Park is the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum, where you’ll find an impressive collection of artwork from the Eastern Cape. While the emphasis is on South African artists, the museum also exhibits Indian miniatures, Chinese textiles and British paintings. In the heart of St. George’s Park is the elegant Pearson Conservatory, which opened to the public in 1882.
Algoa Bay is fringed by sandy beaches where you can relax in the warmer months, including family-friendly Wells Estate Beach with its water slides and children’s playground. Surfers should head to the breaks of Pollock Beach while the sheltered waters of Sardinia Bay are great for snorkelling. Forming part of the coastal Cape Recife Nature Reserve is a historic lighthouse dating from 1849.
Port Elizabeth serves as a gateway to Addo Elephant National Park, which was established in 1931 to preserve South Africa’s bush elephants from extinction. Today, it is home to more than 600 elephants, as well as zebras, lions, black rhinos and Cape buffalo. Embark on a guided safari to spot some of the 185 bird species that have been recorded here or explore along the 36-kilometre-long Alexandria Hiking Trail.