Port Elizabeth, also known as the Windy City and Motor Capital of South Africa, is a hidden gem in the Eastern Cape province. It’s a city that has something for everyone, from its rich cultural heritage to its stunning natural beauty.
Fabl’style’s roving investigative ambassador recently visited South Africa to attend “Meetings Africa ” at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg as the only UK media outlet invited by the South African Tourism Board. The Fabl’style team had the opportunity to explore this vibrant city. Here’s a closer look at what Port Elizabeth has to offer.
Quick info: Nelson Mandela was born in Mvezo, near Mthatha, in the Transkei, in the North Eastern Cape, which is approximately 500 km from Port Elizabeth, towards Durban.
What’s new in South Africa?
South Africa has introduced a 90-day visa-free stay for most countries without the need for any form filling. This is in stark contrast to Kenya, which requires e-Visas for some countries, including the UK, at a cost of up to €99 per single visit.
An Introduction to Port Elizabeth: The Windy City and Motor Capital of South Africa
Founded by British colonists in 1820, Port Elizabeth is the largest city in the Eastern Cape province. Xhosa, the language of Nelson Mandela, is widely spoken in this region. The city is also one of the country’s largest seaports and was named Port Elizabeth in honour of former President Nelson Mandela. The city played host to some of the most crucial games of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and the city’s harbour waterfront and city centre were upgraded for the event.
Port Elizabeth: A Cultural and Artistic Hub
Port Elizabeth boasts a vibrant arts and culture scene, with numerous galleries, museums, and performing arts centres. The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum is a must-visit, housing a collection of South African art, British art, and international printmaking. The Opera House, the oldest theatre on the continent, has hosted some of the world’s most celebrated performers, from Enrico Caruso to Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.
Exploring Port Elizabeth’s Natural Beauty: Water Sports and Wildlife
The city’s proximity to the ocean means that it is a hotspot for water sports enthusiasts. Whether you want to surf the waves, paddleboard along the coast, or take a leisurely boat ride, Port Elizabeth has it all. For the more adventurous, Shark Rock Pier is a popular spot for scuba diving. The nearby Addo Elephant Park is a must-visit, home to over 600 elephants as well as lions, buffalo, and rhinos.
Port Elizabeth’s Culinary Scene: A Foodie’s Paradise
If you’re a foodie, you won’t be disappointed by Port Elizabeth’s culinary scene. The city is known for its fresh seafood, and you can enjoy everything from grilled calamari to fish and chips. The markets are also a great place to sample local delicacies, including biltong (dried meat) and koeksisters (a sweet pastry).
A Brief History of Port Elizabeth: From British Colonisation to the 2010 FIFA World Cup
Port Elizabeth has a rich and complex history, from British colonisation to the struggle against apartheid. The city played a significant role in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and its harbour waterfront and city centre were upgraded for the event. Today, the city is part of the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality and serves as a centre for both local and international visitors.
One of the city’s most iconic landmarks is the Donkin Reserve, a public park that offers stunning views of the city and the ocean. The park is home to a monument erected in honour of Sir Rufane Donkin, the founder of Port Elizabeth, as well as a lighthouse and the old stone pyramid. For history buffs, a visit to the nearby township of New Brighton is a must, where you can learn about the city’s turbulent past and its role in the struggle against apartheid.
Quick Info: Things to Do in Port Elizabeth
- Addo Elephant Park (90 minutes’ drive)
- Raggy Charters, which offers recommended catamaran tours (35-foot and 28-foot) for whale, shark, dolphin, and African penguin watching, We were told the catamaran is unsinkable, thanks to its polyurethane protection.
- VW Factory Visit in Kariega Automotive Technologies
Port Elizabeth is a city that has something for everyone, from its rich cultural heritage to its stunning natural beauty. Whether you’re an art lover, a foodie, or an adrenaline junkie, you won’t be disappointed by what the city has to offer.
Founder of LUXURY CULTURAL TOURISM and MEDIA – London.