48 Hours In Port Elizabeth

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Port Elizabeth has something to offer everyone – whether you are looking for something relaxing or adrenaline pumping. If you’re a first-time visitor to Port Elizabeth you’re in for a treat – and you don’t have to be an iron man or spend too much to experience the diverse natural surrounds and great views on offer.

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Oonagh Shiel, travel expert at Cheapflights.co.za shares 5 activities to enjoy in PE in just 2 days.

Upon Arrival

  • Having forgotten to eat en route or averted plane food, your stomach will be rumbling for a good meal. Whatever your preference – a luxury hotel or a charming guest house – you have plenty of accommodation choices in Port Elizabeth, including various options within walking distance of the beach such as The Waterhouse, Chapman Hotel and Beachwalk Bed and Breakfast.
  • If you are staying at the Chapman Hotel you can have dinner at their restaurant, Blackbeards, one of the best seafood restaurants in South Africa; but if you want to trawl through the town to try other cuisine, there is lots more to choose from. Eat burgers at Friendly Stranger and steak at Blue Waters Café, or load up on carbs at Charlie’s Pizza and Pasta, before turning in early for a good night’s rest.

Ready, Set, Go

  • Get the day started with a range of invigorating activities such as tackling the 22-kilometre Zwartkops Mountain Bike Trail or hiking along the 8-kilometre Sacremento Trail through the Sardinia Bay Nature Reserve.
  • For something less arduous you can take a stroll along the 2.3km Humpback Dolphin Trail, a walkway constructed of recycled plastic that winds its way along the city’s coastal promenade. You can also tap into your inner child by sliding down the Maitland Sand Dunes on anything from pieces of cardboard or plywood to trays and actual sand-boards.
  • Divers can explore the marvels of the Indian Ocean at Shark Gulley, also known as Roman Rock.
    The great outdoors are certainly calling from every corner in PE, but if sporting or physical exercise don’t appeal to you, there are other ways to satiate the thirst for all things outdoorsy. Kragga Kamma Game Park offers self-drives and guided safaris, taking you through the park to search for rhino, buffalo, cheetah, giraffe, zebra and various antelope species.

On the Town

  • There’s no better way to wrap up the day than with a night on the town, and PE hands you the brush to paint the town red any way you want. You can go big at The Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment World to eat, drink, gamble or take in a show.
  • For a more trendy and easy-going vibe, try out Café Zanzibar, Bridge Street Brewery, For the Love of Wine or The Music Kitchen. If you’d like to end your evening on a more elegant and sedate note then why not try some of the city’s top fine dining spots such as The Jazz Room; Ginger; or Old Austria, the oldest restaurant in PE.

Beach Bliss

  • Start the morning slowly by sleeping in and then grabbing a late breakfast or brunch at The Coffee Society, Deli Street Café, or Bocadillos. Then it’s time to hit the beach, because you can’t leave PE without enjoying the sunshine and sand. Along the main beachfront you can throw out your towel at King’s Beach, Hobie Beach and Humewood Beach; while the beach at Schoenmakerskop is the perfect place for picnics, spotting dolphins and exploring rock pools and coves.

A Historic End

  • Before you start packing up, take one more chance to spend time in the city absorbing the historical and cultural influence of the Xhosa and the British. The Sakhume Museum and Xhosa Culture Centre provides insight into the heritage and history of the people, including a focus on Walmer Township, which is renowned for successfully resisting forced removal during Apartheid.
  • This turbulent period of South Africa’s history can also be explored at the Red Location Apartheid Museum. The Donkin Heritage Trail, meanwhile, is a historical meander through the lives and times of the 1820 colonial settlers, who founded Port Elizabeth after abandoning agriculture.

Now almost 200-years old, the city is bursting with life and growing every day. Its people are of every colour and creed, and pay testament to why it has been dubbed the Friendly City, making it so much easier to extend your stay or return for another round.