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Port Alfred Snapshot

Port Alfred has come a long way since its days as a sleepy little fishing village containing a scattering of weather-beaten holiday cottages for summer use only. Although it bares little resemblance to it's wild and wooly past, past the shopping malls, small boat harbour, golf courses and boutique stores, coffee shops and branded eateries, there are still pockets of chilled holiday vibe to be found. For this precious commodity head to the beach, take a boat (better still, a canoe) up the Kowie River, or head out to sea on a fishing charter. Driving out of town, there's an abundance of nature trails, reserves and mountain bike routes. All said and done, Port Afred offers a good mix of beach, river, nature and retail therapy. Try it.

Things To Do

  • Shake off that urban dust and hit the beach! Kelly’s is a gorgeous stretch of golden sand flowing off the Kowie River Mouth, with safe swimming conditions. Several viewing decks offer seasonal whale- and dolphin-spotting. 

  • Visit the big pineapple at Bathhurst, a small hamlet 11km from Port Alfred. This massive structure is a tribute to the success of pineapple farming in the area. Be sure to drop in at The Pig and Whistle Pub for an ale in SA’s oldest licensed inn.

  • Visit the Kowie History Museum for an insight into the area's social history. The British settlers and coastal shipwrecks are the focus. The museum is housed in the town's original train station.

  • Take on the Kowie Canoe Trail. This is a manageable 21km canoe trip which takes you up the Kowie River, with an overnight option at Watermeetings Nature Reserve. A must-do. 

  • Walk the easy-going 8km Kowie Hiking Trail, which offers some fantastic birding - so we are told.

  • Try a horseback trail. Three Horse Trails offer a combination of beach and forest trails.
Getaways in and around Port Alfred
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The Old Mill

Port Alfred, Eastern Cape

Restored flour mill on the banks of the Kowie River - in Port Alfred

Built in 1850 as a flour mill on the banks of the Kowie River, The Old Mill has been revamped into a stylish weekend pad, laden with oodles of old-world charm and a healthy dose of the modern. Made u...


Mansfield Game Reserve

Port Alfred, Eastern Cape

Game reserve on the banks of the Kowie River with a lodge, a cottage and a campsite - 5.5km from Port Alfred

Situated along the Kowie River banks, six kays outside Port Alfred, Mansfield Game Reserve is a picturesque expanse of Eastern Cape bushveld, with a range of self-catering options and a camp site...


Bretton Beach Crest Holiday Cottages

Port Alfred, Eastern Cape

Nine beach cottages set in a natural dune forest - 2.5km from Port Alfred

Your toes don't get closer to the sand than this!  Three kays from the Kowie River Mouth, Bretton Beach Crest Holiday Cottages is a family-run resort with nine rustic seaside cottages tucke...

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