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Port Elizabeth Snapshot

In the 1820’s this neck of the woods was considered hot property by her majesty’s government, who made large tracts of the Eastern Cape available for agriculture. Shiploads of eager tradesmen, farmers and artisans left Old Blighty and landed at Port Elizabeth brimming with hope for a brighter future in Africa. Some stayed, while others ventured inland to seek their fortunes in the Eastern Cape wilds. Today PE feels more like a large seaside town, with a mellow vibe. While the old CBD and harbour area fell victim to some disastrous apartheid-era town planning, once you’ve peeled away PE’s industrial veneer, you’ll find there's more to it than initially meets the eye. The biggest lure for most is the beachfront and its promenade along the waters-edge. Heading into the older areas of Central, Mill Park and Walmer reveals a historic past of gorgeous Victorian and Tudor homes. While you're unlikely to hang around for more than a night two - given the Eastern Cape's rawer attractions - you could do way worse than kicking off your holiday in the good ol' windy city.

Things To Do

  • The Bayworld Museum and Snake Park is a unique combination of snake park and cultural history museum, located along the beach front and housing an extensive range of natural and maritime history, as well as the snake park, where you’ll find everything from geckos to crocs and a host of marine life.
     
  • The Boardwalk Casino and entertainment complex is a mere hop and skip from PE’s Blue Flag Hobie Beach, and home to plenty in the way of shops, restaurants and bars shaped around The Boardwalk lakes. Come sundown the complex transforms into a fantasy land of tivoli lights and musical fountains.
     
  • For a dose of settler history take on the 5km urban Donkin Heritage Trail, which links just under 50 national monuments and other points of interest along the way. Nice way to spend a few hours exploring the heart of the city on foot.
     
  • Hobie Beach once tinkled with the sound of Hobie masts - that was back in the day. Today you might still spot one or two, but you’re more likely to find bunking PE university students and well-oiled upcountry holiday makers dotting the sand.
Getaways in and around Port Elizabeth
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From
R400pp

Forest Hall Guest House

Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape

Luxury guest house with 10 en-suite rooms - Port Elizabeth

Set within the leafy suburb of Walmer, a historic and posh area of Port Elizabeth, Forest Hall offers a convenient and very comfortable oasis en route to the Eastern Cape's big names: Addo, Hogsback a...