Welcome to ‘The Friendly City’!
Port Elizabeth, or ‘PE’ as it is known locally, is a Port City and holiday destination on the Eastern Cape Sunshine Coast of South Africa, known for its excellent beaches, water-sports, waterfront, wildlife attractions and not least for its friendly people – hence the name ‘The Friendly City’.
The city of Port Elizabeth is situated along the 16km coastline of Algoa Bay, incorporating the Algoa Bay Harbour and the Algoa Bay Yacht Club, and is also known as ‘Ebhayi’ (The Bay) in Xhosa or ‘Die Baai’ in Afrikaans. PE is also sometimes called the ‘Windy City’ thanks to the South-Easter that blows along the Algoa Bay coastline, sometimes making for your hair stick in your ice-cream cone, but also keeping the beaches and the surf breaks healthy, not to mention supporting a very strong sailing tradition and several annual regattas.
Finally, just to add to the name confusion, PE is also called Nelson Mandela Bay after South Africa’s most famous leader, and the city and suburbs from a large part of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality. The Port Elizabeth Municipal area was officially renamed Nelson Mandela Bay after the 1994 democratic elections that marked the end of Apartheid, and while many still use the ‘traditional name’ honouring Queen Elizabeth, PE a city is proud of its association with the world renowned humanitarian and freedom fighter.
With over 40 kilometres of wide beaches fronting a warm Indian Ocean, some excellent surf breaks and a constant fair wind for sailing, PE is a Watersports Mecca – often referred to as the “Watersports Capital of South Africa”.
Besides the coastal attractions and beach-bum lifestyle evident in many areas of the city, Port Elizabeth offers a fantastic and eclectic choice of shopping venues, eateries and plenty of things to do, particularly for families. There are also many 5 star destinations within PE and in the environs – particularly Private Game Reserves that offer exclusivity and the ultimate in wildlife viewing.
Port Elizabeth is one of South Africa’s premier destinations for wildlife encounters, game viewing and safaris as it boast “South Africa’s BIG 7″ – Whales (Southern Right, Brydes and Humpback Whales), Great White Sharks, Leopard, Lion, Buffalo, Rhino and of course everyone’s favourite, Elephant. The Addo Elephant Park just outside of Port Elizabeth comprises a huge area set aside for the conservation of Elephants and is one of PE’s top attractions. On the other extreme, boat-based whale and dolphin watching offers a once-in-a-lifetime encounter with the magnificent and playful marine mammals of the Sunshine Coast.
So who will you be meeting in PE? Port Elizabeth is a city with strong family values and fantastic family venues! Besides being ‘happy smiley people’ Port Elizabethans are also known to be ‘proud of home’ bunch and grateful to be able to work, play and live in such an interesting and picturesque part of South Africa. There is also a strong sense of community. Everyone rolls up their sleeves and helps out where they can, and you’ll always find a smile when you least expect it.
What to do in the PE
The Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment World in Summerstrand on the city’s beachfront offers gaming and a variety of entertainment options for the whole family, as well as great shopping and restaurants.
PE also boasts a vibrant nightlife with clubs, bars, restaurants, theatres and cinemas. There are also several annual and seasonal festivals and events such as the famous Splash Festival, and many activities for children.
Port Elizabeth enjoys a daily average of +/- 7-8 hours of sunshine. In Winter (April to August) the temperatures range from 7º to 20º C. During the summer months, the temperatures range from 16º to 26º C – making the clean white beaches a perfect family playground.
Blue flag beaches offer miles of white sand. They are safe, clean and with excellent facilities.
There are many things to do in Port Elizabeth and many facets to the city for both locals and visitors. Visit Port Elizabeth and enjoy one of South Africa’s most popular tourist destinations and the Gateway to the delights of the Eastern Cape and the beauty of the Garden Route.