England Cricket Port Elizabeth – It may not possess the flamboyance of Johannesburg or the allure of Cape Town but Port Elizabeth harbours big-time aspirations. This tiny 19th century British settlement grew into one of the largest cities in South Africa and home to 1 million.
It’s said the breeze blew explorer Bartolomeu Dias here after a harrowing voyage around the Cape of Good Hope. His traumatised crew threatened mutiny if he made them leave their safe anchorage. Now Port Elizabeth provides a haven for a whole new generation of sea-loving adventurers.
Things to do in Port Elizabeth
Port Elizabeth forms part of the wider Nelson Mandela Bay and is a Mecca for water sports enthusiasts. The call of the sea is inescapable in the form of sailing and cruising expeditions but there are also plenty of land-based Port Elizabeth attractions.
The city has retained much of its 19th century character, epitomised by the iconic Bell Tower. Further afield you can explore the verdant Garden Route along the Eastern Cape or live it up with locals on a Township Tour.
Take to the water in Algoa Bay
The seas stretching from the sun-kissed shores of Algoa cater for wave after wave of aquatic thrill seekers. Algoa means “to Goa” and this is where Portuguese traders embarked for Goa in India aided by the favourable winds.
The bay’s deep waters made it a natural harbour. Now breezy Algoa Bay is the “watersport capital of South Africa” and the place to go for surfing, kiteboarding, sea kayaking and windsurfing in Port Elizabeth.
The beasts and beauty of Bayworld
Bayworld is a Port Elizabeth museum with a difference. Here you not only get to see PE’s colourful past but also an Oceanarium and Snake Sanctuary. Swimming and slithering alongside fascinating exhibits of shipwrecks, fossils and Xhosa culture is a shoal of very lively inhabitants.
Enjoy the seal show and a spot penguin watching or marvel at the sharks patrolling their watery kingdoms. Next door a wide range of reptiles hold sway with cold-blooded composure.
Follow the Donkin Heritage Trail
At a quick glance you’d be forgiven for thinking this is just for ass enthusiasts. But the Donkin Heritage Trail offers so much more. Named after the glorious-sounding governor Sir Rufane Donkin, it takes in the historic sites and monuments of Port Elizabeth.
The 5km route allows you to follow in the footsteps of the 1820 settlers past impressive buildings oozing with colonial splendour. Among its many sign-posted highlights is the magnificent City Hall in Port Elizabeth’s bustling Market Square.
Make a Trunk Call
If you’re searching for a jumbo-sized day of adventure, look no further than Addo Elephant National Park. This elephant sanctuary is home to more than 400 giants of the African veldt and a host of native mammals.
Set up in the 1930s it is the third largest of South Africa’s 20 National Parks and a hugely popular Port Elizabeth excursion. The park also helps conserve many indigenous forms of flora from the lush coastline to semi-desert conditions in Karoo.
Beach life in Port Elizabeth
Sun, sea and sand are undoubtedly Port Elizabeth’s finest ingredients. So a day spent basking on an Eastern Cape beach should definitely be on your tour menu. Port Elizabeth boasts two Blue Flag beaches in Humewood & Wells Estate.
Both guarantee pristine water quality and a coastline of unblemished beauty. Too tame? Try sandboarding at the rugged Maitland Sand Dunes or embark on the Garden Route trek taking in the Cape’s finest coastal landmarks.
The weather in Port Elizabeth
Pack the shades, shorts and sunscreen, your stay in Cape Town promises to be warm, dry and pleasantly sunny. With average temperatures in the mid-70s, Cape Town is also blessed with a monthly average of over 300 hours of summer sunshine.
Rainy days are fairly rare so the only potential weather worry is the early arrival of ‘The ‘Berg Wind’ which brings blasts of heat from the scorching interior.
Notes on visiting Port Elizabeth
Port Elizabeth Local Time
+2 Hours GMT
Valid for min period of 30 days from the date of exit
Highest Average: 22°
Lowest Average: 15°
Last updated July 19th, 2017