Archive for the ‘Port Elizabeth’ Category

Port Elizabeth

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Port Elizabeth is one of the largest cities in South Africa, and the largest city in the Eastern Cape Province. The extended city, the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan area, houses over 1.3 million people. The city was founded by the British in 1820, and it has played an influential role during the Boer Wars, which has shaped its history. There are a number of historical attractions available to visit throughout Port Elizabeth, or the Windy City, as it is known locally, including the Historic Donkin Heritage trail, which allows visitors to relive the settler experiences of the early 1900s by following a trail past some of the remaining relics of the era.

The city is usually considered the last locality on the Garden Route, and like many of the Garden Route towns, the Windy City offers some great opportunities for water-sports fanatics. The beaches of Port Elizabeth are generally accepted as the best beaches a large South African city has to offer, with warm water and perfect wind conditions for surfing waves. Closer to the CBD, Port Elizabeth has more to offer, and as the 2010 World Cup draws nearer, the city will be preparing for its own influx of international visitors, which will result in a better infrastructure, a revamping of the international Port Elizabeth Airport, and an extension of the already widely available accommodation on offer.

If you intend to stay in the city center, there are some interesting museums and extensive parks, including the King George Park, a sprawling cultivated garden with plenty of flora. Furthermore, Port Elizabeth has always been a sports-obsessed city, and there are some word class cricket and rugby stadiums featuring matches on a regular basis.

Finally, it has to be mentioned that even though Port Elizabeth is bordering the ocean, there is still an opportunity to see the Big Five in either the Addo Elephant Park, just outside PE, where Elephants and Buffallo roam free, and the luxurious Shamwari Game Reserve, where all the big animals of the continent can be seen in the semi-wild.