Image: Donkin Heritage park, DPauls

11 Fun Things to do in Port Elizabeth

Port Elizabeth, the friendliest city of South Africa, is often underrated when it comes to the favorite travel destination. The city comes with endless opportunities and adventures waiting to be explored. Gaze upon the long stretches of coastline, get a close encounter with the diverse wildlife, take a sunbath in one of the blue flag beaches, experience a bustling nightlife—the city is nothing less than the 3 biggies.

Traveling to Port Elizabeth seems a little bit difficult and expensive. Well, it won’t be if you book your flights to Port Elizabeth by the domestic airlines of South Africa. It’s the most convenient way to travel South Africa, and the weakness of Rand makes it pocket-friendly as well. 

For a smooth and safe experience, it’s wise to take a guided trip to Port Elizabeth and make sure you have acknowledged all the COVID rules and regulations of South Africa. 

Explore Port Elizabeth and know 11 fun things to do in Port Elizabeth. 

The Valley Market

If you are an ardent food lover, you should visit the Valley Market, also known as Goodnight Market. On the last Thursday of every month, it dishes up a gourmet feast of artisanal goods and drinks options. The market is housed in a former industrial tramway that becomes vibrant with enchanting aromas and savory dishes. Eat until your heart’s content from the wide variety of food—dim-sum, gourmet burger, or spicy seafood, and end with homemade gelato. 

Bayworld Oceanarium and Museum

If you love learning new things and feel attached to nature, this place is a must-visit. Spend some time at Bayworld Oceanarium and Museum, and discover the natural and cultural history of slithery reptiles, underwater marine wonders, and Xhosa people. Experience the agility of bottlenose dolphins, eyeball a shark, and encounter indigenous snake species at Snake Park. Also, visit the neighboring Port Elizabeth Museum, which is the third-largest museum in South Africa.  Discover the historical treasure, learn about the prehistoric dinosaurs, and get amazed by the Xhosa beadwork. 

The Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment Complex

This one-stop destination is an excellent place to have fun with the family. The entertainment complex offers a plethora of activities to enjoy. Take pleasure in the manmade lakes, scenic gardens, and appreciate the arts of the boardwalk amphitheater. Strike at the flagship casino that offers gambling galore, and dine at the international restaurants. Kids can enjoy cinema, arcade games, kiddies rides, and 3D games. 

Cape Recife reserve and Lighthouse

With its natural diversity and splendor of the coastline, Cape Recife is the bucket-list destination of Port Elizabeth. The Cape Recife Lighthouse stands as the most distinguishable landmark of the area and a beacon of natural wonder. Take a leisurely sunbathe at the pristine beaches of the area. Or dissolve yourself in exhilarating activities like golf and snorkeling. If you are lucky, you can get an opportunity to meet the cape clawless otter. 

St. Croix Island Marine Reserve

St. Croix Island is a crucial marine reserve as it is the abode of the largest breeding colony of African penguins in the world. The Penguins are only found along the southwestern coast of Africa and are listed as an endangered species. You will need a boat charter to get to the island. As the place is surrounded by rich marine life, the place is perfect for scuba-diving. 

Africa’s longest Double Zipline

If you are in Port Elizabeth, you must not miss the longest duel Zipline in Africa. This is the most fun thing to do in Port Elizabeth, which includes all the safety measures. You can chill out without worrying about slowing down as it has an automated stopping system. 

Blue Flag Beaches

Blue Flag is awarded to the beaches that meet all the environment, water quality, and security criteria. It’s astonishing to know that Port Elizabeth boasts three blue flag beaches—Kings Beach, Hobie Beach, and Humewood Beach. The Indian Ocean is usually warm hence suitable for a swim, surf, boogie board, and kite surfing. And the clean and white sandy beaches are perfect for sunbathing. Enjoy a day with the most relaxing thing to do in Port Elizabeth. 

Donkin Heritage Trail

The Donkin Heritage trail was established in 1820 by Sir Rufane Donkin, the founder of Port Elizabeth. The landmark of the park is a pyramid-shaped memorial to Sir Donkin’s wife, Elizabeth. The nearby lighthouse, built in 1861, is now the house of the tourism office. Here, you can find the map for the five-kilometer-long Donkin Heritage Trail, expanding over 47 historical sites from City Hall to St. Georges Park, including Campanile. The trail was built to reminisce the memory of the settlers who arrived here in 1820. And it is the start of Route 67, the city’s popular heritage trail.

Route 67

If you want to know about the history of Port Elizabeth and South Africa in a broader sense, you must visit Route 67. Nelson Mandela is an iconic figure and internationally recognized leader; also, he is an acclaimed freedom fighter who shaped the fabric of the nation. Route 67 signifies Nelson Mandela’s 67 years of work dedicated to the freedom of South Africa. Route 67 features 67 public artworks and 67 steps leading to the second largest flag in Africa. If you are someone who loves history and art, you will definitely enjoy walking through Route 67. 

Kragga Kamma Game Park

You will miss half of the fun of Port Elizabeth if you don’t visit Kragga Kamma Game Park. The park is the best option for those who don’t have enough time for a long safari at the national park. You can tour the entire park in two to three hours. In fact, the park is more pocket-friendly than any other game-reserves. Go on a self-drive by two-wheelers and catch a glimpse of white rhinos, buffalos, cheetahs, giraffes, and many more. If you are eager to learn about the area and its inhabitants, go on a guided tour on an open land rover. If you are a bird lover tourist, you will enjoy lovely chirps of the vast species of birds. But if you are a daring one, get a close encounter with tame cheetahs.

Sardinia bay

Sardinia Bay, affectionately known as the ‘Sards’ by the locals, is the mother of picturesque coastline. The Sardinia Bay Nature Reserve is a marine protected area aimed at conserving the diverse marine life of that area. Enjoy the warm water of the Indian Ocean and walk through the golden beaches–the place is ideal for a romantic trip. If you are more adventurous at heart, go scuba-diving, and experience the serene beauty of the underwater world. 

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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