Port Elizabeth, South Africa (HD) Tours – South Africa Vacation
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Port Elizabeth or The Bay (Zulu: Bhayi; Xhosa: iBhayi; Afrikaans: Die Baai) is one of the largest cities in South Africa, situated in the Eastern Cape Province, 770 km (478 mi) east of Cape Town. The city, often shortened to PE and nicknamed “The Friendly City” or “The Windy City”, stretches for 16 km along Algoa Bay, and is one of the major seaports in South Africa.
Port Elizabeth was founded as a town in 1820 to house British settlers as a way of strengthening the border region between the Cape Colony and the Xhosa. It now forms part of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality which has a population of over 1.3 million.
Tourism Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Located at the end of the picturesque Garden Route along the Cape coast, the city is one of South Africa’s major destinations for tourists, many of whom come simply to enjoy the many fine beaches in and near the city.
The area surrounding the CBD has a number of historic attractions, many of which are linked by the Donkin Heritage Trail. These include the Campanile (bell tower), built in 1923 to commemorate the arrival of the 1820 Settlers and offering a great viewpoint over the city; the city hall (1862); the Donkin Reserve park and monument; and the old stone Fort Frederick itself (1799). The CBD also boasts the towering Eastern Cape post office headquarters.
Other attractions include the gardens at St George’s Park, the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum (formerly known as the King George VI Art Gallery), the museum and oceanography room at Humewood, and the new Boardwalk waterfront complex.
The wider area surrounding PE also features a number of game viewing opportunities, including the famous Addo Elephant Park, 72 kilometres (45 mi) to the north near the Zuurberg mountain range and National Park.
Port Elizabeth is known commonly as the watersports capital of South Africa and home of Ironman Africa. Algoa bay is home to scuba diving, game fishing charters, surfing, windsurfing, kiteboarding to name but a few. There are many cruises offered from the harbour from sunset cruises to view dolphins to whale watching tours.
Port Elizabeth is also a great destination for whale watching with humpback whales sighted between June and August, and again between November and January, Southern right whales sighted between July and November, and Bryde’s whales sighted all year round. Boat-based whale watching trips are run out of the Port Elizabeth harbour where guests are allowed close encounters with these majestic creatures, among other marine animals.