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Port Elizabeth Tourism Information

Quick Facts: Port Elizabeth

  • The Nelson Mandela Bay and its surrounding area are situated in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa
  • Cape St Francis
  • City of Port Elizabeth
  • Scenic Sundays River
  • City of Uitenhage
  • Uitenhage is known as the automobile capital of South Africa
  • Port Elizabeth and its surrounding area is located in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa
  • Humewood
  • Summerstrand
  • Walmer
  • Beaches
  • Old and historic buildings
  • Cultural activities
  • Port Elizabeth Motor Museum
  • The Boardwalk in Port Elizabeth: shops, restaurants, casino and entertainment
  • Many game reserves and game lodges are located in close proximity to the city of Port Elizabeth
  • Addo Elephant National Park
  • Shamwari Game Reserve
  • Baviaanskloof
  • Port Alfred
  • Jeffreys Bay
  • Grahamstown
  • Humewood Golf Course
  • The Bayworld Aquarium Port Elizabeth

Introducing Port Elizabeth


The Nelson Mandela Bay is situated in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa

This region comprises Cape St Francis, Jeffrey's Bay, the city of Port Elizabeth, the scenic Sundays River as well as the city of Uitenhage which is known as the automobile capital of South Africa as car manufacturers can be found here.

Port Elizabeth

Port Elizabeth is South Africa’s second oldest city and also the commercial capital of the Eastern Cape. It is situated on the South Eastern Coast of South Africa.Humewood, Summerstrand and Walmer are the major suburbs in Port Elizabeth.

Great weather and an enormous range of attractions make the city of Port Elizabeth and its beautiful surrounding area a great place for a relaxing or adventurous stay. Port Elizabeth is home to several beaches some of which are very popular and busy others being long and deserted.

Lovely old buildings reflect Port Elizabeth's past as an integral part of the development of the Eastern Cape and South Africa.Besides the many attractions and sightseeing places, Port Elizabeth features many cultural activities. Port Elizabeth is a significant industrial centre, with much emphasis on the motor manufacturing industry. For this reason, Port Elizabeth has South Africa's country's most impressive Motor Museum.

For an innovative shopping experience close to the beach, the Boardwalk in Port Elizabeth provides many fashionable shops and some wonderful coffee shops and restaurants, as well as a casino. The Boardwalk in Port Elizabeth is an open-air space as opposed to a mall, and a semi-natural water feature winds through the venue.

Port Elizabeth is a great place to use as a base from which to discover its beautiful surrounding area which include the game rich Addo Elephant National Park, the Shamwari Game Reserve, the Baviaanskloof, Port Alfred, Jeffreys Bay or Grahamstown. Within the metro limits of Port Elizabeth, there are lovely walks, some fantastic mountain bike trails, good surfing spots, fantastic sailing, windsurfing and kitesurfing, and great diving.

The Bayworld Aquarium in Port Elizabeth is well worth a visit. There are some excellent golf courses, most notably Humewood, which is the only true links course in South Africa

Uitenhage in South Africa's Eastern Cape

Uitenhage is known for the large industries such as Volkswagen and Goodyear.  Alexander Park Industrial is an automotive supplier park located directly next to the Volkswagen factory which allows car components to be built close by.

St Francis Bay, Eastern Cape (South Africa)

Whereas the Canals and the Village in St Francis Bay feature mostly thatched homes, Santarene features Spanish and Tuscan style homes.

Port St Francis

The most recent property development featuring marina flats, townhouses and lots of restaurants, shops and hotels in close proximity.  Leighton Hulett started the town of St Francis Bay from a fishing camp of thatched rondavels, and friends who came to stay were so enchanted with the place, that they asked to be able to buy a piece of ground to build a place of their own. Leighton Hulett's insistence on a specific style of architecture to preserve character, ensured the development of a village that is quite unique. A harmonious blend of black and white homes, set against a background of azure sea, linked by canals by a wide river, white beaches and gentle greenery had been established.

Cape St Francis, Eastern Cape (South Africa)

Cape St Francis is located at the most Southern Cape in the Eastern Cape. It is home to the Cape St Francis Light House which is a National Monument built in 1878 at Seal Point. The village was only proclaimed in 1965. Cape St Francis is a small coastal hamlet surrounded by nature reserves and a pristine 5km beach encompassed by 2 points, Shark Point and Seal Point. Seal Point is the third most southerly point in South Africa.

Cape St Francis comprises of a holiday resort, a comprehensive mini market, restaurants and pubs, a world class surf reef and point break.  As this area falls within the Cape Floral Kingdom it provides excellent bird watching and gentle nature trails through the natural gardens.

Cape St. Francis is situated 27 kilometers off the N2 highway. This region of South Africa was occupied more than 10,000 years ago by Khoikhoi and San, and there are still many middens (mounds of refuse e.g. shells, marking early settlements) in the area.  Cape St. Francis has a 3km pristine beach with the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.
A walk to the lighthouse of Cape St. Francis or along the beach to Shark Point as well as the many hiking and coastal trails make for great outdoor activities.

Cape St Francis comprises of approximately 350 residential plots, a holiday resort, a comprehensive mini market, restaurants and pubs, a Lighthouse built in1878, which has been declared a national monument, and a world class surf reef and point break.Having recently celebrated it’s 50 th anniversary, St Francis Bay, on the Eastern Cape coast of South Africa, has come a long way. Areas starting with the Canals, the Village, Santarene and Port St Francis.

Whereas the Canals and the Village feature mostly thatched homes, Santarene features Spanish and Tuscan style homes. Port St Francis is the most recent property development and features marina flats, townhouses and lots of restaurants, shops and hotels in close proximity. Nowhere in the whole of South Africa will you find a village as pleasing to the eye, as St Francis Bay. It defies description, and has to be seen to be believed. The village has evolved out of the vision of a man with an eye for aesthetics.

Leighton Hulett

The town from a fishing camp of thatched rondavels, and friends who came to stay were so enchanted with the place, that they asked to be able to buy a piece of ground to build a place of their own.  His insistence on a specific style of architecture, preserving character, ensured the development of a village that is quite unique. It is no ordinary town but a harmonious blend of black and white homes, set against a background of azure sea, linked by canals by a wide river, white beaches and gentle greenery. A Mediterranean section maintains the special quality of the village with its warm coloured walls

Humewood is a suburb of Port Elizabeth

Humewood is situated on the ocean and is home to Kings Beach and Humewood Beach, both of which have a blue flag status. Humewood has a well known challenging links golf course which is ranked as one of the top ten golf courses in South Africa. The Humewood Golf course is regarded as difficult with its rolling fairways and deep bunkers.  The additional challenge when playing golf here is the strong wind which is common in Port Elizabeth.
The prestigious and peaceful suburb of Humewood is a popular residential area and several hotels are located here. Happy Valley features a walk through a garden which is interspersed with lily ponds, the trickle of a fresh-water river and landscaped lawns which links directly to the Humewood Beach.  Bay World attracts visitors to its oceanarium and a snake park where daily shows and demonstrations are offered.   
The Mac Arthur swimming pool complex in Humewood features a full-size heated swimming pool, a kids’ swimming pool, water slides, and a natural temperature full size swimming pool.  The Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment Complex offers hours of shopping and distraction.

Attractions and places of interest in and near Humewood, Port Elizabeth (Eastern Cape, South Africa)

  • Bayworld Museum Complex

The Main Museum of Bayworld in Humwood combines cultural and natural history.  Visitors have the opportunity to embark on an exciting journey through time and through the fascinating world.  A great diversity of museum displays, from prehistoric dinosaurs to ethnic beadwork as well as a variety of historical treasures are available.

  • Cape Recife Nature Reserve

The Cape Recife Nature Reserve is one of the best bird-watching locations in Port Elizabeth. The Cape Recife Nature Reserve in the Eastern Cape offers a beautiful beach, natural dune vegetation of fynbos, rocky outcrops, bird watching opportunities from a bird hide, small animals such as otters, a 133 year old lighthouse and a World War II military.

  • Eastern Cape Beaches

The Eastern Cape in South Africa is home to beautiful beaches which invite for swimming, surfing, body boarding and many other water sports.

  • Humewood Golf Club

The Humewood Golf Club is one of South Africa’s top-rated golf clubs.  Humewood is a true Links style golf course which has been the host to several PGA events, including the South African Open. The course is surrounded by coastal bush and can easily been accessed from the centre of Port Elizabeth.

  • Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium

The Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth is a five-tier stadium which has a seating capacity of 44,000.  
The Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium hosted some of the soccer games of the 2010 Football World Cup in South Africa.

  • St Georges Park

St Georges Park is the oldest park in Port Elizabeth and the site of the second oldest cricket club in the country.

Jeffrey’s Bay

The International Billabong Surfing Festival takes place here in July.
There are beautiful beaches for swimming, wind surfing and abundant shells can be found.
Bird watching at Kabeljous Beach and watching the dolphins are a sheer pleasure.

A must is a visit to the unique Shell Museum exhibiting an impressive and beautiful collection of local shells and from other countries.
Many international and local surfers flock to Jeffrey's Bay, South Africa, every year to catch the legendary waves. 
This outdoor paradise comprises of sunshine, aloes, dolphins, shells, perfect points and classic reefs.
The bustling town of Jeffrey'sBay is bordered on both sides by beautiful nature reserves and rivers: the Kabeljous and Seekoei Estuaries as well as the Noorsekloof Nature Reserve.

Milk Park

Known as Port Elizabeth's garden suburb. Here the streets are lined with leafy trees and large gardens while the heart of the city, Greenacres Shopping Centre, the Port Elizabeth golf club and St George’s Park are all close by. Minimal traffic in the suburb makes the area a safe haven for families, complete with large stately homes, many of which are restored Victorian and Tudor style mansions.


With its wide tree lined streets, Port Elizabeth's suburb of Walmer is home to several of the city’s oldest families. Some parts of Walmer fall into demarcated business zones where businesses and offices are located, particularly on Main Road.
Walmer used to be a farm which was then sub-divided. The portion known as ‘Muller town’ renamed to Walmer after the Duke of Wellington, who died at the Walmer Castle.  Besides its beauty, staying in the garden suburb of Walmer has the following advantages: the Port Elizabeth Airport is only a five minutes drive away from Walmer, the sandy beaches are only a 10 minutes’ drive from here and the Main Road and the Walmer Park Shopping and Entertainment centre are within walking distance.  Walmer is sometimes referred to as the ‘cosmopolitan centre’ of Port Elizabeth based on its up-market quality.The Walmer Country Club, with an 18-hole golf course, the Little Walmer Golf Estate, which has a 9-hole course, and the Humewood golf course are located in this area of Port Elizabeth.  The Baakens Valley offers walking and jogging trails.


This elegant, upmarket suburb is situated in close proximity to the beachfront, the Boardwalk Casino complex, the Summerstrand village shopping centre, the Humewood links golf course, the oceanarium, both the University and Technikon.
The Port Elizabeth Airport is only 10 minutes’ away. Summerstrand features sandy beaches, warm waters, and access to the historic centre of Port Elizabeth. Hobie Beach which is located close to Shark Rock pier as well as Pollock Beach are very popular nearby beaches which attract windsurfers, hobie-cats, yachts and surfers. 

The 5 kilometre Donkin Heritage Trail comprises several historic attractions whilst winding its way through the city centre of Port Elizabeth. The Boardwalk Casino complex in Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth, provides shopping, entertainment and gaming at a series of man-made lakes and gardens lit at night.  The Supersport Arena alone features a regular line-up of comedy and music acts, whilst the casino has no fewer than 700 slot machines and 20 gaming tables. There are many activities in Summerstrand The Humewood golf course is nearby and the Oceanarium Museum, is located opposite Humewood Beach where some of the most beautiful underwater creatures can be observed.

Sundays River

The fastest flowing river in the country. The Khoisan people originally named this river Nukakamma which can be translated as 'grassy water' because the river's banks are always green and grassy despite the arid terrain that it runs through.
The Sunday's River Valley is renowned for its game and nature reserves, being home to the Addo Elephant National Park and other smaller reserves. The prolific bird life found here includes fish eagles, osprey, African spotted eagle owl, jackass penguins and oystercatchers . A number of private bush camps and game lodge along the banks of the Sunday's River, as well as hunting lodges and holiday farms offer exciting activities such as game viewing, fishing, canoeing, bird watching, hiking, boating, horse riding and 4x4 adventures in the valley and the Zuurberg Mountains.
The 9-hole Kirkwood Golf Course offers golfing in a picturesque setting and in the winter months the Addo Polo Club offers heart-stopping excitement at weekend tournaments.
Several historic attractions are situated in the Sunday’s River Valley, some dating back to 1829 including the Old Drift House and its accompanying graveyard.  The scenic Sunday's River valley winds its way down to the Indian Ocean, cutting its way through the breath-taking Alexandria sand dunes, the highest this side of the Namib Desert.

Location of Sundays River, Eastern Cape (South Africa)
The source of the 250 kilometres long Sundays River is located in the Compassberg Mountains near Nieu-Bethesda.  
The Compassberg Mountains are the highest mountains in the former Cape Province.  The Sundays River flows in a general southeasterly direction, passing the town Graaff-Reinet in the Karoo before winding its way through the Zuurberg Mountains and then past Kirkwood and Addo in the fertile Sundays River Valley.
It empties into the Indian Ocean at Algoa Bay after running through the village of Colchester which is located 40 km east of the city of Port Elizabeth.

Fish-Sundays River Canal Scheme, Eastern Cape (South Africa)
The Fish River-Sundays River Canal Scheme consists of a canal and tunnel system which supplies water from the Orange River to the Great Fish River Valley and subsequently to the Sundays River Valley to supplement the existing water supply of the Eastern Cape. Since 1992 the water from the Sundays River Valley has been supplied to Port Elizabeth.


Uitenhage is well-known for the Volkswagen factory which is the biggest car factory on the African continent.  
The city of Port Elizabeth and the small town of Despatch are located in close proximity to Uitenhage.

Uitenhage was founded on 25 April 1804 by landdrost / district magistrate Mr Jacob Glen Cuyler and named in honour of the Cape's Commissioner-General Jacob Abraham Uitenhage de Mist by the Dutch Cape Colony governor.  Uitenhage formed part of the district of Graaff Reinet and became a municipality in 1877. In 2001, the city of Uitenhage was incorporated with Despatch and Port Elizabeth into the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality.

Uitenhage is home to large industries which are predominantly of the automobile sector. The largest of these industries are the Volkswagen and Goodyear factories. An automotive supplier park, Alexander Park Industrial, has also been created directly next to the Volkswagen factory, thus allowing automotive component manufacturers to construct their manufacturing plants close by.


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