Port Elizabeth Guest House Accommodation

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Port Elizabeth

The Nelson Mandela Metropole,  including Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage and Despatch, is the capital of the sunshine coast and is increasingly positioning itself as the Watersports Capital of Africa. Located on the South Eastern Coastline of Africa, Port Elizabeth has the largest seaport in the Eastern Cape. The magnificent coastline stretches from the forests of the Tsitsikamma along hundreds of kilometres of sandy beaches and rocky shores to East London.

Port Elizabeth is often referred to as “The Friendly City”, which makes it the perfect destination for tourists. If you’re a resident embarking on a voyage of rediscovery, Port Elizabeth’s diversity, beauty and culture will enthral and enchant you time and time again. A superb value-for-money holiday base, the city offers a diverse selection of attractions as a family-fun vacation destination including eco-attractions, scenic nature trails, wildlife and cultural experiences, as well as 40 km of breathtaking coastline and beaches.

Discover South Africa’s most beautiful beaches. Get wet and wild in the watersport scene or simply get lazy. Peep into bygone days of Settler history. Ride a steam train. Hike an eco-trail.

Surf with the dolphins. View big five game just half an hour from the sea. Dine out. And meet the locals over sundowners at festive beachfront pubs.

The Bay of Port Elizabeth is the gateway to the Eastern Cape, and is the perfect complement to the Garden Route, the Frontier Hinterland and the Sunshine Coast.

Sea temperatures range from 16°C in winter to 23°C in summer. The average weather temperature for summer is 25°C and for winter 17°C, truly a perfect place to holiday!
With an estimated population of over 1.2 million, Port Elizabeth is South Africa’s fifth largest city in terms of population and its second largest in terms of area.

Often overlooked by travellers in search of glitz and glamour, Port Elizabeth is probably South Africa’s best-kept secret. Fantastic weather and an enormous range of attractions make it a great place for a totally relaxing stay.

Lovely old buildings reflect PE’s past as an integral part of the development of the Eastern Cape and South Africa, and a host of cultural activities will offer you and insight into the lives of other people.

A visit to the cell in which Black Consciousness activist and freedom struggle martyr Steve Biko was held before his death is certainly an eye-opener and graveyard and ghost tours are really far more positive than they may sound.

Port Elizabeth is a significant industrial centre, with much emphasis on the motor manufacturing industry, so it’s quite appropriate that it has the country’s most impressive motor museum. For an innovative shopping experience close to the beach, the Boardwalk has a whole host of fashionable shops and some wonderful coffee shops and restaurants, as well as a casino. It’s an open-air space as opposed to a mall, and a semi-natural water feature winds through the complex, which seems to please a range of wild birds as well as shoppers.

Port Elizabeth is a great place to base yourself for a while as it is so close to many other wonderful destinations. You can do day trips to Addo Elephant National Park, Shamwari, the Baviaanskloof, Port Alfred, Jeffrey’s Bay or Grahamstown.

Within the metro limits there are lovely walks, some fantastic mountain bike trails, pretty good surfing, fantastic sailing, windsurfing and kitesurfing, and great diving. You could even dive in the predator tank of the Bayworld Aquarium. There are some excellent golf courses, most notably Humewood, which is the only true links course in South Africa.

The Bay and Beaches

One of Port Elizabeth’s greatest assets is its clean and beautiful beaches. Water temperatures vary between 18 and 23 degrees Celsius during Summer and 14 and 19 degrees Celsius during Winter. The sea conditions are generally calm in the bay, except when the South Easterly wind is blowing. Wide expanses of golden sands are ideal for safe and sheltered swimming and other water sport and beach activities. Most beaches are patrolled by fully trained professional lifeguards during the Summer season.

The Blue Flag Campaign in South Africa

Humewood Beach

The Blue Flag is an international award given only to those beaches that meet excellence in safety, amenities, cleanliness and environmental standards.

The Blue Flag is awarded to beaches that comply with criteria that are evaluated on an on-going bases. The Flag is awarded annually and is only valid for one year at a time. South Africa is the first country outside of Europe to win Blue Flag accreditation for one of it's beaches. Humewood Beach in Port Elizabeth has again been awarded “blue flag” status for the 2006/7 season.

Northern Beaches

Vast stretches of sand and dune beach, which provide superb angling and swimming opportunities, are characteristic of the Northern beaches. These include Brighton Beach, Bluewater Bay and St. George’s Strand. Wells Estate has a long pier over the dunes and the complex includes a paddling pool and waterslides.

Southern Beaches

These beaches form part of the main beachfront area and include Humewood, King’s, Hobie and Pollock Beaches. King’s Beach is a magnificent 1,6 km-long expanse of golden sand extending from the harbour wall to Humewood. The beach is ideal for safe swimming, body surfing, sunbathing and long beach walks, and includes family entertainment facilities. The King’s Beach promenade encompasses an extensive playground for children and paddling pools for toddlers.

Hobie Beach with its landmark “Shark Rock Pier” is one of Port Elizabeth’s main beaches and bustles with activity, both in and out of the water during the summertime. The beach is preferred for swimming, sunbathing and body surfing, and also offers sheltered rock pools with interesting inter-tidal sea life.

Humewood Beach is a favourite family beach because it offers sheltered swimming, body surfing and shade under the promenade and sheltered sub-way. Pollock Beach or “The Pipe”, as it is known locally, is favoured by surfers because of its excellent waves and surfing opportunities.

McArthur Pool and Leisure Centre

The recently upgraded McArthur Baths Swimming Pool Complex, ideally situated along King’s Beach Promenade adjoining Kings Beach, is now an international-class water recreational facility.

The Complex comprises two open-air, heated, fresh-water pools, a larger swimming pool, changing rooms, a children’s water chute and splash pool, as well as two up-market restaurants, and a boutique. Life-guards are permanently on duty at the complex. These Pools are open in-season, seven days a week, from September to the following April.

Sardinia Bay

Versatile Sardinia Bay, a marine reserve with miles of unspoiled coastline and crystal clear water, is excellent for diving, horse riding and scenic walks. Sardinia Bay is also the starting point of the Sacramento hiking trail, a very popular 8 km round-trip coastal walk through the Schoenmakerskop-Sardinia Bay Nature Reserve.

Interesting Facts About Port Elizabeth

  • Port Elizabeth's weather is rated as the fourth best climate of any coastal city in the world

  • Algoa Bay enjoys more sunshine hours than any other coastal city in South Africa

  • Approximately 400 shipwrecks are to be found in and around Algoa Bay

  • South Africa's one and only sea battle took place in Algoa Bay

  • In 1898 the "Eastern Province Herald" became South Africa's first daily newspaper

  • The main library houses books dating as far back as 1800

  • The Eastern Cape offers six of South Africa's seven biomes (major habitats)

  • The Big Five can be seen in a malaria-free environment

  • Algoa Bay is one of the best sailing venues in the world

  • Port Elizabeth hosted South Africa's first international cricket and rugby matches

  • Port Elizabeth has the oldest cricket ground and the oldest bowling green in South Africa, both in St George's Park which is itself the oldest park in the country

  • The famous Apple Express steam train crosses Van Staden's gorge on the highest narrow-gauge bridge in the world

  • The Feather Market Hall was originally built to house ostrich feather auctions

  • According to climatologists (although contrary to popular bias), Port Elizabeth is the least windy coastal city in South Africa

  • There are more indigenous plant species in the Port Elizabeth area than there are in the entire British Isles

 

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Port Elizabeth Guest House Accommodation