Port Elizabeth

Port Elizabeth beach
Photo by: exfordy, Creative Commons

Port Elizabeth, South Africa is a coastal city southwest of Durban. Its colloquial Afrikaans name is “Die Baai” and it is one of the larges cities in South Africa. Port Elizabeth is nested in the Eastern Cape Province, in the southeastern tip of South Africa. Locals call Port Elizabeth as the “Windy City” and the “Friendly City”. Like nearby Durban, Port Elizabeth also lives off water-based businesses and ventures.

Port Elizabeth has great weather that is envied by other South African cities. It has sub-tropic climate. This means it is warm in summer, with only light rain throughout the year. Summers are hot, but not humid, and winters are cool but only mildly so.

As a port city, Port Elizabeth has a very rich colonial history. Evidence of this can be found in the Donkin Heritage Trail. This trail is a tourist’s journey through Port Elizabeth’s colonial past. Sites in this trail include: the Campanile, or the Bell Tower, one of the first structures built by the 1820 Settlers; the Old City Hall, built in 1862; the Donkin Reserve Park and monument; and finally, Fort Frederick, built 1799.

Aside from history and culture, Port Elizabeth is famous for its big water sports industry. Here, all kinds of water sports can be done in the water. It is actually called the “Water Sports Capital of South Africa.” The main venue for these activities is Algoa Bay. A few of the many water sports activities that can be done in Algoa Bay are surfing, game fishing and windsurfing. Yachting is also very famous in Port Elizabeth. The Algoa Bay Yacht Club is a fellowship of local and foreign Yacht lovers. For those who like to experience the sea but are too scared to get into the water, Garden Route is a good place to visit. It gives a great view of the Bay from the Tsitsikamma National Park.

Port Elizabeth is a great place to visit, especially for water sports aficionados. Regardless if you can swim or not, Port Elizabeth and Algoa Bay are really great vacation spots.

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