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Port Elisabeth

Practical information on Port Elisabeth

  • Beach / Seaside Resort
  • Museums
1 / 5 - 2 reviews
How to get there
8oo km from Cape Town via the Garden Route (plenty of good stopping points) or one hour and forty minutes by plane from Johannesburg
When to go
Avoid the June to August winter.
Minimum stay
A few hours

Reviews of Port Elisabeth

Fred Jasseny Seasoned Traveller
11 written opinions

Port Elizabeth is an industrial city without charm which, all the same, offers some beautiful beaches and an interesting museum.

My suggestion:
Avoid walking around at night, even in the town centre.
My review

The happenstance of hitchhiking has brought me to Port Elizabeth for half a day. I appreciated finding a modern city with numerous shops and bars, as well as a lovely urban beach. Nevertheless, nothing has held me for a long time.

With the image of Cape Town, Port Elizabeth was hit by the injustice of the apartheid regime. The inhabitants were separated "by race" (according to the classification of the regime) and confined to live in townshipsin the surrounding areas of the city. The South End Museum tells this tragic tale of South African history. Today, a large part of the city is dedicated to industry and getting around aren't easy.

The promenade between the King Beach and the Humewood Beach is nice because it is often visited by sportsmen. Unfortunately, the town centre isn't as safe from the end of the day onwards.

Camille Griffoulieres Seasoned Traveller
111 written opinions

With almost 330,000 inhabitants, it is the second city in the Eastern Cape, the land of the Xhosa, after East London.

My suggestion:
Avoid Port Elizabeth, the town doesn't have anything for tourists and is the centres for numerous industries.
My review

I hated Port Elizabeth. There's nothing to do there, the wind is very strong (by the way, its name in Xhosa, Ibhayi, means "windy town"). If you like shipyards and immense industry, you will be spoilt rotten. It's a very industrial setting, apart from the centre which has some quality colonial buildings. Port Elizabeth is sometimes called the South African "Detroit", that's saying something! The townships, riddled with unemployment, are sprawling, the insecurity in the city can be felt.

What's more, even if the beach is lifeguarded it is still quite dangerous, frequented by sharks because of the opening of the rivers. The city really doesn't have anything much, if not for its airport and therefore car hirer services... It's best to land here if you want to visit the region but leave quite quickly to Jeffreys Bay or to Cape Saint Francis, visited by dolphins and surfers!

Tours and travel ideas Port Elisabeth

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