Even though it is among the country’s biggest cities, Port Elizabeth has always slipped under the tourist radar. But, with a beautiful waterfront, an intriguing history, excellent collection of arts, and easy access to Addo National Park, it is a stop worth taking.Visit the Donkin reserve to get a panoramic view of the city. Collect a tourist self-guide booklet to take a walking tour of Victorian era buildings nearby. On the second day, drive an hour to the North Gate of nearby Addo National Park where you can indulge in a self-driven safari. You’re guaranteed to spot a ton of African Elephants, Kudus, Zebras, Giraffes, Wildebeests and some predators if lucky. In the evening, watch the sunset from nearby Sardinia Bay reserve where large sand dunes crash into the ocean.
If you’re seeking some thrill in the gorgeous African landscape, you need only ask. Get a surfi ng lesson on the solitary beaches of Port Elizabeth with Learn 2 Surf; zip line above the gorgeous landscape of Mpumalanga with Zipline Mpumalanga; go off the grid on a quad-bike with All Out Adventures in KwaZulu Natal. Durban is a great family destination with world-class integrated resorts like uShaka Marine World that offers interactive gaming, fine dining, and international brands for shopping.
Most Indians are cricket fanatics & we are no different. We headed to Port Elizabeth only to watch the cricket match between South Africa & New Zealand. Watching a match with beer in hand (rather lots of beers in hand) & cheering for the home country with other locals was super fun.
After a full week on safari it was time to start off on the Garden Route, with our first stop being Port Elizabeth (PE). For those of you that don’t know, the Garden Route is a beautifully scenic stretch of the south-eastern coast of South Africa. The route is known as it is for its ecologically diverse plant life and Port Elizabeth, which is more commonly known also as the Friendly City, is situated at the eastern end of the Garden Route. After an hour’s drive from Kwantu Game Reserve, we arrived at the hostel in PE to settle into our new room. We then set out to get a taste of the real South Africa by visiting the Red Location museum set in the heart of PE’s New Brighton Township. Driving through a mixture of wooden and corrugated iron buildings and shacks through dusty roads, it was amazing to see how many people could be living in the conditions to which we would usually class back home as poverty. But this is normal life.
The museum itself is a magnificent building slap bang in the middle of the Townshop, and unlike most conventional museums, it was set out as a series of ‘memory boxes’ that exhibits the different lives of people who fought against the Apartheid regime. Each box was covered in the corrugated iron cladding that gave the Red Location its name.
It’s amazing to see how many influential figures of African history were born and raised in Townships such as New Brighton, and the struggle they went through to achieve their statuses.
After a rather emotionally charged afternoon we headed out to The Boardwalk, the waterfront complex complete with various shopping opportunities, restaurants and bars. The beach is beautifully sandy (although the sea was a little too cold to take a dip in). But the views of the crystal clear Indian Ocean are definitely a photo opportunity!