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8 Of The Best Indoor Activities To Enjoy In Port Elizabeth, South Africa

There are so many activities one can enjoy while vacationing in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. There are plenty of guided tours that will allow you to take in the gorgeous views and wildlife of the Port Elizabeth area. However, many people tend to forget that there are a whole host of other activities that one can enjoy indoors while on vacation. As much as we hope for perfect weather, there are going to be days that it is too stormy or too hot to enjoy the natural beauty of Port Elizabeth. Below you will find eight of the best activities that you can enjoy indoors while enjoying a fun and relaxing Port Elizabeth vacation.

Hand In Hand Visual Art Studio

Take everything you know about art galleries and simply throw it out the window before you visit Hand In Hand Visual Art Studio! This is an experience like nothing you have ever experienced in the art community.


The studio is owned by brothers, Sakhumzi and Msindisi Nyendwana, and they are committed to ensuring that everyone who visits their gallery leaves with something special and unique. This gallery is more than just looking at art, it is the ability to connect with a community and on a deeper level, human beings. If you are in the Port Elizabeth area, this is an absolute must.

Volkswagen AutoPavillion

Many people would not consider the tour of an automobile factory to be on a top list of activities for a fun vacation. However, the Volkswagen AutoPavillion brings something special to the table. In addition to the factory tours, there is an incredible museum that allows you a closer look at this iconic automobile.

However, one can also see how this plant is changing the area for the better. You will leave the factory with a feel good vibe surrounding!

Baywest Mall

While in the United States our malls may be dying out, that is not the case throughout the rest of world. One can simply take a look at the baywest Mall in Port Elizabeth to see that. You can actually consider this amazing structure for a one stop experience for food, shopping and entertainment. There are movie theaters, arcades and even number cars to enjoy. It is quite easy to lose track of time in here and spend an entire day. With all of the food that is available, it may not be that bad of an idea.

South African Air Force Museum

Many people are quite surprised by how much they enjoy the South African Air Force Museum as one does not have to love aircraft to enjoy this indoor activity. There is a wide assortment of aircraft to spectate and enjoy and the history is quite entertaining. It is an excellent destination to spend a couple of hours and learn some local history!

Dockside Brewery

While in Port Elizabeth, you may feel the need to kick up your heels and enjoy a cold drink after a long day of touring the area. One of the best location is the Dockside Brewery as they have a wide assortment of local brews. However, keep in mind that it is quite difficult to enjoy just one. You will soon find yourself enjoying the local company and brews and spend much longer than you anticipated here…however, that is a good thing!

Valley Crag Indoor Climbing Centre

If you are looking for an adrenaline rush but are afraid of falling or the weather is not cooperating, the Valley Crag Indoor Climbing Centre is the perfect location. With a wide variety of fake rock facades, this is a great location to get off your rump and get active in a safe and secure manner.

Wezandla African Craft Traders

If you are nearing the end of your trip and realized you did very little shopping for yourself of friends and family at home, the Wezandla African Craft Traders is the best destination to head to. This is a safe location to do local shopping for crafts and goods. Everything you would want to find to help remember your Port Elizabeth trip can be found here.

The Boardwalk Casino & Entertainment World

Finally, if you are looking for a local destination in Port Elizabeth to be thrilled, the Boardwalk Casino & Entertainment World is the place to go. There are more than enough restaurants in this establishment to keep you entertained for a good while. This is a perfect destination to head to when the weather is just not cooperating.
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Why Port Elizabeth Is A Great Holiday Destination

South Africa is a country with an enormous amount to offer the visitor. It boasts incredible wildlife viewing opportunities, a rich history and some of the most stunning scenery on the planet. It is filled to the brim with exciting leisure activities – and the cuisine is world-class. Add those attractions the friendly locals, a fabulous exchange rate that works in favor of those visiting from the EU or the United States and you have all the ingredients for a vacation that simply ticks all the right boxes.

Tourists tend to focus on the attractions of Cape Town – which has won numerous awards as the best vacation destination on the African continent – however, traveling up the east coast of the country reveals more natural wonders – and vibrant cities such as Port Elizabeth – also known as the ‘Friendly City’ due to the laid back nature of its residents.

Top Tip: Check out some of the best boutique hotels in Cape Town which is usually the city from which most travellers launch their adventures into South Africa from.

Those who are considering a visit to Port Elizabeth often wonder what time of year is best for a visit. The answer is simple – there is no wrong time of year to visit this wonderful city. PE (as it is known to locals) is one of South Africa’s more petite cities, but it punches way above its weight class when it comes to attractions both within the city limits and nearby. It boasts long hours of brilliant sunshine and miles of pristine beaches (with warm, family-friendly waters), making it a firm favorite with locals and international visitors in search of a world-class watersports destination.

Watersports (including world-class surfing opportunities) and those magnificent beaches are the focal points for many visitors. The climate is another. It is worth repeating that there is simply no ‘wrong’ season to visit this city on the Sunshine Coast of South Africa. Warm summers and mild winters make it the perfect vacation destination for the whole family. Those with younger children will enjoy the attractions of the ocean – and the opportunity for some fun educational excursions. Speaking of fun and education just off the main beach of Port Elizabeth one finds Bay World. Here a reptile park, an oceanarium and a fascinating museum are the perfect destinations for some leisurely exploration prior to hitting the beach. After the beach session is complete, the numerous restaurants and bars on the beachfront offer a huge variety of refreshments – and perhaps something chilly as far as adult beverages are concerned.

Adults might also find the lure of the Boardwalk Casino and entertainment complex hard to resist – but there’s also plenty to do at the venue besides gambling. There are wonderful restaurants (many of them family-friendly), entertainment arcades and rides galore to bring a smile to the faces of both young and old.

However, for those who want to go wild in a more natural setting the attractions of destinations such as the Addo Elephant Park are hard to resist. This enormous area has been set aside for the conservation of elephant (and is home to the other four of Africa’s Big Five – lion, leopard, rhinoceros and Cape Buffalo) A visit will delight those with a love for nature. Just outside Port Elizabeth one will also find the Kragga Kamma Game Park. This bite-sized game park is home to some of Africa’s most iconic species, including Buffalo, Rhino, and Zebra. It’s the perfect self-drive exploration of why Africa is one of the most sought after wildlife viewing destinations in the world. The younger members of the family will also be thrilled by the cheetahs in the predator enclosure. It’s a mini safari experience that will not soon be forgotten.

Port Elizabeth is one of South Africa’s most vibrant and fun-filled cities. Make sure to include it on your itinerary for your next African adventure.

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Things You Should Do In Port Elizabeth

When you’re searching for something to do within the Friendly City, then look no more! We’ve put together 10 things to do in Port Elizabeth. Having activities catering to the historian, bush-lover, sport lover and even the adrenaline junkie, there’s something for everybody.

1. Discover the Donkin Heritage Trail

If you wish to know Port Elizabeth in personal level, do the five-kilometre trail which follows on the footsteps of the 1820 Settlers. This connects at least 47 national monuments and historical spots around central Port Elizabeth and it’s called following the acting governor of the Cape Colony during that time, Sir Rufane Donkin.

No matter whether you want historical trips or not, this trail involves a few interesting information about the region which will enlighten you regarding the city.

2. Watch the Ellies at Addo Elephant Park

Break free to the bush and invest several hours hunting the breathtaking Eastern Cape landscape for wildlife at Addo Elephant Park, the place to find more than 550 elephant. It’s the 3rd biggest national park around South Africa and it has broadened to conserve a lot of wildlife and flora coming from the semi-desert Karoo right down to the shoreline of Sunday’s River Valley Mouth.

3. Relax On The Sunday’s River Cruise

Cruising across the Sunday’s River in a ferry is an ideal approach to experience the scenery across the marine part of the Addo Elephant National Park without having to lift a finger … unless of course to take a picture or two. Go up to top of the viewing deck and enjoy the sight of the city and Algoa Bay. Twitchers, watch out for the variety of birdlife across the river banks.

4. Overcome the Maitland Sand Dunes

When you’re searching for a splash of adrenaline then have a go at the sandboarding in Maitland Sand Dunes. The dunes can be accessible and offer hours of fun. This is a tough trek up to the top part, however the landscapes and scenery are really worth every breath. The path down, surely, is the finest part. Whatever you could glide on can do – trays, bits of cardboard or the apparent option, sandboards. Also, there are 3 hiking trails which end their way to the forests of Maitland Nature Reserve -The Sir Peregrine Maitland Nature Trail, Igolomi Trial and the more exuberant De Stades Nature Trail.

5. Living The Local Life on the Township Tour

Go on a drive to the townships of Port Elizabeth, blend with the local people and walk into a culture which lots of visitors might not have encountered before. Try out home-brewed beers in the shebeen, enjoy a classic Xhosa meal and go to the Red Location Apartheid Museum. It’s an eye-opening experience and an opportunity to go through authentic Xhosa hospitality.

6. Enjoy the Kragga Kamma Game Reserve

Have a brief drive thru the Kragga Kamma Game Reserve, situated simply outside of the city center. It’s a little reserve which is where you can see free-roaming buffalo, zebra, giraffe, nyala and bontebok, and others. The brief loop over the park ensures wildlife sightings.The park is likewise the place to find a family of cheetah that have been hand-reared by committed volunteers. Stop off in the Bush Cafe to get a bite and enjoy a sky walk above the monkey bridge from the rich forest part at Kragga, that’s where you can monkeys and an abundance of bird species.

7. Experience the Heat Over Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium

Constructed particularly for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, the amazing Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium now holds a number of sports such as rugby’s largest party, the IRB Sevens Rugby World Series. In case you’re there during the weekend, see the E.P. Kings in the local rugby game. Conversely, have a thirty minute stadium trip during Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays..

8. Light It Up On The Cape Recife Lighthouse

The Cape Recife Lighthouse is among South Africa’s most legendary lighthouses, having a deeply rooted history too. It’s found over the south entry to Algoa Bay around the dangerous Thunderbolt Reef, roughly fifteen kilometres coming from Port Elizabeth. The unique white and black banded tower stands close to the spot where, in 1902, several sailors and rescuers wasted their lives to a typhoon which destroyed both moored and sea-faring boats. Paradoxically, the monolith which now drives boats free from this dangerous reef was constructed in April Fools’ Day in 1851.

9. Chat Up The Birds in SAMREC

The South African Marine Rehabilitation and Education Centre (SAMREC) is situated close to the Cape Recife Lighthouse and it’s the temporary place to find several ill or wounded African penguins as well as other sea birds, most due to human impact. The non-profit organization is available daily and the volunteers which devote their times to the rehabilition of those birds. They’re very friendly and happy to show tourists around the center.

10. Bask on the Blue Flag beach

From the 6 Blue Flag beaches found in the Eastern Cape 2 are located in Port Elizabeth. Both Humewood Beach and Wells Estate Beach surpassed the 14-point requirements and been granted Blue Flag status. Tourists could indulge in a stretch of coastline which has impressive water quality, noticeable environmental information and safety services, such as outstanding life-saving standards, enough parking and gleaming ablution amenities.

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The Top Things To Do In Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Port Elizabeth is the third-largest port in South Africa and has some of the best city beaches. The city is surrounded by more than 40 kilometers of beaches offering everything you could want. However, there are many other things that you can do when you visit the Windy City.

Visit The Beaches

The beaches in and around Port Elizabeth are some of the cleanest and safest in the country. Each of the beaches has something to offer. There are some beaches that are extremely popular and have Blue Flag status. These beaches include Humewood Beach and Kings Beach.

If you want some sheltered rock pools, you should head to Hobie Beach. At this beach, you can also swim and windsurf. You can also head to Sardinia Bay for some snorkeling and scuba diving. If you want to spend the day fishing, you should head the northern beaches such as Bluewater Bay and New Brighton Beach.

The Addo Elephant National Park

Any trip to South Africa will be incomplete if you do not see some of the Big Five. The Addo Elephant National Park is the third-largest national park in the country and covers 444,000 acres. It is located 72 kilometers north of Port Elizabeth, but is worth a visit.

The park was started in 1931 when there were only 11 South African bush elephants left. Today, there are more than 600 who wander the park alongside black rhino, zebras, lions and 185 species of bird. The park offers night game drives and hiking trails. You can visit for the day or stay in the accommodation within the park.

Route 67

If you love art, Route 67 is a must-see. This is the historical hub of the city and highlights 67 pieces of art made by Eastern Cape artists. The number is a dedication to each year that Nelson Mandela devoted to public life.

The heritage trail brings the British heritage of the city and African history. The story that is told leads up to the 1994 elections when Mandela was elected as president. You can follow the trail downhill when you start at Donkin Reserve. The trail will end at Campanile which is a 52-meter high tower that was erected in honor of the first settlers.

Van Stadens Wildflower Reserve

If you want to hike and picnic, you can head 40 kilometers outside the city to the Van Stadens Wildflower Reserve. The reserve has well-maintained paths that you can follow and the walks all vary in difficulty. There is a path for everyone from gentle paths through native trees to challenging hikes that go along streams and through thick forest.

While walking in the reserve, you should head to the Van Stadens bridge. Here you will have stunning views of the steep ravine. You also get to see all the native flora of the area.

The Boardwalk

If you want to stay inside, you should head to The Boardwalk. The Boardwalk is in Summerstrand and just a 10-minute walk from the beach. This is a leisure resort and relaxation center build on an artificial lake.

The Boardwalk offers a range of stores from boutiques to specialty stores. There is also a 5-screen cinema, an amphitheater that hosts live shows and adventure golf. If you visit the center at night, you can see the musical fountain show. There is something for everyone at The Boardwalk and it is a great place to go when the weather makes the beach impossible.

Port Elizabeth has a lot of attractive so you will never be bored. You can head to one of the Blue Flag beaches or to the Boardwalk when the weather does not work with you. There are also a number of nature reserves around the city as well.

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The Best Beaches In Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Port Elizabeth is a great family holiday destination with something for everyone. If you are looking to spend time on the beach, there are a lot of choices available. Whether you want somewhere safe for the children to enjoy the water or want to go kitesurfing, there is a beach for you.

Blue Horizon Bay

If you want a bit of seclusion, this is the beach for you. It is a great beach to spend the day relaxing on the sand or strolling along the edge of the water. If you are there during the evening, you can watch the sunset over the water from the top of the dunes.

As the city is only a short drive away, this beach is great when the hustle and busy of the city become too much. You can stay in the small town of Blue Horizon Bay if you want to spend your holiday on the beach. The beach is also close to the Garden Route and all its appeal.

Sardinia Beach

If you want your time of the beach to be a bit more energetic, you should head to Sardinia Beach. This is a long beach that is pet-friendly so your dogs can run around. The beach also has a safe bay allowing you to get into the water for an invigorating ocean swim.

If you want a bit more activity, the beach is popular with kite-surfers. As Port Elizabeth is known as the Windy City, you can take advantage of the gusts on offer. If kitesurfing is not for you, you can boogie board down the dunes along the beach.

Pollock Beach

If you love surfing, you should head to Pollock Beach or Pipe as it is known to the locals. This beach offers a fairly reliable left and right beach break making it popular with surfers. The parking lot is close to the water, so you do not have to carry your board very far. The Life Saving Club is on the beach ensuring regular lifeguards and beach patrols.

If you are not up for surfing, there are snorkeling spots and natural rock pools. There is also enough space for the children to build sandcastles. As this beach has so much to offer, it can become very busy. However, the Summerstrand hopping complex is opposite if you need to get off the beach.

Hobie Beach

This is a blue flag beach and often called the Clifton of Port Elizabeth. This beach has everything you could want, but it is extremely popular and will become very busy. The shoreline of the beach is sand trapped which creates the perfect swimming conditions.

The beach not only offers sand and sea, but it also has a promenade and restaurants. There are boat-launching sites and diving operators, so you never feel bored. The pier is also busy with people walking along it and enjoying the views of the water.


If you want to get away from the wind for a bit, this is the beach to visit. Known locally as Schoenies, this beach is full of rock pools, sandy bays for swimming and little coves. The numerous picnic spots also make it a great beach for children. It is also protected from the wind, so you never worry about sand in your food.

The beach is also the start of the Sacremento hiking trail. As you take the trail or sit on the beach, you should keep an eye out for dolphins in the waves.

There are a lot of great beaches in and around Port Elizabeth. There are some blue flag beaches that you can visit which are busier than other beaches. Regardless of what you want to do, there will be a beach that offers it.

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8 Reasons Why You Should Visit Port Elizabeth

Port Elizabeth is fast becoming one of the coolest cities in South Africa. Even the sassy folk from Cape Town and Joburg can’t seem to resist its sunny boulevards and easy charm.

It is a big city with a big personality, a secret underground creative culture, some of the coolest bars and eateries this side of the equator, and great stories, one of which involves a sultan and a ewe.

Whether you are chilling on the beach, exploring rich cultural history, or burning off some energy in one of the surrounding nature reserves, Port Elizabeth will mesmerize you with its charming surrounds.

1. Cradle for creativity

Port Elizabeth is famous for Route 67, an art journey that celebrates the years Nelson Mandela devoted himself to the freedom struggle, but that is just a tip of the artsy iceberg.

All the artworks on view were created by artists from the Eastern Cape and consist of murals, sculptures, flow poetry inscribed in granite, and even a colorful pattern of paving bricks. The walk begins at Port Elizabeth’s iconic Campanile before moving onto various other locations around the city’s historic centre.

2. South Africa’s hot new food scene

Hip and happening Stanley Street is a place to chill while you catch a bite to eat and mingle with the locals, offering all varieties of cuisine, from pastries and breads to sushi, pizza, seafood and sandwiches. It is the perfect place for breakfast, lunch or dinner, where the tables dotted along the pavements are always occupied by happy diners, infusing the area with laughter and talk. At night the trees glow with the twinkle of fairy lights and the streets come alive with late night travelers.

3. Beertopia

Creativity has even spread to the microbreweries in Port Elizabeth. Local breweries such as Bridge Street Brewery, Dockside Brewery, and Richmond Hill Brewing Co. are experimenting with bold artisanal brews that beer lovers will find wildly interesting and worth the trip. The Hop on Beer Route will take you to Bridge Street Brewery, Dockside Brewery, and Beer Yard, where you can taste the local brews and experience the vibe of the city.

4. Sand, sun and sexy tans

One of the most appealing aspects of Port Elizabeth is its moderate climate, turning warm summers into mild winters that then lead to crisp and fresh springs. With so much great weather it’s understandable why the beachfront is a popular hangout. The city has numerous beautiful beaches that are safe for swimming and other water sports, while the soft, white sand offers comfortable spots to throw down a beach towel and catch a tan. The beachfront promenade is peppered with sidewalk cafés and restaurants, so when the heat gets too much, simply slip on a sarong and go grab something cold – or better yet, take a dip in the ocean.

5. Head off to herds of elephants

The Addo Elephant National Park is one of the best known in South Africa and is situated approximately an hour from Port Elizabeth, making it a great day-trip choice. If you are planning a self-drive then grab a map at reception as the park is rather large, or take the more relaxing option and book a guided safari. The park is awash with elephants and is also home to the Big Five, as well as zebra and scores of plains game. Keep an eye on the gravel roads for the tiny dung beetle, the only known species besides humans to navigate and orient itself using the Milky Way.

6. Old architecture

Port Elizabeth sprang into existence in the 1820s, when the first British settlers arrived to lay claim to Algoa Bay. The successful port brought great prosperity to the town which is reflected in a number of beautiful old buildings that still grace the city today. The old post office building is typical of late-Victorian style architecture, while the magnificent Feather Market Centre features enormous, wrought iron windows and was originally built to store ostrich feathers. No 7 Castle Hill stands as the oldest building in Port Elizabeth and is an excellent example of an early settler house.

7. Oldest coffee roastery in South Africa

Even the coffee devotees will find warmth and happiness in Port Elizabeth.

Mastertons, legendary purveyors of hand-roasted coffee, opened their first tea and coffee house in Port Elizabeth in 1924, making them the oldest roastery in South Africa. The city even has its own Mastertons blend known as Blend of the Bay.

8. The vibe of the tribe

Port Elizabeth locals are laid-back and easy-going, with an unrushed air that belies their city surrounds. They live on the Sunshine Coast, next to the ocean, and rarely have to drive more than 15 minutes to get to their next destination, so it’s no wonder that Port Elizabeth is nicknamed The Friendly City. The residents are affable and have a sunny approach to life that generally extends to everyone they bump into, so expect smiles, lingering chats and genuine connections with the people you meet.