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Port Elizabeth Travel Tips, South Africa

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Port Elizabeth is a seaport of South Africa in the Eastern Cape Province. Located 770 km (478 mi) to the east of Cape Town, it covers 335 sq km (129.3 sq mi) and has a population of 238,000 people (2011 estimate) within the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality with 1.3 million inhabitants. It is the third largest seaport and fifth largest city in South Africa.

The tourism board of Port Elizabeth promotes it as the Friendly City, the Windy Cindy and Africa's Watersport Capital. The city faces the 60-km (38-mi) stretch of Algoa Bay. The coastal area has been developed for recreation with many open, windswept beaches that are popular with both the locals as well as visitors.

The first European to pass through the Port Elizabeth area were Portuguese explorers Bartholomew Dias and Vasco da Gama. The area was not settled by Europeans until Uitenhage was established in 1804. Port Elizabeth was founded in 1820 with British settlers. It was established to enforced a British presence in the area between Cape Colony and Xhosa.

Donkin Reserve, Port ElizabethDonkin Reserve, Port Elizabeth
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Fort Frederick, Port ElizabethFort Frederick, Port Elizabeth
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authorshipAndrew Higgs
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During the apartheid era, the non-white population of Port Elizabeth was forcefully relocated. Prime real estate locations were given over to white population and anti-apartheid activism was dealt with brutally. In the post apartheid era, the area surrounding Port Elizabeth was named the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality.

Port Elizabeth experiences a subtropical climate. January to March are the warmest months, when the average high temperature hovers around 25°C (77°F). Coldest months are June and July, when the average low temperature drops to -1°C (30°F). August is the wettest month receiving 64 mm (2.52 in) of precipitation.

Horse Memorial, Port ElizabethHorse Memorial, Port Elizabeth
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authorshipNJR ZA
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Visiting Port Elizabeth

Port Elizabeth Airport receives flights from Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and other cities in South Africa. Alternatively, you can take the Shosholoza Meyl train from Johannesburg, Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Kimberley or Durban.

Places of Interest in Port Elizabeth

  1. Cape Recife
    Nature reserve and ideal place to enjoy the natural landscape.
  2. Donkin Lighthouse
    Lighthouse built in 1861 in Donkin Reserve.
  3. Donkin Reserve
    Reserve named after acting governor of the Cape Colony, Sir Rufane Donkin, and dedicated to his wife in 1820.
  4. Donkin Street
    Charming street with many lovely Victorian period houses.
  5. Fort Frederick
    The first stone structure erected in the Port Elizabeth region, built by British soldiers in 1799 to ward off attack by French forces.
  6. Horse Memorial
    Monument spearheaded by Harriet Meyer to honor the 347,000 horses that died in the South African War.
  7. Humewood Beach
    The main recreational area for Port Elizabeth. It has an ocean drive, a promenade and a host of swimming spots.
  8. Main Public Library
    Library which was prefabricated in England and shipped over in 1935.
  9. Museum Complex and Bayworld
    Museum in the Humewood Beach area with a disparate collection of exhibits ranging from marine life to tribal. Adjacent are other attractions including a Tropical House and a Snake House.
  10. Port Elizabeth City Hall
    Public building erected in 1858-62 with its clock tower added in 1883.
  11. Protea Hotel Edward
    Edwardian-style building in the heart of the city's historical district.
  12. St George's Park
    Oldest cricket ground and bowling green in South Africa. It also has a swimming pool, tennis courts and a few historical monuments.

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