Port Elizabeth or Nelson Mandela Bay often known by its initials PE, and colloquially as “The Friendly City”, is a major seaport city and most populous city in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. Port Elizabeth is the seat of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality, South Africa's second largest metropolitan district by area.It is the most-populous city of the Eastern Cape and the sixth most-populous city in South Africa. the most-populous city of Eastern Cape; and the cultural, economic and financial center of the Eastern Cape.
The city is among the top five cities in the world for pleasant weather, according to a 2014 scientific climate study of 600 global cities. Port Elizabeth is known for many blue-flag beaches along the city's urban coastline; its popularity as an international and local holiday destination; and its rich and diverse cultural heritage. It is a tourism gateway city for the Eastern Cape and the only city with the closest proximity to malaria-free big five game game reserves.
The economy of Port Elizabeth is primarily oriented towards automotive assembly, manufacturing and export industries, and the city is also a major South African and sub-Saharan African destination for investment. Foreign direct investments of $19,8 billion has been secured over the past decade. Several Fortune 500 companies have a presence or their African operations headquartered in Port Elizabeth. The city's most prominent landmarks are Shark Rock pier, the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, and the Donkin Reserve.
Port Elizabeth is a popular domestic and international holiday destination. It is a gateway city for Eastern Cape's adventure, outdoor and African big five game, malaria-free safari tourism.
Where is Port Elizabeth South Africa
Port Elizabeth is located in the south eastern coast of South Africa. It is situated on the western portion of Algoa Bay, adjacent to the Indian Ocean. The city lies 770 km east of Cape Town, between South Africa's Garden Route and Wild Coast. Port Elizabeth covers 251 square kilometers of the Nelson Mandela Bay metropolitan area, South Africa's sixth largest metropolitan municipality. Fortune 500 companies are present or have their African operations headquartered in the city.[ Port Elizabeth is the second oldest city in South Africa. It was founded in 1820 by the government of the Cape Colony when 4,000 British colonists settled Algoa Bay to strengthen the border region between the Cape Colony and the Xhosa.The city's moderate subtropical climate ranks among the top ten cities in the world for highly pleasant, all year round weather, according to a Syracuse University climatology study.
History of Port Elizabeth
Historically, Port Elizabeth goes back a long way. Bartolomeu Dias saw the bay on his momentous journey around the Cape, and named it Bahia de Lagoa, or Lagoon Bay. This was soon corrupted to Algoa Bay, which it remained for a few hundred years, until it was recently renamed Nelson Mandela Bay, for no apparent reason other than to curry favour with the tourists.
Algoa Bay, by the way, should not to be confused with Delagoa Bay, which is the old name for Lourenço Marques, which has now become Maputo, the capital of Mozambique, a country that used to be called Portuguese East Africa. D’you get all that? I tell you, nomenclature is a tricky business in this part of the world.
The Dutch did little to develop the potential of Algoa Bay because the strong summer winds had a habit of driving ships into the rocks. Nevertheless, in time, the Eastern districts of the colony needed a harbour, and Algoa Bay was the only one around. In 1799, the first British administration built a small outpost, called Fort Frederick, on the banks of the Bakens River mouth, and a small town began to develop. The subsequent Batavian administration then founded a town close to Fort Frederick, which they called Uitenhage.
Once the second British Administration had found its feet, they began to appreciate the value of the little harbour at Algoa Bay, but they were troubled with the on-going friction between white settlers and the native Xhosa tribes living in the vicinity. The British, in their ineffable wisdom, decided that the solution was to build up a buffer zone of European settlers, which would neutralise the threat of any independent tribal authorities. Undeterred by any thoughts that they may actually be making the problem worse, a campaign of sponsored emigration was launched to attract new settlers from England, Scotland and the other parts of the empire.
When this first wave of organised immigration arrived at Algoa Bay in the motley form of the 1820 settlers, the British governor travelled from the Cape to welcome the new arrivals. This melancholy man, named Sir Rufane Donkin, gave the settlers a rousing speech, welcoming them to their new home. He also decided to re-named the town around Fort Frederick after his dearly departed wife, Elizabeth, who had died of fever two years earlier while the couple were stationed in India. Port Elizabeth became a magistracy in 1825 and, 100 years later, an artificial harbour was built to give the ships an anchorage that was safe from the wind.
Now, Port Elizabeth is one of the largest towns in SA, and the centre of our motor manufacturing industry. It is also the financial capital of the Eastern Cape, and a hotbed of industrial development. In fact, the jewel in the crown of South Africa’s current public works programme is the ambitious, multi-billion rand industrial complex being developed around the nearby port of Coega.
Things to Do in Port Elizabeth
Shop for souvenirs
St Croix Island Marine Reserve
The small, rocky island of St Croix is an important marine reserve as it is home to the largest breeding colony of African penguins in the world. These distinct black-and-white birds are only found along the southwestern coast of Africa and, with rapidly dwindling numbers, are listed as an endangered species. A boat charter is needed to get to the island, while the surrounding waters are rich in marine life and a popular scuba diving site.
Blue Flag beaches
Blue Flag status is a global accolade awarded to beaches that meet strict environmental, water quality and security criteria, and the good news is that Port Elizabeth currently has three. Kings Beach, Hobie Beach and Humewood Beach all hold this prestigious honour, as well as clean, sandy shores where visitors can stretch out and work on their tan. The Indian Ocean is usually warm enough for a dip, so swim, surf, boogie board or kite surf the day away while the sounds of the city hover faintly in the background.
Natural and cultural history merge easily with slithery reptiles and underwater marine wonders at Bayworld, where you can eyeball a shark through the safety of a glass window in the oceanarium before heading off for a close encounter with one of the Eastern Cape’s indigenous snake species. Adjacent to Bayworld is the Port Elizabeth Museum, the third-oldest in South Africa, with exhibitions ranging from dinosaurs to maritime history and Xhosa bead work. Seal and penguin presentations, as well as snake interaction sessions, occur daily at set times.
St George’s Park
So much more than just a park, this green and leafy recreational and sports facility is the sixth-oldest cricket ground in the world, housing a cricket stadium, swimming pool, walking paths to meander along and a good scattering of hungry ducks. It also includes the elegant Victorian Pearson Conservatory that was built in 1882 for the cultivation of exotic plants, and Prince Alfred’s Guard Memorial. Take a picnic and grab a spot on the grass while the kids work off energy in the playground, or catch an action-packed cricket match.
Affectionately known as ‘Sards’ by locals, this pristine stretch of beach requires a bit of legwork to get to but, once you are there, you will understand why the walk was worthwhile. Peaceful and often deserted, Sardinia Bay forms part of a marine reserve, with waters frequented by scuba divers and long stretches of sandy coastline favoured by horse riders, dog walkers and kite surfers. Ideal for romantic, early morning strolls or cuddles on the sand dunes come sunset, this is one spot to share with your honey.
South African Marine Rehabilitation and Education Centre
The SAMREC is located within the wild and beautiful Cape Recife Conservancy with the aim of rescuing injured marine life before releasing it back into the wild. The most common patients at the centre are African penguins, an endangered species, and visitors can watch as volunteers care for and clean the birds. SAMREC is open throughout the day, but those wanting an extra special treat should aim to be there at 2:30pm when the eternally hungry penguins get fed.
The vibey Valley Market gives foodies a reason to get excited, as it dishes up platefuls of artisanal food and drink options on the first Saturday of every month. It is housed in an old industrial tramway building that comes to life with enticing aromas and colourful dishes, tempting visitors to eat their way through until their heart’s content. The wide variety of food on offer is an appealing alternative to traditional restaurants, so grab some dim sum, a gourmet burger, or spicy seafood paella and end it off with home-made gelato.
The Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment Complex
The Donkin Heritage Trail
Take a walk
The wooden walkway along Port Elizabeth’s shoreline is well kept and perfect for a serene outdoor walk without all the huffing and puffing. Stroll past Hobie Beach and Shark Rock Pier while surfers catch waves and the sun sparkles off the ocean. Once you get to the lollipop beacon, the scenery changes to a wilder but equally breath-taking landscape. Look out for bottlenose dolphins in the morning, when these playful mammals enjoy riding the waves and leaping through the surf.
|Languages spoken||Afrikaans, Xosa, Zulu, English|
|Currency used||South African Rand (SAR)|
|Country name||South Africa|