Am I the only one that feels like time speeds up around this time of year? It’s nearly summer and the festive season, so many people will be heading to the coast during the holidays. I never take leave during the holidays, for many reasons that I won’t state in this post, but I know a lot of my readers do. Hence why I’m writing a post on things to do in Port Elizabeth this summer.
Whether you live in PE, or the broader Nelson Mandela Bay area, or are coming on holiday here (or still deciding if you should) check out these things to do in Port Elizabeth without breaking the bank.
Addo Elephant National Park
A mere 30 minute drive out of the city, the Addo Elephant Park is the third largest national park in South Africa. The park is also home to the big seven. You can self drive through the park, and the roads are suitable for normal cars. However, doing a self drive prohibits you from access the restricted paths. These are only for guided tours and park staff.
Don’t stress if you can’t afford a guided tour. You’ll see a wide variety of fauna and flora on the open roads. In my SANParks open week post, the only animals that we didn’t see on the open paths were the lions. So on the open paths we saw hedgehogs, zebra, various buck, elephants and dung beetles. We also saw some elephants from the viewing deck in the main camp. There’s also a number family friendly activities at the main camp and a few eating facilities.
Entrance rates to the park start from R62 per adult and R31 per child.
A boat trip around the Bay
Admittedly I haven’t yet tried this, but I am super keen to go on one. The recently launched Stampede Cruises offers various water trips around the bay on the Blue Pearl. Unfortunately I missed out on their launch, but will update readers once I have gone on one of their trips. Prices start from R250 per person.
Visit Route 67
This vibrant path of public art consists of 67 art pieces in different mediums. These pieces commemorate the life of Nelson Mandela. Route 67 starts at the Campanile in Strand Streets and moves up into the city. There’s a lot of stairs on the route, so be prepared to get some exercise in. One of my favourite monuments on the route is the Harmony in Nature monument at the Atheneum. To the unassuming viewer it’s a distorted mosaic on the ground, surrounding a reflective steel pole. On closer inspection you realise it’s an optical illusion, as the mosiac reflects onto the pole. In the reflection, you see fauna and flora found in the region.
The route can be completed on your own as in without a guide, not solo. If you’re not taking a guided tour, go in a group for safety’s sake. Take along some water, a hat and some sunscreen. To walk the route is free, unless you take a guided tour.
I remember the old Something Good with its bright red and white umbrellas, and as a child being in awe of their burgers being the size of my face. The restaurant closed and the building was bought and restored by new management. The new Something Good pays tribute to the old restaurant, but is awesome in it’s own right. It now consists of an ice cream shop, take away section and restaurant, which also has a bar inside it. I’ve only been to the ice cream shop and take away section once, but often go to the restuarant. In my opinion, it may probably be the best place in the Bay for Sunday lunch. They didn’t pay me to write this, I just really love Something Good.
The restaurant has a great chilled vibe, and they have a decent selection on their menu, which is also quite affordable. Generally I don’t like restaurants that are child friendly, but their layout and design is done really well. I find that parents can enjoy their meals while their kids play, without disturbing childless patrons. They are also pet friendly. During summer they also have jumping castles and other fun activities for kids. They also often have live music in the evenings.
Every single time I’ve been there, the restaurant is always full or nearly full. It’s not a tiny restaurant and they’re really popular amongst locals. There’s no other place in the Bay like it, so sit back, relax and enjoy the ocean air.
Cycle along the beachfront
Did you know that you can hire bicycles to cycle along the beach front? Well now you do. The bicycles can be hired at Oceanside Surf Store on Beach Road, which is in the complex by MacArthur Pools. You can enjoy the beachfront and get some exercise in. It’s a win-win situation. The rental can also be made with a Nelson Mandela Bay pass, which is a nifty pass that gives free admission to a number of attractions and activities in the Bay. More can be read about the pass here.
Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism App
Nelson Mandela Bay recently launched their tourism application. The application has a variety of attractions, tourist hotspots and things to do in Port Elizabeth and the greater Nelson Mandela Bay region. It even includes a list of free Wifi spots in Nelson Mandela Bay. The app also has a number of app only deals from various local vendors. This can be anything from discounts on activities or free wine. It’s not only great for tourists but locals as well. It is available on the App Store, Google Play and the Windows store. For more information, check it out here.
Featured picture (Phone Mockup) via Pixabay