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Things to do & Places to visit

Things to do & Places to visit

Tips for finding accommodation in Port Elizabeth

December 19, 2016
accommodation in Port Elizabeth

The skies are bluer, air warmer and days longer. Summer has officially arrived in Nelson Mandela Bay. If you’re coming to the region, but haven’t yet found accommodation, best you read this post and get booking soon! Here are some nifty tips on finding accommodation in Port Elizabeth. These will suit your budget and holiday plans.

Where you’d want to stay would be dependent on whether you’ll be coming for business or leisure and what your activities will be. Port Elizabeth like every other coastal city gets crowded in the summer with visitors from other countries and provinces.

To make the most of your experience, it’s best to ensure that your choice of accommodation in Port Elizabeth is aligned with the activities you plan on doing. If you’re visiting the Bay, you should choose accommodation in or nearby the area where most of your activities will be taking place. You’ll save on petrol and you’ll have more time to focus on having fun.

How to book accommodation in Port Elizabeth

You can easily book your accommodation for your next trip, online over here on the AccommoDirect website. As you can see, AccomoDirect offers a number of different options, including hotels, bed and breakfasts and guest lodges. Each listing lists the different services that the facility offers. You can also find award winning facilities on their site. If you’re heading to PE soon, here’s some tips on finding accommodation in Port Elizabeth for your next trip.

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Humewood Water Park

For the beach dwellers

The city has a number of public swimming beaches. Some of the most popular beaches are King’s Beach, Hobie Beach and Pollock Beach. These beaches are all found in the suburbs of Humewood and Summerstrand. These beachfront suburbs have a plethora of options for accommodation in Port Elizabeth. During the year these suburbs have relatively low traffic. However during summer it is busy, which is why it’s best to stay in the area. You won’t need to leave either suburb as grocery stores, restaurants, cafes and entertainment facilities are all in walking distance. Exploring a place by foot is the best way to discover new things about the area.

hobie-beach-pool

For business trips

There’s a variety of options for people travelling on business trips. The beachfront strip is home to many of the city’s larger hotels and guest houses. The beachfront is often a popular choice for accommodation for business trips. However, many superb boutique hotels, lodges and guest houses can also be found in the central suburb of Walmer and the surrounding area. Much like the beachfront suburbs, Walmer has a number of amenities in walking distance.

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Houses by the Donkin Reserve

For art and history lovers

The CBD of Port Elizabeth has a lot of history and culture. The area is home to heritage sites, including the iconic Route 67 and the main public library. Using public transport in this area is easy, as it contains main taxi routes, is close to the city’s main bus station and train station.

If you want to spend your days soaking up the city’s history, heritage and wandering around art galleries, then Richmond Hill is where you’ll want to stay. Here you’ll find the renown Stanley Street, with it’s strip of popular restaurants and stores.

donkin-reserve

The Donkin Reserve

Situated next to Richmond Hill and the CBD is St George’s Park. Much like the former suburbs, St George’s Park is rich in history, as it contains (amongst other things) the oldest park in the city. The area is home to the famous Park Drive, which contains galleries, the Nelson Mandela Art Museum, Settler’s Park nature reserve and quaint coffee shops. The park is the second oldest park in the country and it is a woodland with gorgeous walkways, monuments, the city’s largest stadium and an open air theatre. If you’re looking for accommodation in Port Elizabeth that is central, but without the buzz of city life, stay in St George’s Park.  In addition, there’s so many things to do in St George’s Park that you won’t need to leave.

pearson-conservatory

The Pearson Conservatory in St George’s Park

More about AccommoDirect

AccomoDirect can help you book accommodation in Port Elizabeth without hassle. They list various facilities in these areas, many other suburbs and areas in the region. As one of South Africa’s largest accommodation portals, AccomoDirect has over 20 000 accommodation listings across 2 000 destinations and has 10 000 reviews on it. Browse through their easy to navigate site to find accommodation for your next trip.

Click here to find out more about AccommoDirect.

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by AccommoDirect. All of the views expressed and photographs used in this post are my own.

Things to do & Places to visit

Things to do in Port Elizabeth this summer

November 28, 2016

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.  Continue Reading

Things to do & Places to visit

Baakens Food Truck Friday: A first for the city

November 24, 2016
Baakens Food Truck Friday

This past Friday was the first ever Baakens Food Truck Friday, which took place in Baakens Valley. A few of my blogger pals and I were invited to attend the event and we received some vouchers to try out some of the vendors food. My views are unbiased.

The full list of trucks can be found on the event’s facebook page and as with all food trucks, they offered a limited menu on the day. There was a lot of trendy food options.  I’m banting and nearly every truck I went to didn’t have banting friendly options, nearly everything had carbs or sugar. Not that I went to all of them. There was a lot of people and a lot of queues.

I received vouchers for The Munch Box and another vendor, but ended up only using the one for  The Munch Box. I spent at least 40 minutes in the queue and the other trucks’s queues were about the same length or longer.

There were quite a few trucks at the Baakens Food Truck Friday that stood out for me, here are a few I’d like to point out.

Baakens Food Truck Friday

Chia Health Food Co

Chia stood out for me, because they were the only truck that offered healthy food options. I haven’t gone to each and every truck so I might be wrong, but they were the only truck that had the word health in it’s name. I tried their Chai tea, it’s not banting friendly as it contains coconut sugar. It was love at first sip. I don’t care that it’s not banting friendly, I’d have another in an instant. I wanted to try one of their juices but they were sold out by the time I got there.

Masterton’s Coffee

They’re my favourite local coffee brand, so it’s no surprise that their truck stood out for me. They were the first truck I went to when I got there. On Friday I hadn’t had coffee all day. I know it’s shocking, so I quickly fixed that by having a cappuccino. Some say it’s not good to have coffee so late in the day, but I have so much caffeine in my system, it doesn’t affect me.

The Munch Box

As I mentioned earlier I received a voucher for The Munch Box. There wasn’t much left on the menu by the time I got to the front of the queue. All they had left to offer were burgers, chips and beverages.

I took the bun off and only ate the patty, lettuce and tomato. The patty was quiet thick and moist but not wet. It had the slightest hint of spiciness. This is great as it adds flavour without burning your mouth.

Other things to do at the Baakens Food Truck Friday

Well there was space for you to have a picnic, live music and a henna artist. I decided to get a mendhi design on my hand. The artist Bieshneen is so precise and so good. Unfortunately I managed to smudge the design a bit. There were also peddle go karts and a few other activities for kids.

Baakens Food Truck Friday

One of the vendors told me that they did not expect the amount of people who came and have plans in place to reduce the queues at the next one. I’m sure the organisers and vendors went home happy with full pockets, but standing in a queue for 40 minutes, or an hour and a half like Nadine did, is never fun. Hopefully this was just teething issues and the next one will be better. When I was invited to the Radisson for breakfast, I wrote about how I feel about queuing for food. So I’m going to give it a few months before I go back to this event.

The Baakens Food Truck Friday takes place from 4PM till 9PM on the third Friday of every month.

Things to do & Places to visit

A dazzle of zebras at the 2016 SANParks Open Week

September 12, 2016
2016 SANParks Open Week

Thanks to Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism and SANParks, yesterday I was amongst a group of photographers, instagrammers and bloggers, on a day trip to Addo Elephant National Park for the launch of the 2016 SANParks Open Week.

I might be biased in saying this, just kidding I’m totally biased, but the Addo Elephant Park was the best location for the launch of the 2016 SANParks Open Week. Addo Elephant Park is the third largest national park in the country, and is roughly the size of Belgium. The park is home to thousands of animals, not only elephants.

Basically what the 2016 SANParks Open Week, is an initiative where SANParks grants South Africans free access to nearly all of their parks in the country. This runs from 12 September to 16 September 2016, but selected parks will also have free access on the weekend. More information can be found on the SANParks website.

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When we arrived at the park, we got to wander around the main camp. Before the activities started, two elephants passed us by on the viewing deck. They put on quite a show, as they intertwined their tusks, giving us ample opportunity to photograph them.

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Ryan, was our guide for the tour of the park. He knows the park, probably better than the palm of his hand. He guided us via sight, sound and quite literally, smell. Within 15 minutes of starting our tour, he took us off the beaten path and found two of the park’s lions. Gibson, the park’s alpha male, and his brother Melvin, laid napping under the shade of some thorn trees. Seeing them was amazing. What intrigued me was where we found them. They were less than 100 metres from a busy road. Dozens of cars zipped past, its inhabitants unaware that they were only a stone’s throw away from the Kings of the jungle. It made me think about Addo itself, so many people in Nelson Mandela Bay are zipping past the park, not realising how amazing it is and it is literally a quick ride out of the city. We don’t need to spend thousands of rands to travel  to see all of these amazing creatures. They’re literally in our backyard, and that is amazing.

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We saw so many animals including the only type of flightless dung beetle in the world (I got to hold one actually), warthogs, red hartbeest, more than one dazzle of zebras and a dozen of elephants. Ryan had mentioned that visitors are not always guaranteed to see the gentle giants. Sometimes you can take a trip and see none, or see dozens of them. Fortunately for us, it was the latter. It was also fascinating to see an elephant disappear behind a seemingly small bush.

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Ryan explained that the safety of the animals, visitors and staff is of extreme importance to the park. This is why visitors are not allowed to leave their vehicles when going on tours. He went onto explain that because the animals are accustom to vehicles passing them, visitors often assume that they are tame. This is simply not the case. These are wild animals. Getting out your car puts you, your family and the animals at risk as they could charge you or you could be attacked by a predator lurking in the bushes, while you’re trying to get a good photograph.

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We left the park, sun kissed and satisfied with an arsenal of beautiful photographs and memories. Thank you to Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism and South African National Parks for an amazing day trip.

Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity and take advantage of the 2016 SANParks Open Week.

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Disclaimer: I was invited to the event by NMB Tourism and views are my own, always.

Things to do & Places to visit

How to prepare for The Color Run Port Elizabeth

June 7, 2016
The Color Run Port Elizabeth

The Color Run Port Elizabeth is happening this Sunday 12 June 2016. Also known as The Happiest 5km on Earth, this is a color race with four color zones, where runners are covered in bright (and safe) powder. Port Elizabeth has been one of the event cities since it arrived in South Africa and this year the event has a new route that starts at the Boardwalk Festival Lawns. The great thing about this event is that it is untimed. When I was at university I belonged to an Amateur Athletics club (I know right now I don’t look like I did, but I was). I was one of those people who ran 10km races for fun, but I was one of the slowest runners in my club, so I was consistently pushing myself to be faster. Because the Color Run is untimed, there’s no pressure to run a PB, all you need to focus on is having fun. If you’ve never walked, jogged or run 5km before, I can assure that anyone can do it. Unless you have a medical condition you can complete it. This guide on how to prepare for the event won’t focus on your athletic capabilities, but on how you can have an awesome and fun time.

How to prepare for The Color Run Port Elizabeth

Wear white

The color shows up best on white and or light clothing. Just don’t wear anything that you’ll have difficulty in cleaning. The color powder will wash out of your clothes, but rather be on the safe side.

The Color Run Port Elizabeth Hair

Dress Up

This race is all about fun. Tutus are a popular choice. Be innovative and stand out from the crowd. I have a few metres of tulle, which I’m thinking of making into a tutu. I’ve already been on Pinterest to see the different options that I could make.

Go as a group

You know how the saying goes, “The more, the merrier”. Get at least 3 other people and you can register as a group and get to choose a fun name. The run is suitable for people of all ages (children under 10 enter for free) so bring your family and friends. Also if you register as a group, you get a discount.

Bring along a ziplock bag

What’s the point of doing the Color Run if you’re not going to take photos? This is where a ziplock bag comes in. Keep your camera lens and phone clean by putting them in a clear ziploc bag. The event’s website recommends plastic wrap, which could be more convenient .

Wear sunglasses

The colored powder is made from cornstarch and is safe, but getting it into your eyes won’t be fun. So rock a pair of sunnies.

The Color Run Port Elizabeth Sunglasses

Have fun

See you at The Color Run Port Elizabeth!

For more information and purchase your ticket check out the Port Elizabeth event’s Facebook page.

Images all via Pixabay.