Things To Do In Port Elizabeth
Port Elizabeth is the Gateway to commencing the Garden Route or completing it. Guests staying at Treetops often ask us what is there to do in Port Elizabeth and initially one thinks there is not much to do in Port Elizabeth but in fact there are enough interesting things to be seen and done that in fact require a stay of couple of days. The following are just some of our suggestions of what one can see and do in Port Elizabeth.
Addo Elephant National Park
Visit the Addo Elephant National Park Website: www.addoelephantpark.com
This amazing park is literally a 30 minute drive from Treetops. There is an amazing variety of wildlife to be seen including 600 Elephants, if you are lucky you might see Lions. Once can easily spend a couple of days at Addo and there is a variety of accommodation at the Park and it can be booked online.. Best time to see the animals is early morning or late afternoon. The park opens at 7.00am and the Southern Gate closes at 17.00 and the Main Gate at 19.00. if you are in Port Elizabeth for a couple of days we do really recommend that you visit Addo for a feel of Africa
Kragga Kamma Game Reserve
Visit the Kragga Kamma Game Reserve Website: www.kraggakamma.com
Those of you that are on a tighter schedule and cannot afford a day at Addo then we recommend Kragga Kamma Game Reserve which is about a 20 minute drive from Treetops. You will not see Elephant but you will see Rhino, Cape Buffalo, Giraffe and numerous buck. It is a small intimate Reserve but the animals are free roaming and you can get quite close to them.
SAMREC / Cape Recife
Visit the SAMREC website: www.samrec.org.za
SAMREC stands for the SA Marine Rehabilitation and Education Centre. It’s primary function is the rehabilitation of Penguins, Seals and Sea Birds that are washed up on our shores and our rescued and are sent to the centre for rehabilitation and then for release back into their natural environment. There are always animals on site being assisted and the centre has a very interesting educational centre so it is ideal for children to learn about the environment. The centre is situated on the Cape Recife Reserve and if you go into the reserve you do require a permit which is obtained at the gate for SAMREC no permit is required. Cape Recife has a lighthouse which you can look at from the outside as it is still an operational lighthouse, lovely beaches and a great area for birding.
Sacremento Trail / Schoenmakerskop
Take a beautiful coastal drive and head out to Schoenmarkerskop. Once arriving at the beautiful seaside village of Schoenmaerskop one can relax at the local cafe and take in the beautiful scenery or you can commence the Sacramento trail which is situated in the Sardinia Bay Nature Reserve and is about 8 kilometres long and follows the coastline to Sardinia Bay and you return via a path along the top of the vegetated dune. Whilst at Schoenmakerskop have a look at the bronze cannon which points towards the site of the wreck of a Portuguese galleon called the Sacremento which came onto the rocks in 1647.
Walk Route 67
Route 67 is situated in the centre of Port Elizabeth and consists of 67 works of art which symbolises 67 years that Nelson Mandela dedicated to the Freedom of South Africa. The route starts at the Campanile and then you walk up stairs to Market Square onto St Mary’s Terrace adjacent to the Cathederal and then up 67 stairs onto Donkin Hill, along the way you will see a variety of art works and you will get a look at the city centre of Port Elizabeth culminating in the biggest South African Flag in South Africa which is raised daily on Donkin Hill.
VW Auto Pavillion
Visit the VW Auto Pavillion Website: www.autopavillion.co.za
If you are a car lover then visiting Port Elizabeth you are in the Detroit of South Africa with car manufacturers having plants in Port Elizabeth as well as parts manufacturers. Volkswagen is the foremost of the manufactures and operates a big plant in Uitenhage. It has an Auto Pavillion which showcases the history of the group in South Africa and which houses an extensive collection of VW cars through the years. Whilst their one can also take a tour of the plant which takes one hour and is free Monday to Thursdays at 9.00am or 12.00 and on Fridays only at 9.00am. You can book by ringing 041-9945941 / 3. The Auto Pavillion is open weekdays 8.30 to 16.00 every first Saturday of the month from 10.00 - 13.00
South African Air Force Museum
Visit the South African Air Force Museum Website: www.saairforce.co.za
Situated at the back of the airport on the grounds of the historic old 42 Air School. It houses a collection a varied collection of exhibits covering the full existence of the South African Air Force. There is always ongoing restoration work in one of the original Bellman Hangars from World War 2 and the people working on the planes are always happy to have a chat about the planes. There is a flight simulator for a Buccaneer 415 where you can experience flying one of these jets. The Museum is open Wednesdays to Fridays 8.30 to 15.00 and on Sunday from 10.00 - 16.00.
Homeleigh Touch Farm
If you have young children then this one is for you. Situated off the Kragga Kamma Road. It has a wide variety of animals which the children can interact with as well as learning about the animals. It also offers tractor rides, pony rides, jumping castles and lots of play structures. A great way to spend a morning with your children and then have lunch at their restaurant.
Boat Based Dolphin and Whale Watching Trip
Visit the Raggy Charters Website: www.raggycharters.co.za
Raggy Charters is the only licensed boat - based whale watching permit holder for Algoa Bay. Southern Right and Humpback whales are usually seen from June until December. Bryde’s and Minke whales can be seen throughout the year. Dolphins are regularly seen and include the both Common and Indo Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins.
Trips are weather dependent.
Visit the Bayworld Website: www.bayworld.co.za
Although not a patch on what it used to be when we had performing Dolphins, a visit to Bayworld is still worthwhile particularly if you have children. Seals and Penguins can be seen and the Snake section is very extensive and the Museum gives an excellent insight to the history of Port Elizabeth.
Port Elizabeth have some of the best beaches in the country. Situated on the Indian Ocean side the beaches have beautiful sand and drop shallowly into the sea and the seas are in general gentle.Water temperatures vary between 18 and 21 degrees Celsius during summer and 14 to 19 degrees Celsius during winter. We have three Blue Flag beaches in Port Elizabeth, Kings Beach, Hobie beach and Humewood Beach. We have numerous other equally beautiful beaches in Port Elizabeth, try Pollock Beach and Sardinia Bay Beach is really great for long walks. So if the weather is great then head out to one of our beautiful beaches.
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