Things to do in
Port Elizabeth

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Our most recommended things to do in Port Elizabeth

Addo Elephant National Park Full-Day Safari

1. Addo Elephant National Park Full-Day Safari

Get picked up from your hotel in Port Elizabeth. Spend a full day exploring the third largest National Park in South Africa with an expert local guide! The original elephant section of the park was proclaimed in 1931, when only eleven elephants remained in the area.  Nowadays, you can see a variety of antelope and zebra species, as well as the unique Addo flightless dung beetle, found almost exclusively in Addo. The park is also the only one in the world to conserve the “Big 7” – the Big 5 as well as the southern right whale and great white shark off the Algoa Bay coast.  An excursion to the Addo Elephant park is a must when visiting this unique area.

Full-Day Safari with Traditional South African Braai Lunch

2. Full-Day Safari with Traditional South African Braai Lunch

Your experienced and enthusiastic guide will do their best to locate as much of the game available in the area and interpret their behavior for you during your drive. The first few hours of the tour are usually good to see antelope, zebra and lion. As this safari covers all time periods of the day, you should have the opportunity to see most game species. Stopping for a tea and coffee break at around 10:30 AM, you will continue on the game drive for sightings of elephants and buffalo near the watering holes. At lunchtime you can enjoy a delicious South African braai with juice, mineral water, beer and white wine. After lunch continue on the safari before being returned to your place of accommodation. Refreshments will be served throughout the drive.

Port Elizabeth: Addo Elephant National Park 2-Day Safari

3. Port Elizabeth: Addo Elephant National Park 2-Day Safari

Spend 2 days exploring the 3rd largest national park in South Africa with a local guide and look for elephants and other animals in the wild. Learn how the park was created in 1931 when only 11 elephants remained in the area, and how the finely-tuned ecosystem is now home to one of the densest elephant populations on earth. Enjoy 2 game drives to look for some of the park's 600 residenct elephants, along with lions, buffalo and endangered black rhino. Marvel at the landscape as you look for spotted hyenas and leopards, along with different species of antelope and zebra. Keep a close look out for the flightless dung beetle found almost exclusively in the area. The park is the only national park in the world to conserve the Big 7 – the Big 5 plus the southern right whale and great white shark off the Algoa Bay coast. This 2-day safari includes overnight accommodation, 1 breakfast, 2 lunches, and 1 dinner.

Port Elizabeth: Whale, Dolphin and Penguin Boat Cruise

4. Port Elizabeth: Whale, Dolphin and Penguin Boat Cruise

The tour departs from Algoa Bay Yacht Club at Port Elizabeth Harbor in the early morning. Board the catamaran with your guide, and then set sail onto the waters where the adventure begins. As you sail around the coastline, watch out for the vast array of marine life that lives here, as you learn about their mating and migration patterns. The best time for whale spotting begins in June when humpback whales move along the coast as they head up the east coast of Africa towards their breeding grounds. Humpback whales can be spotted in Algoa Bay between June and early January, reaching peaks in July/August, and then again in November/December when they make their return journey with newborn calves in tow. Southern right whales are also usually seen very close inshore nearby to the harbor during July to October as they enter the safety of the bay to give birth. These whales are the most frequently observed whales along the South African coast. Indo-pacific bottlenose dolphins also call the bay their home and can be spotted all year round in groups from 10 to 400. These playful dolphins are mostly found in shallow waters either near the beaches or around St. Croix Island, and tend to come right up to the boat and ride along in the bow waves. Common dolphins are also a spectacular sight as they are seen in groups of 1000-2000, swimming along at great speeds. There’s also the chance to see humpback dolphins in Algoa Bay, which usually occur in much smaller groups, anywhere between 1 and 20, and are most commonly seen during the summer months. On the tour, the boat will also sail around St. Croix Island, home to over 20,000 breeding pairs of African penguins, the largest breeding colony found in Africa. Enjoy a close-up encounter with these comical birds and learn about their breeding habits on the island. As well as African penguins, both St. Croix and Brenton Island are inhabited by the endangered African black oystercatcher, white-breasted cormorants and Cape cormorants.

Port Elizabeth: River Cruise on the Sundays River

5. Port Elizabeth: River Cruise on the Sundays River

Enjoy a relaxing river cruise along the majestic Sundays River passing the Alexandria Coastal Dune field and many local birdlife feeding in their natural habitat. The cruise also includes a stop at one of the highest sand dunes. If you climb to the top, you will be treated to spectacular views of the bay. Tours are from 1.5 to 2.5-hours and are perfect for small or larger groups, families, friends, bird watchers or birthday parties, bachelor/ achelorette parties and year-end functions.     Guests are welcome to bring along their own snacks and drinks.  

Hlosi Game Lodge: Half-Day Safari with Optional Boat Cruise

6. Hlosi Game Lodge: Half-Day Safari with Optional Boat Cruise

See local wildlife in its natural habitat on a half-day safari tour. Make your way to the Amakhala Game Reserve, about an hour's drive away from Port Elizabeth. Your experienced and knowledgeable ranger will show you around the malaria-free reserve. Experience unforgettable wildlife sightings and breathtaking scenery from the back of an open safari vehicle. Choose to take an optional 1-hour boat cruise on the beautiful Bushman's River, the lifeblood of the reserve that teems with rich birdlife. Have the chance of spotting hippos in the water and the Big Five on the riverbanks.

Hop-on Hop-off Bus between Cape Town & Port Elizabeth

7. Hop-on Hop-off Bus between Cape Town & Port Elizabeth

Choose your direction, from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth or vice versa and plan your own itinerary, decide which stops you would like to make, and how much time you want to spend in each town. There is no time limit on your ticket. It will only expire when you reach your final destination Buses are 19-seater buses with on-board Wi-Fi, USB ports, TV, DVD players, air conditioning and trailers capable of carrying surfboards and bicycles.

Port Elizabeth City Walking Tour

8. Port Elizabeth City Walking Tour

Explore one of South Africa's oldest cities on a 2-hour guided walk. Start at Port Elizabeth’s Campanile Memorial, at the entrance to the railway station. Continue to Route 67 and follow a trail that combines both historical and modern-day elements of the culture of the Eastern Cape. It pays tribute to Madiba’s 67 years of service to South Africans. Visit the Donkin Reserve at Belmont Terrace and the old lighthouse. Admire old Victorian churches, newly renovated terraced cottages, and a lighthouse that once guided ships into Algoa Bay. Other attractions include Fort Frederick, City Hall, Market Square, and St. Georges Park, which is the oldest cricket ground in South Africa.

Port Elizabeth: Sandboarding with Short Boat Trip

9. Port Elizabeth: Sandboarding with Short Boat Trip

Travel down the picturesque Sundays River to the Alexandria Dune field; the largest and most impressive dune field in South Africa. Suited to beginners and experienced sandboarders, choose from 2 or 3-hour sandboarding tours which give you ample time to learn some new skills and have a great time while doing it. If you are not quite comfortable to stand on the board, try a sit down or belly-board ride down the dune. Otherwise the guides will show you how to master the technique of standing on the board as you surf down the dune.

Travel Pass Hop-on Hop-off Bus - Cape Town to Johannesburg

10. Travel Pass Hop-on Hop-off Bus - Cape Town to Johannesburg

Plan your own route, decide where to start, which stops you would like to make, where you finish your trip and how much time you want to spend in each town. Depending on the travel pass you choose, your ticket will only expire after 8 days, 14 days or 21 days. Choose your desired pick-up and drop off points from a list of over 200 accommodations in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban, Johannesburg, Pretoria and dozens of smaller towns along the way. Enjoy the flexibility to get on and off as many times as you want. Either pre-book all of your stretches in advance or book each section of your itinerary as you travel if you prefer to be more spontaneous (at least 72 hours notice is recommended). Reserve your desired bus rides with the local tour operator by providing your name, ticket number, departure date, pick-up town and accommodation and drop-off point. You will be given a confirmation number for each stretch. Buses only run during the days and not during nights. Buses are 19 seater semi-luxury buses with onboard Wifi, USB port, TV, DVD players, air conditioning and trailers capable of carrying surfboards and bicycles. Please note that Port Elizabeth and Durban are compulsory overnight stopovers. All accommodation needs to be booked directly with accommodation of your choice. Each year the local tour operator select the best accommodations South Africa has to offer and collect and drop off from their doors. From backpackers hostels, guest houses, lodges and hotels, the establishements on their list suit every budget and travel style. Also note that some of the locations shown on the map with dotted lines are only accessible through the use of independent shuttle services (not included in the ticket price) which link to the bus route. If you require shuttle services, you will need to pre-arrange them directly with the accommodation offering the service.

Frequently asked questions about Port Elizabeth

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What people are saying about Port Elizabeth

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 244 reviews

This safari is a must! Smooth process, we were picked up from our accommodation and dropped off there again. Fast and uncomplicated communication via WhatsApp. The nature reserve is beautiful! Our guide John was great. We laughed a lot and he told us a lot about the park and the animals. We were always able to ask questions and had enough time to observe the animals and take photos. The picnic was also very nice. We can definitely recommend this safari!

Such a wonderful experience going out on the wildcoast with John and the company Afroventures. Hikes and activities lost in the middle of what is to me the some of the most beautiful places in SA. Couldn't stop taking pictures. Every evening is a good rest at backpackers with stunning views for sunset and sunrise. Thanks again

We spent the whole day at Addo park. Our guide was very professional and looked out for animals. As he exchanged with other guides we were able to watch a lot of animals. One day is enough and enabled us to spend as much time as wanted when spotting any kind of creatures. The braai was also prepared and cooked perfectly.

What a day we had. We saw lots of dolphins, more Than I have ever seen in my life. Penguins, not many but we were very close that we saw them and took a lot nice pics. We saw few whales, close enough to hear them and take amazing photos. The crew was amazing! Highly recommend.

A great harbour experience with professional and knowledgeable tour guides. I specifically enjoyed the conservation aspect of the tour.