I’m a born-and-bred Port Elizabethan, and am the first to admit that our little city is nowhere near as exciting as, say, Cape Town. But it has its charm and there is still plenty to do here! Whether you’re a local or just visiting for the holidays, there will be something on this list for you to do.
1) Addo Elephant National Park – I hadn’t been to Addo in years until very recently, and was so pleasantly surprised. The park is so well maintained, and all the staff are incredibly friendly and knowledgeable. Home to the Big 7, they offer day trips, as well as overnight options. To visit their site for more information, click here.
2) Adrenalin Addo – If you’re looking for some adventure while in the vicinity of Addo, this is for you. Boasting the highest, longest and fastest double zip line in South Africa, it will definitely meet any adventurous needs you have. They also offer a giant swing adventure, as well as canoeing down the Sundays River. Visit them here for booking options: or take a look at their Facebook page.
3) Sundays River Adventures – speaking of Sundays River, you’ll find plenty of activities here. Sundays River Adventures offer sand boarding, boat rides and boat cruises all along the river. This is a relaxing way for a family to spend a day and it is absolutely beautiful out along the river, especially on a nice day!
4) Nanaga Farm Stall – Three words: world famous pies. I have friends from the US who absolutely just need to get to Nanaga for their pies when they are down to visit. Besides that, they have a lovely farm shop and play area outside for the children. Click here for more information on them.
5) Valley Crag Indoor Climbing Center – This is something that is on my to-do list these holidays! They offer various climbing options and packages, and even have an option for children. The Valley Crag is something new and exciting that has opened in Port Elizabeth, and I really hope that they are well supported in order to remain here.
6) Segway Tours – This is another new addition to Port Elizabeth and is just in time for the holiday season. If you’ve never ridden a Segway before, I highly recommend it! It takes about 15 minutes to get the hang of it, after which you won’t want to get off! Get in contact with them via their Facebook page here.
7) Lady Slipper Trail – If you’re looking for a day hike that is not just a stroll and rewards you with amazing views, this is for you. The Lady Slipper mountain is situated just outside PE, and it’s peak is 585m above sea level. The Lady Slipper Trail is not recommended for children under 8 years of age, and is also not recommended for anyone who would not enjoy walking over loose rocks.
8) Coffee and Kids Company – This one is one of my new favourites! This coffee shop is parent and kid friendly, offering value-for-money food and an indoor and outdoor play area for the kids. This is perfect for a day when you just want to take your child somewhere to play, or for when the weather is not so great and you need to be indoors. For more information click here
9) Mountain Biking – Port Elizabeth has some amazing mountain biking trails that will suit all ages and all skill types. We are so fortunate to have the Fat Tracks mountain biking club here – they maintain the biking trails so well, and ensure that the experience is pleasant for all. Some of the trails are free to ride, whereas others do require a small fee but this all goes towards keeping them in tip-top condition.
10) Holmeleigh Farmyard – Holmeleigh Farmyard is just as much fun for adults as it is for children. At this animal touch farm you can take part in various activities, such as horse riding, milking the cows and feeding the animals. Holmeleigh Farmyard also hosts children’s parties, if you are looking for a venue.
11) Cape Recife Nature Reserve – This is a great place to enjoy a relaxed nature walk. There are different paths you can take and explore, going both through the bush and across the beach. The reserve also has historic claims, in that it has an old military fort and a lighthouse built in 1851 (tours can be arranged). If you are wanting to see animals, Cape Recife Nature Reserve has both game viewing and birdwatching, as well as SAMREC (SA Marine Rehabilitation Centre) which has a focus on marine rehabilitation and education.
12) International Cricket – Last, but not least, cricket. Home to the sixth oldest cricket ground in the world and to the (in)famous brass band, St George’s Cricket Ground will be hosting the Boxing Day Test between South Africa and Zimbabwe. For more information and to book tickets, visit: http://cricket.co.za/fixtures-proteas.
There is so much more to see and do in and around beautiful Port Elizabeth, these are just my top picks. If you are here on holiday, I hope you enjoy yourself immensely, and if you’re a local I hope you experience something new and exciting in our city!