Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth is a sought after vacation spot for families, couples, and everyone for many reasons. Port Elizabeth is one of the busiest ports in South Africa stretching 16 km along the Algoa Bay and now forms part of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality. Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth is fondly referred to by many as the “The Friendly City” or “The Windy City” and when you visit you are sure to understand why on both counts. The city and people are diverse which can be seen through the architectural designs some dating back to the 19th century.
Visitors enjoy a subtropical climate will cool mild winters and warm summers being quite a bit less humid here than in other northern South Africa’s eastern coast. Watersports are among the top activities for locals and visitors with Port Elizabeth being known as the watersports capital of the South Africa.
History of Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth
History abounds in this area with the first known inhabitant being the Khoi and the San with the Xhosa arriving prior to the British, which settled the area in 1820. After 1820, the port soon became a gateway for British settlers. Of course, the Xhosa did not give up their home without a fight. In 1896, gold was discovered and more settlers came to call the area home.
On June 6, 1820, Sir Rufane in honor of his wife Elizabeth that passed away in India named the area, Port Elizabeth. In 2000, Port Elizabeth became part of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality.
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium – host of the 2010 World Cup
The Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium is home on North End Lake and is the first stadium in the area that was built and dedicated to football. The stadium was built as a host for the 2010 World Cup, which was completed one year prior to the commencement.
The design as well as the location is one that will be admired for many years to come. This stadium has the distinct attraction of overlooking a lake, being 40m high, and offering six levels on the western side along with five levels on the east, north, and south.
The Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium can accommodate 45,000; however, 4,000 temporary seats will be available for the 2010 World Cup. Other amenities of the stadium include 2 viewing screens, 2 conference rooms, wheelchair access, 32 turnstile gates, 74 toilet blocks, 23 private boxes, and 2 bars.
Transportation to and from the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium to the airport, your hotel, or other attractions in the area is very easy to find. In Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth, you will find there are mini buses, taxis, and rental cars available.
Beginning at your arrival, you can find transportation to your lodging facility by way of taxi or car hire. The majority of the locals use the mini buses, which can be found in all areas of the city. One thing to remember, unlike other countries, taxis are not allowed to solicit business on the street. If you desire a metered taxi, you will have the company.
Lodging Accommodations nearby Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Whether you wish to be in walking distance of Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium or on the outskirts of town, Port Elizabeth is home to many wonderful accommodations. The most popular close to the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium include Access Guest Lodging, Coral Tree Guest House, Paxton Hotel,
Access Guest Lodging is only 2km from the stadium offering single and double suites as well as many other amenities. Facilities you will enjoy include non-smoking rooms, 24-hour front desk, and cable television. If you prefer a self-catering unit, you will love the units with private entrance and the delightful kitchen area. There is in house dining available as well.
Coral Tree Guest House is only 2km from the stadium offering handicap facilities, facilities for children, dry cleaning, in house dining, and more. This is a family friendly environment that even allows the pets come to along on the vacation. They also offer self-catering and bed & breakfast options.
The Paxton Hotel is a four star hotel offering all the amenities you expect in a classy hotel. Facilities include handicap, elevator, dry cleaning, valet, non-smoking rooms, telephone, internet, restaurant, and bar.
Restaurants in the area
Port Elizabeth is home to a wide array of delectable restaurants that are sure to tease your taste buds and have your palate jumping for joy. You can find all kinds of cuisine to fit any picky eater. Examples of the most popular restaurants in the area include Cattle Baron serving seafood, vegetarian, and grills; De Kelder with game, seafood, continental, and grills; Barneys Tavern in Summerstrand offering global, international, seafood, and South African; and Dulce Continental Café offering breakfast, health foods, and continental cuisine.
Things to do in Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth
Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth has all kinds of attractions and fun things to do from lounging around on the beach to visiting historical facilities, and viewing magnificent art galleries.
At the top of the list of things to do include Ado National Park, The Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment World, the Donkin Heritage Trail, and the Kragga Kamma Game Park.
The Ado National Park is around 40km outside of the city but offers you and your family the opportunity to get up close and person to over 450 elephants. The park was established in 1931 to save the Eastern Cape Elephant and the Cape Buffalo from extinction. Today, visitors can enjoy seeing not only the elephants but also the buffalo, lion, rhino, leopard, the Southern Right Whale, and the Great White Shark.
Adult action can be found The Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment World home on the beachfront. Along with the action on the floor, you can enjoy restaurants, shops, crafts, and entertainment venues.
The Donkin Heritage Trail offers visitors the chance to embrace 47 historical interests including Victorian and Edwardian structures and one of the oldest surviving cottages in the area.
The Kragga Kamma Game Park will give you an African safari type of adventure for those that only have a short amount of time. The park is home to nyala, bontebok, buffalo, rhinos, zebra, giraffe, lechwe, and cheetah, to name a few. The two hour guided tour will allow you to enjoy the thrill of seeing these animals in their natural habitant and being able to take some awesome photos.