Port Elizabeth Life and Visitor Travel Tips
(Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa)
Port Elizabeth is considered to be a relatively safe and very beautiful South African city, and is surrounded by a series of enormous townships. The layout of Port Elizabeth has rather been shaped by its elevated motorway, which separates the Central Business District (CBD) and the Indian Ocean.
Life in Port Elizabeth is greatly influenced by its stunning coastal setting and it is the plentiful beaches that are responsible for the city's tremendous popularity and tourist appeal. Not only is the city known for its harbourfront, but also for being home to the acclaimed Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU).
Useful Contact Details
The Donkin Reserve
serves as the base for the city's official tourist information and is also an interesting attraction in its own right. Offering an extensive supply of city maps and leaflets about local walks, the Donkin Reserve is well worth visiting and will allow you to make the very most of your time in the city of Port Elizabeth.
Look out for the information about the Donkin Heritage Trail, which takes visitors on a route past some of the city's most historical buildings.
Tourism Port Elizabeth
Address: Donkin Reserve, Belmont Terrace, Port Elizabeth, South Africa, ZA
Tel: +27 041 585 8884
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 08:00 to 16:30, Saturday and Sunday - 09:30 to 15:30
Visa Information and Passports
Tourists spending time in Port Elizabeth and heading in from either Western Europe or the Commonwealth countries, as well as with the countries of Japan and the United States, will automatically receive entry permits to South Africa
, completely free of charge.
All visitors to Port Elizabeth and South Africa as a whole are entitled to receive a 90-day visa, although this will expire once you leave the country.
Dos and Don'ts
- Banking Hours - banks in Port Elizabeth are spread around the city centre and open Monday to Friday between 09:00 to 15:30, and on Saturdays from 08:30 until 13:00
- Day Trips - renting a car in Port Elizabeth is ideal for short excursions and allows you to explore the countryside. Many tourists enjoy day trips to the Addo Elephant Park or the Zuurberg Mountain Horse Trails
- Guided City Tours - various guided tours of Port Elizabeth are available and allow tourists to learn more about the various townships and also the significant buildings within the Central Business District (CBD). Those feeling brave may even like to partake in a spooky ghost walk
- Malaria - Port Elizabeth is completely malaria-free and so it is quite possible to head into the jungle areas without the worry of mosquitoes. However, do be aware that snakes may be present in the undergrowth
- Money and Currency Exchange - a popular branch of American Express (AmEx) is located along the Boardwalk on the Marine Drive, in the Summerstrand area. Further afield, foreign currency exchange is also available at the Bridge Shopping Centre, amongst other locations
- Post Office - the main post office in Port Elizabeth is located on Govan Mbeki Avenue and opens Monday to Friday between 08:00 to 16:30, and on Saturdays from 08:30 to 12:00
- Public Telephones - pay phones are operated by both coins and phone cards, with direct dialing to most cities around the world being possible
- Safety and Dangers - in recent years, the centre of Port Elizabeth has been noticeably more heavily policed, especially along Govan Mbeki Avenue, which has reduced crime levels, such as the snatching of bags. The beachfront is now considered to be amongst South Africa's safest, although quieter and more industrial areas of the city should be avoided at night. Always be discreet with valuables and try to blend in wherever possible. Many tourists prefer to avoid Strand Street in particular