Some beach strollers at day break on a Port Elizabeth beach.
By Amelia Meyer
Port Elizabeth Forever
Port Elizabeth Is part of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan area that includes, Despatch and Uitenhage and is located in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. With it's population of 1.4 million it is the fourth largest city in South Africa, it also South Africa's second oldest city. Commonly called just, "PE", throughout South Africa it is also known as the 'windy city" for the strong costal winds that prevail thought out the year.
It is approximately 800 kilometers from Cape Town on the East Coast of South Africa and is a major port , industrial center and tourist destination.
Known for it's 40 kilometers of unspoiled sandy beaches , very favourable weather through out the year, rated fourth best for a coastal city in the world, and calm sea condition in Algoa Bay that makes it an ideal water sport destination.
The area around Port Elizabeth was frequented by the ancient tribe of hunter gatherers that populated South Africa some 100,000 years ago, these were the fore fathers of the tribe know as the San people today. The San were displaced and assimilated into a tribe that spread down from the Northern areas of Africa, these were the ancestors of the tribe known as the Xhosa's today, this is speculated to have happened around 2000 years ago.
Full grown male lion showing its impressive teeth at Seaview Game Park.
In 1488 the first European arrived in Algoa Bay, he was the Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias looking for a trade route to India. From then until the late 1700's there was little European activity at Port Elizabeth, it was only in 1820 when a party of 4000 British settlers arrived in Port Elizabeth that the town was official 'founded' by Sir Rufane Shaw Donkin and named after his wife, Elizabeth.
According to the 2007 census the residents of Nelson Mandela Bay gave this response: 60.4% of respondents described themselves as Black African, 22.6% Coloured, 16.1% White and 0.9% Indian/Asian.
P.E. rovides the visitor the opportunity to view many historical attractions, one the most interesting being the Historic Donkin Heritage trail, which allows the visitor to follow in the footsteps of the 1820 Settlers on their journey of discovery and settlement. While on the five kilometer trail you will visit 47 historical significant sites and architectural interesting buildings in the Old Hill area of central Nelson Mandela Bay.
Perhaps the most attractive draw card that Port Elizabeth offers is the spectacular and varied array of beaches. White-gold sand is splashed by the warm Indian Ocean, and full-bodied waves are populated with toddlers and surfers alike. Sea temperature ranges between 18 and 21 degrees Celsius, and the water remains refreshing, but comfortable, for most of the summer months. Water sports are among the most popular in PE, and include jet skiing, surfing, SCUBA diving, and snorkeling.
PE also enjoys one of the most favourable climates in the world, with summers averaging a warm, dry 28 degrees Celsius, and winters dropping to a comfortable average of 18 degrees Celsius. Moderate rainfall occurs throughout the year, but mostly during the winter months. The notorious wind is regular, usually starting at lunchtime each day, but light to moderate in strength, creating little inconvenience. In addition, it keeps the air free of smog, and it creates the perfect environment in which to kite-surf or to hire a yacht for the day. With this temperate climate, PE is a safe destination choice for holiday makers all year round.
P.E. Enjoys beautiful weather, luxury accommodation, warm beaches, value-for-money, and close proximity to many other areas of interest in South Africa. It is little wonder that PE locals are renowned for their friendliness and hospitality. Port Elizabeth, Nelson Mandela Bay, provides corporate and leisure travellers a unique glimpse into coastal living and ultimate relaxation, combined with an every-growing commercial sector.