Port Elizabeth, South Africa - The Traveller


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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Fairy Knowe
Port Elizabeth – The Friendly City/The Windy City

Port Elizabeth is the fifth largest city in South Africa which is located on the Indian Ocean coast half way between Cape Town and Durban in the Eastern Cape, some 260 km from Knysna. The city in short is PE and is also known as `the friendly city’ and `the windy city’ and stretches for 16 km along Algoa Bay and is one of the major seaports in South Africa. Port Elizabeth was founded in 1820 as a town and named after the wife of Rufane Donkin who was the acting Governor of the Cape Colony during that time.

The town was to house British settlersfor the purpose of strengthening the border region between the Cape Colony and the Xhosa and now forms part of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality having a population of over 1.3 million.

A perfect complement to the Garden Route, the friendly city besides being a major seaport is also an excellent tourist destination placed along the beautiful shores of Nelson Mandela Bay and is also the centre of the South African motor industry which is spoiled with the moderate and warm temperature throughout the year with scattered rainfall all year round. Port Elizabeth is also a popular and significant spot for water sports offering several historical attractions like the Historic Donkin Heritage trail, taking tourist along the footsteps of the settlers of 1820.

Explore British Heritage 

The British heritage is seen in the Port Elizabeth Cricket club together with the Oldest Bowling Green in South Africa. Its best treasures are malaria free wildlife areas in its vicinity with clean beaches that are washed by warm water.

Tourist information centres are in the Donkin Reserve in the town centre at the Boardwalk – Marine Drive and at the Airport Arrivals hall.It is a coastal hub in the Eastern Cape and the locals are proud of the fact that everything lies within the vicinity of a fifteen minutes’ drive of the airport.

Some of the interesting historical and cultural icons worth exploring include the Red Location Museum, Museum in New Brighton township which portrays `the horrors of institutionalized racism as well as the heroic efforts of the anti-apartheid movement’, the South African Air Force Museum, the Donkin Reserve where one will find birds, walking paths, benches, an opera house, a lighthouse with a memorial may be seen together with the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum and Prince Alfred’s Guard Memorial which are both located in St George’s Park. This is the oldest part in Port Elizabeth as well as a home to the St George’s cricket oval.

Venue for the First Test Match – March 1889

The city also has several sporting facilities for cricket, rugby union, field hockey, association football and a variety of other sports and its coastal location provides a base for many water sports. Port Elizabethis the location of St George’s Park cricket ground and holds test cricket matches and is also the oldest cricket ground in South Africa.

 Moreover it was the venue for the first Test match which was played outside Australia or England between South Africa and England in March 12 & 13, in the year 1889. A top Cricket Team, the Warriors, in South Africa is based in Port Elizabeth. It is an excellent destination for those who would like to enjoy the fine beaches in and near the city.

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