Port Elizabeth City Tour - 1 Day

History of Port Elizabeth

P.E. “Port Elizabeth” goes by many names: The Friendly City, the Windy City, the City on the Bay, the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Area. Whatever you call it, P.E. is a lekker place. It’s not humid like Durban. It isn’t as posh as Cape Town. The beaches are great. The locals are friendly. The sea’s warm. So why don’t more people go there? One will never know.

Historically, Port Elizabeth goes back a long way. Bartolomeu Dias saw the bay on his momentous journey around the Cape and named it Bahia de Lagoa, or Lagoon Bay. This was soon corrupted to Algoa Bay, which it remained for a few hundred years until it was recently renamed Nelson Mandela Bay, for no apparent reason other than to curry favor with the tourists.

Algoa Bay, by the way, should not be confused with Delagoa Bay, which is the old name for Lourenço Marques, which has now become Maputo, the capital of Mozambique, a country that used to be called Portuguese East Africa. D’you get all that? I tell you, the nomenclature is a tricky business in this part of the world.

The Dutch did little to develop the potential of Algoa Bay because the strong summer winds had a habit of driving ships into the rocks. Nevertheless, in time, the Eastern districts of the colony needed a harbor, and Algoa Bay was the only one around. In 1799, the first British administration built a small outpost, called Fort Frederick, on the banks of the Bakens River mouth, and a small town began to develop. The subsequent Batavian administration then founded a town close to Fort Frederick, which they called Uitenhage.


This tour will reveal the history and places of interest in the city area of Port Elizabeth. A perfect orientation trip.

We begin with the Bushman people who roamed the area long before the Portuguese first landed here in 1488. We discuss the Boers, who entered the area next, followed by the British and then the Blacks (Xhosa).

The 90 years of bloody Frontier Wars (Wars of Dispossession) are also discussed on this tour.

We then explore the colonial architecture downtown and discover the green spaces of Port Elizabeth.

The journey culminates in a view of the 2010 Mandela Bay Soccer Stadium and a glimpse of the industrial area.

Day 1
Port Elizabeth

Depart from accommodation to Nelson Mandela Depart from accommodation to Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Campuses.

Visit Humewood Golf Course

Drive via Summerstrand towards the beachfront area, passing the Piet Retief Memorial, Hobie Beach, the blue flag beach at Humewood, The Boardwalk Casino, Shark Rock Pier, Bayworld, Kings Beach and McArthur Pools.

Thereafter we drive to the city, passing the Port Elizabeth harbour, the Campanile and the Railway Station.

We stop in the City Centre at the Library, Old Post Office, Feather Market Hall and City Hall.

We view the oldest newspaper house in South Africa, the first Opera House, Cathedrals, Portuguese Monuments, the Reserve Bank door as well as Govan Mbeki Ave.

On top of ‘The Hill’, we stop on the Donkin Reserve to see the Edward Hotel, Grey Institute, Donkin Street and the view over Algoa Bay. We Experience Route 67 and follow part of the Donkin Heritage Trail.

Next, it’s on to No 7 Cuyler Street and Fort Frederick and then we go into St George’s Park Cricket Ground, visit the Pearson Conservatory and the P.A Guard Memorial.

After stopping at Settlers Park, we continue via Grey High School, P.E Golf Club, Greenacres, the Industrial Area & Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

En route home, we pass the Horse Memorial and travel on the freeway via South End and the Apple Express Station.

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Port Elizabeth City Tour