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Eastern Cape
Port Elizabeth
Sho't Left

SSouth Africa’s ‘wild’ province, the Eastern Cape features expanses of untouched beach, bush and forest. This was Nelson Mandela’s home province and is an area with some enticing attractions – among them the Addo Elephant National Park, with the densest elephant population in the world; the dramatic Wild Coast; and, of course, Mandela’s home at Qunu. Here are some great outdoor places to visit in the Eastern Cape – for FREE!

Check out cars of old at the St Croix Motor Museum

Visit the St Croix Motor Museum in Newton Park, PE for an interesting display of vintage and classic cars dating back to the early 1900s. About 80 cars of various categories are displayed ranging from the early 20’s to the late 60’s. Many artefacts related to the motor-industry are also on display.

Where: Mowbray Street, Newton Park, Port Elizabeth

When: Open on Saturday afternoons. Weekday visits by appointment only.

How: Call +27 (0)83 463-5286

How much: Free

Spend the day at Van Staden’s Wild Flower Reserve

This 500 hectare flower reserve is described as a 'floral wonderland' for its mix of natural vegetation and cultivated areas, in which the reserve propagates indigenous plants and flowers. Bird-watching, biking, walking trails and picnics make for a fun family day out at Van Staden’s Wild Flower Reserve, about 40 kilometres outside Port Elizabeth on the N2 to Cape Town.

Where: Van Staden's Wildflower Reserve, Old Cape Road (R102), Van Stadens, Port Elizabeth

When: Best during daylight hours.

How: Call +27 (0)41 956-0155

How much: Free

HHike the Donkin Heritage Trail

The Donkin Heritage Trail is an easy 5km meander in the footsteps of the 1820 settlers, passing 47 historical sites in Port Elizabeth, including Donkin Lighthouse, Donkin Pyramid, the city market Square, City Hall and Fort Frederick. A map can be obtained from the tourist office located at the lighthouse. Donkin Heritage Trail is a joy to anyone who loves historical tours as the rich history is not only charming but also fascinating.

Where: Donkin Visitor Information Centre, Port Elizabeth

When: Best during daylight hours

How: Call +27 (0) 41 582 2575

Spot a special species at Settlers Park

Perched on the banks of the scenic Baakens River, deep in the valley of the same name, is the beautiful Settlers Park Nature Reserve. This reserve is situated in the heart of Port Elizabeth, flanked by residential neighbourhoods, but secluded by the sheer abundance of its lush vegetation. Bird-watchers will enjoy the two-kilometre walk through Settlers Park. More than 100 bird species can be spotted, such as peregrine falcon, Knysna woodpecker and southern tchagra.

Tel 041-373-6794.

Parking Gate Hours: from 07h30 to 18h00.

Surf St Francis Bay

Experienced surfers know that St Francis Bay offers some of the best waves in the country, so pick up a board and hightail it to the sea. Most of Seal Point's swell is generated from ground swells with an angle from a South South Easterly direction producing the best swell.

Where: From Humansdorp (off N2), follow signs to Cape St Francis / St. Francis Bay. Follow the road until you reach a parking lot at the Seal Point Lighthouse.

When: Daily.

How much: Free

DDive Nelson Mandela Bay or get an introduction to scuba diving

For certified divers, there’s no shortage of great diving spots around Nelson Mandela Bay, one of which is Bell Buoy Reef just off Hobie Beach, with depths of up to 20 metres. As a 5 Star Dive Centre in the Eastern Cape, we offer the widest range of products and services in Port Elizabeth. Pro Dive offers beginner to instructor courses and has become one of South Africa’s most popular diver training facilities.

If you’re not certified, but would like to give scuba diving a try, call Pro Dive. It offers free introductions to scuba diving in the safety of a swimming pool.

Tel 041-581-1144

Where: 189 Main Rd, Walmer, 6065

When: 9:00 - Closes 17:00

Phone: 041 581 1144

Visit a lighthouse in Port St Johns

In Port St Johns, admire the pretty stone Cape Hermes Lighthouse, named after the HMS Hermes, which keeps a watchful eye over the rocky bay. Built in1903 this lighthouse shines its dream out to sea in one flash every three seconds. Visible from 13 nautical miles, the Cape Hermes Lighthouse, named after the HMS Hermes that surveyed the Pondoland coastal waters, warns passing ships of the rugged rock alcoves that line this bay of danger on the East Coast of South Africa. 

Where: Visible past entrance to Mzimvubu River, First Beach on right, road to the lighthouse, Port St Johns, Wild Coast, Eastern Cape.

When: Architecture - daylight best visibility. 
Light - overcast conditions with poor visibility & night

How much: Free

Hike the Sacramento Trail

Hike the eight-kilometre Sacramento Trail that hugs the coast between Schoenmakerskop and Sardinia Bay. Gannets and dolphins can often be seen out at sea from the circular route.  The trail traverses the Sardinia Bay Nature Reserve where you will see attractive seascapes, landscapes, and depending on the season, some remarkable displays of wildflowers.

Where: Sardinia Bay Nature Reserve, Sardinia Bay Road, Sardinia Bay

When: Best during daylight hours.

How much: Free

Take a drive to Jeffrey’s Bay for a surf or swim

Jeffrey’s Bay is home of the best right-hand surf break in the world! International surfers flock to catch the legendary waves in this, a paradise of sunshine, aloes, dolphins, shells, perfect points & classic reefs. Surfers and others who found it hard to leave such an idyllic spot have turned Jeffreys Bay into a 500-hectare fun place to be, creating a thriving local craft industry besides the surf shops on just about every corner.

When: Year-round

Accommodation: +27 (0)42 293 2923

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