Getting Here and Around
Port Elizabeth (PLZ) airport, small and easy to navigate, is served daily by South African Airways and SA Airlink. Kulula and 1time, two no-frills budget airlines, also offer a good service but usually have only one or two flights a day. You can fly here from Cape Town (1 hour), Johannesburg (1½ hours), and most other major cities; there are no international flights. There's a minibus shuttle at the airport that will drop you off at your hotel (R60 one way, much less than a metered taxi), but you'll need to book in advance.
Greyhound and Intercape Mainliner have pretty reliable and reasonably priced bus services, but the distances are long. Both services depart and arrive at Greenacres shopping complex, in the Newton Park suburb 3 km (1.8 miles) from the city center. This area is perfectly safe during the day, but you do need to arrange to be picked up in advance. If you are concerned about your budget, consider saving money by staying at a backpackers' lodge and spending a bit more on the Baz Bus (which travels door-to-door); an added benefit is that you won't have to wander around town with your luggage.
Traveling by car is the easiest and best way to tour this area. The major rental agencies have offices at the airport and in downtown PE. One-way rentals are available. Roads are generally in good shape, but east of Grahamstown the N2 is a single-lane road with no shoulders, few fences, and quite a few potholes.
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