Anyone Been to Port Elizabeth?

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Apr 16th, 2005, 10:54 AM
  #1
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Anyone Been to Port Elizabeth?

I'm going down to South Africa (outside Johannesburg) for the first part of the summer to do volunteer work. I'd really like to be able to do some travelling while I'm there though, and I plan to take the last week (mid july) as my vacation. I'm trying to figure out where to go and had discovered Port Elizabeth on-line, but I don't find it mentioned on many South Africa travel sites. It looks really nice on their website, so I'm wondering if there's some hidden secret that I'm missing, or why no one is talking about it. I'd really appreciate any help or advice anyone has. I'll be carless, and travelling on my own, so whereever I go has to have easy access to the sights and the safer the better. Thanks!
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Apr 18th, 2005, 05:48 AM
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There's very little in Port Elizabeth that would interest a foreign tourist. In fact it's not a popular destination for South Africans either (mainly because of the wind).

If you're just outside Johannesburg I'd suggest Kruger National Park or Durban or the Drakensberg area.
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Apr 18th, 2005, 05:58 AM
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Hi there

What exactly is the appeal, what would you like to see and do on your weeks vacation, as Port Elizabeth is not fantastic, but it is really close to the Garden Route and Tsitsikamma Forests as well as Addo Elephant Park which is fantastic.
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Apr 18th, 2005, 09:15 PM
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Port Elizabeth is the most underated city in South Africa especially by South African’s overseas visitors keep returning.

The City has 25% of the countries Blue Flag Beaches and a magnificent coastline.

The Addo Elephant National Park is one of the most exciting conservation programs and is being expanded at a furious pace.

There are Numerous Private Game Reserves where you are assured of seeing the Big 5.

Shamwari “The World’s leading safari is the best know and has some excellent off season offers.

The entire area is malaria free so no medication is required.

Port Elizabeth is the ideal starting point for a trip down the Garden Route through the Tsitsikamma National Park and on to Cape Town.
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Apr 20th, 2005, 04:46 AM
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Thanks for your replys everybody! For planning my first major vacation, it's really helpful to have input!
My main goal on the trip is to see wildlife (I'm a big elephant fan) so I really want to see Addo- there is also a place in Knysna that sounds really interesting.
I'm not a big fan of wind, although living by the sea now I suppose I'm used to it.
How is Port Elizabeth safety-wise? I know it's a big city, so you have to be cautious, but compared to Cape Town or Johannesburg what would the crime rate be like?
Also, when is the best weather? I'd been planning on coming the last week of July, but I could really do anything between mid-june and then if it would make a difference.
Once again, thanks for all your comments!
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Apr 21st, 2005, 01:24 PM
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CactusScot,

Lets me say this upfront - PE has NOTHING to offer to entice the foreign visitor that is extra special. Read ColinD's mail as it is spot on and then realise that not one of the events he speaks of is in PE - Everything is in nearby areas to PE. With that said I would suggest that you fly into PE and travel to The Addo Elephant Park where you can arrange lodge, self catering accommodation for yourself. Explore the area using the Addo Park as your base and then move on as quickly as you can to your next destination leaving PE behind you.

The weather in PE in July should be coldish with rain

Hope you dont think that I am to harsh on what we as South Africans call the "friendly city".

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa

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Apr 21st, 2005, 06:07 PM
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I came to Port Elizabeth as a foreign visitor 10 years ago and there has been plenty to keep me here.

Some very good inexpensive restaurants wonderful beaches either side and in the City. The Blue Flag Beaches are within the City limits.

Accommodation is also plentiful and inexpensive.

For a view of the real South Africa there are some excellent Township Tours.

Foreign visitors keep returning, many buying property to extend there stay.

Weather in July could be cold but expect warm 16-24 days with coolish 12-14 evenings rain normally occurs at weekends.

The attractions Addo National Park and The Game Reserves are all an hour away.
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Apr 21st, 2005, 10:26 PM
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CactusScot,

To address your question on crime and safety: I have family who live in Port Elizabeth and my feeling is that Port Elizabeth has lower crime levels than the other big destinations. They complain about house-breaking and theft but seem unconcerned about the prospects of serious violent crime. You still should take the usual precautions though.

June, July is winter in the Southern hemisphere so expect it to be cool to cold and or rainy. Not beach weather in my opinion.

I do not think that Port Elizabeth has the same range of attractions as some of the other destinations in South Africa but I don't think it is dire either!
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Apr 22nd, 2005, 01:49 AM
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Sorry no Table Mountain or Robben Island, just mile after mile of sandy beaches which sounds pretty good to me. July weather is a big improvement on Cape Town and should be ideal for some beach walks the Sacaramento Trail along the cliff tops to the huge –duned Sardinia Bay is wonderful.

Port Elizabeth is also one of the countries safest cities.
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Apr 22nd, 2005, 02:27 AM
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Weather forecast for PE for June and July from wunderground.com

Hope this helps "91% chance of a warm day"

Temperature
Average High Temperature is 68 F
historical range 51 F to 87 F
Average Low Temperature is 47 F
historical range 37 F to 59 F
There is a 0% chance of a Hot Day (temperature over 90°F) (0 days out of 112 in historical record).
Most consecutive days found in historic record: 0
There is a 91% chance of a Warm Day (temperature over 60°F) (102 days out of 112 in historical record).
Most consecutive days found in historic record: 14
There is a 0% chance of a Freezing Day (temperature below 32°F) (0 days out of 112 in historical record).
Most consecutive days found in historic record: 0

Cloud Cover
Average Cloud Cover is mostly sunny

There is a 20% chance of a Cloudy Day (17 days out of 87 in historical record).
Most consecutive days found in historic record: 6

Wind
Average Wind is 9 mph
historical range 2 mph to 30 mph
There is a 27% chance of a Windy Day (average wind over 10 mph) (30 days out of 112 in historical record).
Most consecutive days found in historic record: 3

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Apr 25th, 2005, 07:13 AM
  #11
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Thanks again! The weather info was especially helpful- I go to Uni in Scotland, so anything above 60 sounds wonderfully warm! Just one more question. Does anyone know the best/safest way to get from Port Elizabeth to Knysna for the day? I'd like to go to the Knysna Elephant Park.
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Apr 25th, 2005, 09:29 AM
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I am from Wolverhampton so although "PE has NOTHING to offer" I think the place is magic and the weather awesome.

For elephants I would stick to the Addo Elephant National Park where they are in there own environment as nature intended.

There are 400 and on a good day you should see a lot of them, for a single traveller to Knysna the Baz Bus is the cheapest way but overight stay would be the best option.
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