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Nelson Mandela Bay Attractions

The metropole of Nelson Mandela Bay, comprises the seaport city of Port Elizabeth, the inland towns of Uitenhage and Despatch, and the riverside villages of Colchester and Cannonville, and was so named to honour the legendary Nelson Mandela. Not only was the late Nelson Mandela an international role model, the first president of a democratic South Africa, anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician and philanthropist, he was Madiba, son of this area, who was born in, and spent his formative years on the rolling green hills of the Eastern Cape.

Algoa Bay Hope Spot

Port Elizabeth’s bay, Algoa Bay, has been proclaimed a Hope Spot, one of 5 Hope Spots in South Africa.

As put by Dr Sylvia Earle, a renowned marine scientist and current National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, Hope Spots are “PROTECTION FOR EARTH’S BLUE HEART”. Hope Spots are protected areas in the ocean that have magnified importance in terms of restoring and maintaining ocean health.

The Indian Ocean in Algoa Bay hosts a unique ecosystem. Due to dynamic interactions between the dominant Agulhus Current carrying warm water southwards and upwellings of cold nutrient-rich water, the shallow shelf of Algoa Bay provides a perfect platform to sustain a large suite of marine species.

The stunning St Croix and Bird Island groups, seven islands in total, are without doubt the main draw cards of Algoa Bay. St Croix hosts the largest African Penguin breeding colony on earth, close to 50% of the world population. Bird Island is home to the largest gannetry on the planet, a quarter of a million of the vulnerable Cape Gannets.

Nature and Wildlife

Nelson Mandela Bay is the home of the Big 7 (Lion, Leopard, Cape Buffalo, Elephant, Rhinoceros, Southern Right Whale, and Great White shark in the Marine Section), offering an unbeatable blend of seaside and safari holiday in the malaria-free Eastern Cape. Port Elizabeth is within an hour’s drive of several internationally acclaimed game reserves, such as Shamwari and the Addo Elephant National Park.


Nelson Mandela Bay bears the rich legacy of an area that saw the first meetings of Khoisan, British, Dutch, German and Xhosa people. As the landing place of the 1820 British Settlers, it offers a wealth of historical attractions, such as the Donkin Reserve, the Donkin Heritage Trail, The Campanile, No. 7 Castle Hill Museum, and many more. The Great South African Flag on the Donkin Reserve, measures 12m x 8m, is the biggest in South Africa, and it flies from the highest flagpole (45m) in the country.


Port Elizabeth’s pristine beaches are legendary, with wide expanses of golden sands which are ideal for safe, sheltered swimming and other water sport and beach recreational activities. Both Humewood Beach and King’s Beach have again been awarded full Blue Flag status with Hobie Beach being awarded “pilot” status. Summer water temperatures range from18 to 21 degrees Celsius; and sea conditions are generally calm in the bay, except when the South-Easterly wind blows. Professional lifeguards patrol most beaches during summer.

Arts & Culture

Nelson Mandela Bay offers a true ethnic mosaic. Various venues showcase a variety of locally produced art work. Nelson Mandela Bay’s “Townships” are steeped in history, tradition and culture, offering Political and Historical Township Tours, and Shebeen (informal drinking halls) Tours.


Port Elizabeth is a mecca for all beach and watersports enthusiasts, and has earned the name of African Water Sports Capital. Algoa bay offers unrivalled conditions for open water swimming, sailing/yachting, scuba diving, fishing/angling and boat cruises. Boat charters offer breakfast cruises, sunset cruises, cruises to the islands, and specialized whale watching cruises. The first leg of the International Iron Man Triathlon, the open water swimming, takes place at Hobie Beach, and is spectacular to watch.


Contact Details

041 583 3586
86 552 4467
082 894 0407
89 Brighton Dr
Port Elizabeth