This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Port Elizabeth. To help you make friends with Port Elizabeth before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Located almost halfway between Cape Town and Durban in the Eastern Cape Province, Port Elizabeth, South Africa, is a major seaport on the coast. Historically, it was established in the early nineteenth century by British settlers to strengthen the Cape Colony in this area that bordered the home of the Xhosa people. As such, Port Elizabeth has a mixture of Afrikaans, English, and Xhosa languages and cultures.
Port Elizabeth is a popular jumping-off point for Addo Elephant National Park, as well as other smaller game and wildlife parks. There are several lodge and hostel/backpacker options surrounding Addo itself, especially on the western side of the park near the main entrance. Lots of people opt to stay in Port Elizabeth and take day trips as well. Just north of the city center, there are a few hostel options in the Redhouse neighborhood along the riverfront, as well as on the beach where the river meets the ocean. Located in a quieter, less busy area just outside the main city, several of these hostels offer eco-friendly and sustainable accommodation in addition to camping.
There are also lots of Port Elizabeth, South Africa hostel options in Port Elizabeth Central and Summerstrand, as well as bed and breakfasts and inexpensive hotels. Many of them are beachside, and others are scattered just inland in the heart of the city. The ones in Port Elizabeth Central may be among the many artworks of the Route 67 project, which is well worth exploring. This is a series of sixty-seven murals, sculptures, and other art installations that commemorate Nelson Mandela’s sixty-seven-year-long political struggle toward freedom and equality in South Africa.
Almost every hostel in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, can help arrange activities like tours of the city or day/overnight trips to national and privately owned parks. Around town, you could visit the Apartheid Museum or see the lighthouse and penguin rehabilitation facility at Cape Recife. There are also plenty of activities to do in the water and on the beach like surfing, whale watching, and scuba diving.
Written by local enthusiast for Port Elizabeth hostelsJulie Sushii