Planning a Trip
Port Elizabeth tourism has been renamed Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism (tel. 041/585-8884; Mon-Fri 8am-4:30pm, Sat-Sun 9:30am-3:30pm), but it's still in the Donkin Lighthouse Building, Donkin Reserve, central P.E; the satellite office (tel. 041/583-2030) is at The Boardwalk, Marine Drive in Summerstrand. The website www.nmbt.co.za is comprehensive and a good augmentation to the information here.
By Car -- P.E. is on the N2, which runs between Cape Town (7 hr. away; through the Garden Route) and Durban.
By Air -- Port Elizabeth Airport (tel. 041/507-7319) is 4km (about 2 1/2 miles) from the city center. SAA (tel. 041/507-1111; www.flysaa.com), Nationwide Airlines (www.nationwideair.co.za), and British Airways Domestic (www.britishairways.com) fly between P.E. and Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban (tel. 021/936-9000), as does budget airline Kulula.com. Budget airline 1Time.co.za (www.1time.aero) connects P.E. with Johannesburg and Cape Town. There is an ATM in the passage connecting the terminals and there are metered taxis outside the terminals, or call Hurters Cabs (tel. 041/585-7344) to arrange an airport transfer.
By Bus -- Greyhound, Baz Bus, and Translux all connect P.E. with Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban. Intercape runs between P.E., Johannesburg, and Cape Town.
By Train -- The national mainline train runs between Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth; for details, call Shozoloza Mail tel. 086/000-8888.
By Car -- The best way to explore the Eastern Cape is with your own wheels. Avis (tel. 041/501-7200), Budget (tel. 041/581-4242), Imperial (tel. 041/581-4391), and Tempest (tel. 041/581-1256) all have desks at the airport.
By Taxi -- Hurters Taxi Cabs (tel. 041/585-7344) has a 24-hour taxi service. Molo Tours (tel. 082/970-4037) offers direct safari transfers to reserves.
By Air -- Contact John Huddlestone (tel. 041/507-7343 or 083/653-4294) for a helicopter trip to any of the reserves, or an aerial tour of P.E.
Guided Tours of Port Elizabeth & Beyond
Besides the highly recommended township tours; orient yourself with a 90-minute Friendly City Tour (tel. 041/585-1801); or book a full-day "big-game" excursion with Pembury Tours (tel. 041/581-2581). For guided hikes, contact Eastern Cape Adventure and Hiking Association (tel. 041/368-3761). If you would like to have your own historian and botanist onboard, book a tour that takes in the Eastern Cape game reserves, then tool down the Garden Route to Cape Town, accompanied by Brian Aldridge tel. 082/801-7721; www.capetowntours.com). Brian offers highly personalized tours based on your particular interests; he takes on only one booking at a time, so you have his undivided and very intelligent attention. Brian makes all the bookings based on your budget and his research -- in other words, not based on commission.