Port Elizabeth – The friendly city in South Africa

Story by: Lusanda Yedwa     Date: 27 August 2020    Image by: Unsplash | Christian Asare-Baah

6 minutes reading time South Africa

It’s known as the friendly city because of the people that live there that are humble, welcoming, not to mention friendly. An intimate city rooted in historic buildings that will make you fall in love with its architecture amongst many things. As much as the City is a small town, it has residents that breed talent, humility and have potential to take up space around the world. That’s Port Elizabeth, situated in the Eastern parts of South Africa. Port Elizabeth is coastal cosy city that will leave you in awe of its beauty and that of the people that reside in it.

Port Elizabeth, Windy City

Windy City

P.E is also known as the ‘windy city’ because with every season that comes and goes, the wind also accompanies the weather. However, that does not stop the people from having fun and making the most of what the city has to offer. From the hiking trails that will leave you in awe of the beautiful views that the city has to offer, the ocean views and landscapes to die for. Baai’ners (a slang name for people born and bred in Port Elizabeth) take pride in the numerous beaches that they have surrounding the city, you will never see the beaches empty in summer, and surprisingly enough this also happens on other seasons where festivals such as the Iron Man take place and the famous splash festival that happens every year for the kids entertainment. Did I mention the play-land (amusement rides) every December?? From the scariest games that will leave you voiceless to kid-friendly games that will leave the kids in a jolly mood. These types of activities are what get families together to make memories and spend summer days having a remarkable time.

Port Elizabeth Lighthouse

The Donkin Reserve, Pyramid, and Lighthouse

To get to know more about the city and its political background you can spend the day at The Donkin Reserve, Pyramid, and Lighthouse which includes a Stone Pyramid Monument. From the top of the place, you get to see the beautiful view of the central parts of P.E and also witness the ocean and the Port that the city is well known for. As Port Elizabeth has a political history, surrounding the Donkin Reserve are man-made statues of former heroes that have played a big role in the fight against apartheid regime. You get to experience both the fun side and the educational side of the place, where you can end your day off with a nice picnic to enjoy the hustle, bustle and a top view of the city.

Port Elizabeth Safari drive

Safari drive

If you are in a mood for a Safari drive, have no fear, the Addo Elephant park situated a few kilometres on the outskirts of Port Elizabeth is the home to the big five animals (elephant, lion, leopard, rhino and buffalo) where you will get to spend the day on a drive in the safari spotting all the animals with the kids, friends or your partner, touching the elephants and feeding them is a highlight that I will never forget, a story I will keep repeating for a long time.

In the Safari you don’t only get to experience the animals, you also get to part-take in the singing and dancing of the traditional songs by the Xhosa tribe. The Xhosa tribe is a group of people that originate from the Eastern Cape and sing, play musical instruments and dance as a sign of celebrating. The experience will leave you in admiration of their cultural practises, song and dance, not to mention the language and the clicks that are melodic. One would think that the drive is amazing until you taste the food on the African cuisine restaurants where traditional foods that the local people eat, food such as Umgqusho (samp and beans) Ulusu (tripe), dombholo (dumplings) to mention a few and to sip on some African beer (umqombhothi) you will want to come back for more.

eKasi (the neighbourhood)

You cannot go to P.E and not explore eKasi (the neighbourhood) because that is where you come back with the lingo (language), street cred, dance moves to kill and just an overall nice time. Contrary to the Safari experience where you are exposed to traditional dancing, in the hood its freestyle where you get to live your best life with no limits. Saturdays in the hood are the busiest as people get together to meet at the hot and happening spots, the likes of Monde’s Tarven in Motherwell, Kwa Chief Ngqoko in New Brighton, Kwa Gqalane in Zwide to mention a few of these places, local music is played with people socializing, dancing until sunrise. There is something that is called ‘morning bang’ just after the pubs closes, the fun is taken to the beach where people continue their celebrations and wait for the sunrise.

Sunday Chillaz

Later in the day on Sunday, there is a Sunday Chillaz (Sunday Chill) where the mood changes from the party mood of the previous day to a more mellow one where the playlist is more jazz and RnB, the drinks are flowing just like the conversations. The locals like having visitors in their Kasi and they always live up to the promise of giving them the best experience of the township visit and take pride in talking and explaining the different parts of the hood. This usually takes place at a Tshisa’nyama (slang for Braii meat) one could say that it’s a preparation for the week that is yet to come. Black Impala Tshisanyama in Deal Party and Ibhayi Tshisanyama in Motherwell are one of the hottest spots that are always packed to capacity every weekend one would think that people will not be going to work the following day.

Port Elizabeth Sunset

Enjoy Port Elizabeth

There is a lot to enjoy in Port Elizabeth and even more places that I have not mentioned which I hope you can get to experience personally when you visit like the aquarium, the kragga kamma game reserve, the boardwalk, van stadens bridge to mention a few. The friendly, windy city is ready to host you, the question is…are you ready to live your best life with everlasting memories with the friendliest people you will ever come across in your life??? Come and explore my City, IBhayi Lam, My Port Elizabeth.

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