10 Nelson Mandela Bay guided tour options to try out

  • 28 July 2019 | By Eleanor Douglas-Meyers

A guided tour of Nelson Mandela Bay might just be the "sho't left" you were looking for. The city is alive with history, scenery and hidden gems and sometimes you just need the right person to point it out to you.

The following guided tour options will have you looking at the city and surrounds in a new light. 

Ocean Safari into Algoa Bay

Algoa Bay is not only the Bottlenose Dolphin Capital of the world it is also an International Hope spot, home to 50% of the African Penguin population, 70% of African Gannet Population and Minke and Bryde's whales. Why not travel through the protected waters of Algoa Bay with the possibility of spotting seals, sharks, and seasonal Southern Right and Humpback Whales. Circumnavigate St Croix Island host to the largest breeding colony of African Penguin in the world and spot the Bottlenose dolphins of Algoa Bay, with 3 other dolphin species also in the area. 

There are a few options for an Ocean Safari including; Stampede Cruises, Raggy Charters and Alantours.


Penguin Patrol Tour

The Penguin Patrol tour is a Raggy Charters offering which celebrates Port Elizabeth being home to the largest breeding colony of African penguins in the world. The Penguin Patrol starts at 8:15am with a boat cruise into Algoa Bay, out to St Croix Island to see the colony. On your return, you will get to enjoy lunch in the Port Elizabeth harbor before being taken to SANCCOB. This marine rehabilitation center is a vital resource in keeping our penguin population going and guests will get to see the good work they are doing. Guests will be taken on a tour around the center and will learn about the desperate need for such centers in conserving marine species, and will get to experience nature through sight, sound and touch.  The final stop will be at Bayworld Oceanarium and Museum, an establishment devoted to public education, as exhibits are aimed at stimulating a greater awareness of the need for conservation of our natural and cultural heritage. 

A percentage of the profits generated by the Penguin Patrol goes towards marine conservation and research efforts in Algoa Bay. 



Route 67 

The MBDA's Route 67 consists of 67 Public Art installations symbolising Nelson Mandela's 67 years of work dedicated to the Freedom of South Africa and includes 67 steps leading up the second largest flag in Africa. Start your tour at the newly renovated Campanile, which contains the largest carillon of bells in the country. From there climb the staircase to Vuyisile Mini Market Square which is the centre of the City and follow the rest of Route 67, enjoying the artwork designed by local artists from the Eastern Cape. The route is a proud celebration of our cities heritage and history. This is a must-see stop for the whole family to walk and to enjoy. For a guided tour option contact the TOURISM call centre on +27 (0) 41 582 2575


Port Elizabeth Beer Tour

Hop on Gecko Tours’ coach for a round trip visiting 3 craft breweries.  Here you can meet the Brew Master enjoy tours of the breweries and taste their top offerings. The four-hour tour ends off with a traditional pub meal. Mandela Bay Pass holders get a discount on the tour.



Cape Recife, Lighthouse and Grysbok Nature Reserve 4 x 4 Tour 

The first stop is SANCCOB for a guided tour of this marine bird and penguin rehabilitation centre. Afterward, you continue your tour of the reserve arriving at Cape Recife itself with its mobile sand dunes and the 3rd oldest fully operational lighthouse in South Africa.

Leaving the lighthouse you continue to a series of settlement ponds where a wide variety of mainly aquatic birds can be viewed from the bird hide or if the invasive vegetation covers the waters we simply continue to the main road to enter the Grysbok Nature reserve a protected area of coastal Fynbos that surrounds the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU). This is a refuge for a number of indigenous animals and a wealth of birdlife. This tour is free when using the Nelson Mandela Bay Pass.


The Original BIG 7 Safari – Algoa Bay and Addo Elephant National Park 

Start the morning on the protected waters of Port Elizabeth’s Algoa Bay searching for dolphins, seals, sharks and the seasonal Humpback and Southern Right Whales. Circumnavigate St Croix Island for close up views of the largest breeding colony of African Penguin in the world. Return for a light lunch in the harbour before departing to the Addo Elephant National Park for an exciting and informative game drive, scanning the thickets for the more traditional members of the BIG 5 and other animals, birds and reptiles. 



Cultural Tours – Port Elizabeth

Calabash Tours have various options which are different variations of the traditional township tours,  

Untold Stories

After an orientation of the township, you will visit two local residents who will share their “untold stories” with you over a meal. These are ordinary people, with extraordinary tales.

The Beating Drum 

Meet some young passionate drummers, who will share their love of drumming with you, and share what drums mean in African Culture. And then it’s your turn, as the drummers run a workshop for those willing to try something new.

Stories of Hope 

Visit some amazing self-help projects, where community members will explain their work, and show you around the projects. From burgeoning vegetable gardens to community care centres.

Schools at the heart of the Community 

This tour will take you into the heart of the township community – its schools. It is here, where despite many challenges, we can introduce you to teachers and principals who are making a difference. These visits are well coordinated to minimise any disruptions to learning, and give a wonderful insight into the opportunities schools are creating for ordinary township children.

The Shebeen Tour 

Shebeens were previously the illegal drinking houses or Inns particular to South Africa and found within the township communities. You will be taken on an unforgettable journey to experience the diversity of the townships, before relaxing at one of our carefully selected Shebeens for drinks and dinner. 


Sundays River Valley Adventure

Sundays River Valley is a place filled with history, culture, adventure, and tranquility. 

This full-day tour includes:

• Addo Elephant National Park

• Zuurberg Mountains

• Sand Boarding

• Zipline

• Bird watching

• Canoeing

• Citrus Farms



Volkswagen Factory Tours

The one-hour guided tour gives you a VIP view of how the new Polo and Polo Vivo vehicles are made. Boasting an annual production capacity of 160 000 units, this futuristic factory and its 4 000 employees and 640 robots are waiting to welcome you!

The mobile tour is free and conducted every weekday morning, starting and ending at the AutoPavilion. Be sure to book well in advance as the tour can only accommodate up to 21 visitors per trip.


Auto GT Tours 

A service offering by Auto GT South Africa offers domestic and international visitors unforgettable experiences through exclusive guided sports car tours. Visit popular destinations and attractions along the famous South African Garden Route by driving a sports car along scenic routes, whilst being accompanied by a qualified guide in a guide vehicle. Own vehicle use tour options are also available to sports car owners. 

The tour is 4 days long and has various route options; Cape Town to Port Elizabeth, via Agulhas, Port Elizabeth to Cape Town, via Agulhas 


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