Beach to bush: Experiences within a 50 km radius of Port Elizabeth

  • 15 July 2019 | By Anje Rautenbach

You never have to drive far to find adventure and a slice of nature’s tranquility; whether you are visiting Nelson Mandela Bay for the first time, live in the city of Port Elizabeth, or the towns of Uitenhage or Despatch, your next escape is within reach, just around the corner.

And if you want to flee the streets, not up for a museum visit and head to either the beach of the bush, you’re in luck because there is a myriad of beach and bush getaways all within a 50 km radius from Port Elizabeth’s city centre.

Beach Experiences within a 50 km radius of Port Elizabeth’s city centre

Port Elizabeth Promenade

You can go for long walks on the beach, get an ice cream to accompany you on Shark Rock Pier, join a Park Run, swim, surf and enjoy the sun, kayak in the Indian Ocean, sip a cocktail while watching the waves, splash around McArthur Pool or go shopping along the beachfront on weekends.

Distance from the city: + 5 km

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Van Stadens Resort

Make a day of it, or even a weekend and head to Van Stadens Resort for some beach, dune and lagoon fun. There are also some pedal boats and you can go fishing.

Distance from the city: + 50 km

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Cape Recife Nature Reserve

Relish in nature when you head to the 336 hectare reserve; enjoy unspoilt beaches, do the  9km hiking trail, go on a guided tour of the lighthouse, be still and go birdwatching and visit the penguins at SANCCOB, our marine bird rehabilitation and education centre.

Distance from the city: + 12 km

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Maitland Beach

Maitland Beach is situated in Port Elizabeth's outskirts and boasts a long stretch of sandy beach and spectacular sand dunes (great for sand boarders); it borders on the 250 hectares of indigenous forest of Maitland Nature Reserve where there are also a few hiking trails. 

Distance from the city: + 35 km

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Seaview & Beachview

Unwind in Port Elizabeth’s wild side at Seaview and Beachview; there’s the tranquil Oceanview Forest Resort offering 180 degree views, you can go rock-fishing, and there is a tidal pool for swimming or snorkeling.

Distance from the city: + 32 km

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Just watching the ocean and tuning into the crashing waves is a popular pastime at Schoenmakerskop, fondly known as Schoenies. There is also the Sacromento Trail where you can go hiking, the water is a fisherman’s haven with kob, blacktail and bronze bream and it is the ideal spot for a family picnic over the weekend.

Distance from the city: + 13 km

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Sundays River

For a day of leisure head to Sundays River; there are boat cruises, you can go sandboarding and sandsledding down the dunes and enjoy ocean views, you can enjoy a bit of birdwatching, rental canoes are available, angling is popular as well as lovely sandy beaches where there is often dolphins at play.

Distance from the city: + 42 km

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Bush Experiences within a 50 km radius of Port Elizabeth’s city centre

Groendal Nature Reserve

If hiking in the wilderness, exploring caves and crystal clear pools sounds like your idea of a fun outing then look no further than Groendal Nature Reserve which is about 10 km from Uitenhage.

Distance from the city: + 42 km

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Island Nature Reserve

There’s so much greenery in close proximity to the city and Island Nature Reserve’s dense indigenous Alexandria coastal forest is home to plenty of bird life, some monkeys and bushbuck and there are a few hiking trails (with the Bushbuck Trail being the longest at 16 km) as well as picnic facilities.

Distance from the city: + 33 km

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Van Stadens Wild Flower Reserve

This fynbos floral wonderland is filled with indigenous plants and flowers and there are a few leisurely strolls and walks you can go on when visiting, and there are also longer walks of about 6 km and 11 km respectively.  The perfect time to visit is between May and October when the King Proteas and pincushions are in bloom.

Distance from the city: + 47 km

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Addo Elephant National Park

This national park, the third largest in South Africa, boasts the big five and needs no introduction. Pack a picnic basket and make a day of it; you can either go on a self-drive game drive, or hire a hop-on guide or opt for a guided game drive.

Distance from the city: + 43 km

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Maitland Mines

Looking for some 4x4 action close to the Bay? Maitland mines is situated between Blue Horizon Bay and Beachview and the trail offers drivers the chance to traverse over dunes, forest thicket and grass.  There are 3 trails (16 km in total) and the 3 km, 9km and 4 km trail should take about 2 hours.

Distance from the city: + 40 km

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Kragga Kamma Game Park

We have wildlife right on our doorstep and Kragga Kamma is home to vast herds of African game, including kudu, nyala, zebra, giraffe and of course also cheetah and the rescued lions.

Distance from the city: + 20 km

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Lady Slipper

Feel like climbing a mountain? Head out to Falcon Rock with a water bottle and preservance and start the climb. It is strenuous but the fynbos and views will be your reward.

Distance from the city: + 50 km

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Hopewell Conservation Estate

Situated within a 3100 hectare urban nature reserve, Hopewell Conservation Estate offers visitors beautiful landscape views, free roaming wild game such as eland, red hartebeest and springbok and there are mountain biking trails, horse safaris and a restaurant on site as well.

Distance from the city: + 35 km

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