Useful travel advice for Port Elizabeth

Useful travel advice for Port Elizabeth

Scenic Port Elizabeth is situated on the Sunshine Coast in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. PE (Port Elizabeth) has a wonderful coastal climate, temperate in water and weather on an almost daily basis.

Keep in mind this useful travel advice for Port Elizabeth:

General information

Scenic Port Elizabeth is situated on the Sunshine Coast in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. PE (Port Elizabeth) has a wonderful coastal climate, temperate in water and weather on an almost daily basis. For this reason, watersports are hugely popular; especially sailing, windsurfing, kitesurfing and beach sports. The city also has a wealth of history and entertainment on offer.


South Africa has a generally good road system; especially the national freeways. Port Elizabeth has an extensive road network for efficient access to various areas of the city. It’s best to have an updated GPS (eg. Garmin or Tomtom) to find your way from “A” to “B” as easily as possible. Be prepared for “roadworks” around the city in preparation for the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup.

The city is an urban area, so it’s wise to be careful when driving in it. Follow this vital travel advice for Port Elizabeth to prevent incident:

  • When approaching or leaving your car, be vigilant. Don’t wait around in parking lots; leave immediately.
  • Lock car doors (whether in or out the car) and keep windows up at all times.
  • Do not stop for “broken down” motorists or hitchhikers. Robbers and hijackers fake such incidents and attack kind people who stop to offer assistance.
  • Use well lit, busy roads. Be observant in the city centre at night, and don’t drive in townships.
  • If you have to drive in a quiet area at night, be very careful at red robots (traffic lights). If there are loiterers around or somebody approaches your car, carefully drive through the red light. Rather pay a fine than risk a bad experience.
  • Don’t give money to street children, as it’s often given to older “entrepreneurs” who coerce them into begging or used for sniffing glue. Rather give them food, or money to the charities that feed and clothe them.

Tipping and gratuities

Another helpful piece of travel advice for Port Elizabeth is how to tip.

A tip of 10% or more (according to the service you’ve received) is the conventional norm if a gratuity is not included on your bill. Waiting on tables is often an occupation in South Africa.

“Car guards” are prolific around the country and you’ll often find them watching over parking lots or street parking. Genuine guards should be adults and wear official uniforms to show they belong to a company. It is customary to tip the car guard for watching your car when you are returning to your vehicle. R2 is an average tip in PE.


South Africa is home to 11 official languages. Business, services and tourism are all usually conducted in English.


Electricity is 230 volts. Plugs are round three or two pin plugs, so bringing an adapter is a good idea.

Safety and security

Don’t spend time in isolated areas (especially at night) and walk in groups.

Be aware when in the city centre.

Just as in other urban areas, don’t advertise wealth in the form of cell phones, laptops, cameras, jewellery etc. Keep such items out of sight by locking them in the boot (trunk) of the car when parked, and keeping them away from windows at your place of accommodation. “Smash and grabs” happen even with people in the car, so keep valuables under a seat while driving. Remember this practical travel advice for Port Elizabeth to ensure safe and pleasant travels.

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8 Jan 2015

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