Are you tight on money, but want to take a well deserved holiday? Well, the good news is that if you look around, there are always cheap accommodations and activities to suit the entire family. Budget travelling has been a trend lately, with many people swapping flashy luxury hotels for experiences that do not cost an arm and a leg.
Port Elizabeth has many attractions that do not break the bank. With the launch of the Nelson Mandela Bay Pass, visitors get to experience more for less with a range of free activities included in the smart access pass. The 5 in 1 NMB Pass is valid for three months and allows visits to any 5 attractions. NMB Unlimited Itinerary Passes are valid for 1 day, 2 days, 3 days, and 7 days depending on the period you want to purchase it for. However, it gives you unlimited access to the amount of attractions to do in the time frame you have purchased it.
Here are some free products offered when you purchase a pass:
7 Castle Hill Historical Museum
7 Castle Hill Museum is one of the oldest surviving Settler cottages in Port Elizabeth. It is filled with hidden treasures including old furniture, doll house and fairy garden. One can also complete a treasure hunt and make friends with the No 7 family in the display room. No prior booking required. Pass visitors need to show card at reception and request special offer
Address: 7 Castle Hill Road, Central, Port Elizabeth
Contact: 041 582 2515 or e-mail:[email protected]
Addo Elephant National Park
Addo Elephant National Park conserves the Big 7 – stretching from the rugged plains of the Karoo to the untamed coastline.Conveniently located only 40km from Port Elizabeth, Addo offers the best elephant viewing in the country. Experience a guided tour on safari vehicle or horseback, or set your own pace on a self-drive or 4x4 tour. Pass holders receive a free day visit. This is not available to overnight guests to Addo Elephant National Park.
How to book: Pass holders need to pre-book their day visit through the NMBT visitor information centres on 041 582 2575 / 041 583 2030 / 041 585 8884 or 041 581 0456/7. E-mail [email protected] to enquire.
Address:There are 3 alternative routes to Addo from Port Elizabeth. The recommended route is as follows: Take the N2 highway towards Grahamstown, pass Coega harbour on your right. Cross the Sundays River bridge. Turn off to your left at the sign that says “Camp Matyholweni"
Bayworld consists of the PE Museum, Oceanarium and Snake Park. There are displays of prehistoric dinosaurs to the 15 metre skeleton of the last Southern Right whale harpooned in Algoa Bay. The Reptile Park houses lizards, tortoises, snakes and crocodiles.
Address: Beach Road, Humewood, Port Elizabeth
Contact Details: 041 584 0650 / 086 500 6854 or e-mail: [email protected]
Donkin Heritage Trail guide
The 1820 Settler history and architectural delights of the historical central city can be explored at leisure on a self-guided walking tour. The 5km Donkin Heritage Trail links 51 places of historical interest in the old Hill area of central Port Elizabeth.
Address:Belmont Terrace, Central, Port Elizabeth
Contact:041 585 8884 or email: [email protected]
Kragga Kamma Game Park
One of the best game drives just 15 minutes from the city. Get to see cheetah, giraffe, white rhino, waterbuck, buffalo, nyala and impala roam free in their surroundings. Drive through in your own vehicle or choose the two-hour conducted game drive in an open game vehicle. Various accommodation options available.
Address: Kragga Kamma Road, Port Elizabeth
Contact: 041 379 4195 / 0834102883
Township and city tours
Follow in the footsteps of the past to explore the rich heritage of Nelson Mandela Bay or experience the fusion of urban, Xhosa and township culture, blended with the rich history and devastating past that lingers in the townships of Nelson Mandela Bay.
How to book:
Prior booking required. Contact NMBT to book your tour and request NMB Pass special. Pass holders can upgrade to a combined city and township tour for an additional R200 per person
Address:Boardwalk Visitor Information Centre: Boardwalk, Marine Drive, Port Elizabeth or
Donkin Visitors Information Centre: Belmont Terrace, Central, Port Elizabeth
Contact: 041 583 2030 / 041 585 8884
Where to stay:
The Willows Resort and Conference Centre
Address: Marine Dr, Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth, 6001
Price:From R250 for a standard caravan site to chalets from R520.
Contact:041 396 2000
Located just 15 km from the Port Elizabeth beachfront, The Willows offers three-star graded self catering accommodation units, a large caravan park, private camping sites, as well as conference, function and wedding venues.
The Willows call themselves “a fisherman’s dream with rugged, rocky outcrops, and a child’s paradise with endless rock pools to discover and explore”.
Pearson Park Resort
Address: Jetty St, Colchester, Port Elizabeth, 6175
Price: From R485 for 4 people with no electricity and R52O for 4 people with electricity pn
Contact:041 468 0040 or [email protected]
Known for its watersport and nature, Pearson Park Resort is situated 3kms from Matyholweni and on the banks of the Sundays River. Camping fans would love this retreat with access to endless sandy white beaches and scenic views. Despite its cheap accommodation, it packs a punch when it comes to bringing the best into a family vacation. There is also a walking trail that ranges from half hour to 2 hours.
Sundune Guest House and self catering
Address: 92 Wellington Street, Colchester, Port Elizabeth, 6175
Price: From R450 pps.
Contact:083 680 4204
Sundune Guest House and self catering is also situated on the banks of the Sundays River in Colchester. Its close to Addo Elephant Park . On site parking, air conditioning, king size beds, free WiFi, breakfasts and coffee and tea making facilities are available.
Additional information: Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism.