UNEXPECTED BEAUTY: Visitors can get a true Nelson Mandela Bay experience by visiting the Donkin Reserve. Lake Spectacular, above, is a delightful place to enjoy dancing fountains in colourful lights.
If you are looking to avoid the tourist trap of the Mother City or want to avoid the human mass on Durban’s beaches, Port Elizabeth is the next best place to make a quick stop.
Here’s what you can enjoy on a 48-hour weekend away.
When you arrive in Nelson Mandela Bay, check into one of the hotels or guest houses on offer. If you want to splash out, accommodation in Summerstrand is the way to go. It’s along the promenade and provides breathtaking views from your hotel window. Places include the Radisson Blu, Abalone Place and Manor 38.
There’s no way you’re going to want to be cooped up in a room, so take a walk and explore the beachfront – stroll along the promenade between Kings Beach, past Humewood Beach, Hobie Beach and down to Pollok Beach. It’s worth it.
Then make sure to enjoy a milkshake at the revamped Something Good, and catch your breath.
Dinner at Cubata near the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium is an experience you have to have. According to those in the know, this is pure prawn and ribs heaven.
Last December, the Boardwalk launched its Lake Spectacular.
The “dancing” colourful fountains are a delightful way to end your first day in the city.
Who says you can’t indulge in a bit of safari on the coast?
Take an early-morning drive out to Addo Elephant National Park for some of the best elephant viewing in the country. In addition to the majestic elephants, the park has lion, black rhino, buffalo, hyena, jackal and a variety of antelope.
Bird enthusiasts have over 165 species to spot as well. Addo is also known for its many flightless dung beetles.
A lunch of venison pies and roosterkoek which you can see being made, washed down with fresh chilled pineapple juice, at Nanaga Farm Stall will usher in the afternoon in keeping with the rustic theme. The huge stall is where you can also do a spot of shopping for chutneys, dressings and marinades. The olives and biltong are some of the best.
A lazy afternoon cruise in Algoa Bay with beautiful views of the beachfront on the Jester is the perfect way to wind down.
Skip the usual restaurant vibe and enjoy a tapas dinner at Bridge Street Brewery, and choose one of their four brews out of its microbrewery for a drink.
With all that indulging and lazing about, dance the calories away at Cubana’s on the beachfront.
Pay a visit to the South African Marine Rehabilitation Education Centre penguin sanctuary at Cape Recife Nature Reserve.
The tour is designed for visitors to experience nature through sight, sound and touch.
Or opt for a leisurely horse ride with Heavenly Stables through the Sardinia Bay Nature Reserve and on to Sardinia Bay beach itself.
There’s also the option of stopping by on Route 67 and the Donkin Reserve – a Nelson Mandela Bay historic, art and cultural icon.
Before saying goodbye and hitting the road, enjoy a sushi lunch at Fusion in Richmond Hill – perfect fuel for travel.
Thanks to Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism for the suggested itinerary.
Article source: http://www.sundayworld.co.za/lifestyle/2013/12/04/blown-away