The Eastern Cape is definitely South Africa’s all-in-one province and there is one great Sho’t Left after the other. It doesn’t matter what adventure you’re after, in this beautifully diverse slice of Mzansi you’ll find everything from coastal getaways to bush adventures with a lot of history and culture in between.
If you’re ever thinking of making your way to this part of South Africa for an epic Sho’t Left then here are a few activities you won’t want to pass up, and all for under R200.
Head to the Valley Market in Baakens Valley on the first Saturday of every month for spicy paella, gourmet boerie rolls, crisp pizza bases, freshly baked artisan bread and smoothies. The vibe and the food will have you lingering longer.
Open from 8am to 2pm, entrance is R10 per person and kids under 12 enter for free. All proceeds go back to the community. Corner of Alabaster and Lower Valley Roads, Baakens Valley.
Cheer for your favourite team at a world-class stadium – Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Watch Kaizer Chiefs take on Ajax Cape Town at this 46,000 seater, five-tier stadium in Nelson Mandela Bay. R80 for a grandstand ticket. The stadium is home ground to the EP Kings, Southern Kings and Chippa United, and has also hosted Bafana Bafana and the Springboks. Look out for more sporting events at this great sporting hub!
70 Prince Alfred Rd, North End, Port Elizabeth. Book at Computicket.
Car lovers will be in heaven on a pre-booked tour at the Volkswagen Factory in Uitenhage. Here you’ll come across the oldest kombi in South Africa, meet Herbie and see a car sliced in half by a laser.
Daily pre-booked factory tours include a free tour of the AutoPavilion. 103 Algoa Rd, Uitenhage. Call ahead to book a free tour: 041 994 5941.
Take a Horse Ride in the Sardinia Bay
Nature ReserveLove the outdoors and some wind in your hair? Kick up some golden sand and go for a canter along the beach. Heavenly Stables offers a one-hour horse ride through the Sardinia Bay Nature Reserve.
Bookings are essential, and the rides are weather dependent. Open 7 days a week, from 9am to 5pm. Plot 431, Sardinia bay Road, Lovemore Park, Port Elizabeth. 081 890 7080.
Visit the Algoasaurus at Bayworld
Visit the bones of the Algoasaurus, a dinosaur unique to this area and related to the Brontosaurus, discovered near Despatch in 1903. The Port Elizabeth Brick and Tile Company was quarrying for brick-making materials when the brickmakers stumbled across the bones, unfortunately, they accidentally ground up some of the bones for bricks but luckily quite a few remained which enabled palaeontologists to construct a likeness of the dinosaur.
The museum is the third oldest of its kind in South Africa. Other interesting exhibits include a skeleton of the last Southern right whale harpooned in the bay, and a replica of the Dias Cross.
Open Monday to Sunday from 09h00 to 16h30, Beach Road, Port Elizabeth.
Ticket info and price available: Here
Explore Van Staden’s Flower Reserve
Only 40km out of PE you’ll find Van Staden’s Flower Reserve, which protects rare and endemic plants. The gates are open from 7:30am to 6pm in summer, and close at 5pm in winter (1 May¬31 August). There is no entry fee. While you are there be sure to visit the traditional Xhosa umzi (homestead) and learn about traditional Xhosa culture.
Big 7 at Addo
Where else in the world can you see the big five plus the southern right whale and great white shark to make up the Big 7! The Addo Elephant Park close to Port Elizabeth also boasts the best elephant viewing in the country. The Entrance fee per day is R54 for adults and R27 per child but if you are a frequent visitor to San Parks and have a wildcard it’s free!
Do you enjoy a well-brewed pint, who doesn’t? On this tour in PortElizabeth, you’ll stop at various breweries, such as Dockside Brewery where you’ll meet the brewmaster and get to ask him questions about the brewing process. You’ll also taste four different beers and enjoy some baked beer bread before heading over to Bridge Street Brewery to see what they have on offer. This is followed by 3 beer tasters, a cider taster and a savoury snack. Lastly, you’ll visit the Beer Yard, taste 4 beers and get to order one of their rad pizzas or hamburgers. A minimum of 4 people is required per tour unless the tour is running already. Please inquire when booking. Call Gecko Tours to book on 082 464 6022.