Port Elizabeth tourism has been renamed Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism (tel. 041/585-8884; Mon-Fri 8am-4:30pm, Sat-Sun 9:30am-3:30pm), but it's still in the Donkin Lighthouse Building, Donkin Reserve, central P.E; the satellite office (tel. 041/583-2030) is at The Boardwalk, Marine Drive, in Summerstrand. The website www.nmbt.co.za is comprehensive and a good augmentation to the information here; the staff is also well informed.
By Car -- P.E. is on the N2, which runs between Cape Town (7 hr. away; through the Garden Route) and Durban.
By Air -- Port Elizabeth Airport (tel. 041/507-7319) is 4km (about 2 1/2 miles) from the city center. SAA (tel. 041/507-1111; www.flysaa.com) and British Airways Domestic (www.britishairways.com) fly between P.E. and Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban (tel. 041/508-8000), as does budget airline Kulula.com. Budget airline 1Time.co.za (www.1time.aero) connects P.E. with Johannesburg and Cape Town. There is an ATM in the passage connecting the terminals, and there are metered taxis outside the terminals, or call Hurters Cabs (tel. 041/585-7344) for an airport transfer.
By Bus -- Greyhound, Intercape, Baz Bus, and Translux all connect P.E. with Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban.
By Train -- The national mainline train runs between Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth; for details, call Shosholoza Mail (tel. 086/000-8888). Shosholoza has just introduced a Premier Classe train (tel. 021/449-2252; www.premierclasse.co.za) from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth, which leaves every Friday at 3pm.
By Car -- The best way to explore the Eastern Cape is with your own wheels. Avis (tel. 041/501-7200), Budget (tel. 041/581-4242), Imperial (tel. 041/581-4391), and Tempest (tel. 041/581-1256) all have desks at the airport.
By Taxi -- Hurters Taxi Cabs (tel. 041/585-7344) has a 24-hour taxi service. Molo Tours (tel. 082/970-4037) offers direct safari transfers to reserves.
By Air -- Contact John Huddlestone (tel. 041/507-7343 or 083/653-4294) for a helicopter trip to any of the reserves or an aerial tour of P.E.
Guided Tours Of Port Elizabeth & Beyond
Besides the highly recommended township tours, orient yourself with a 90-minute Friendly City Tour (tel. 041/585-1801) or book a full-day big-game private excursion with Pembury Tours (tel. 041/581-2581; www.pemburytours.com). The Eastern Cape Adventure and Hiking Association (tel. 041/368-3761) has a regular program of hikes; visitors are welcome to join these, and it's a good way to meet locals. If you would like to have your own historian and botanist onboard, book a tour that takes in the Eastern Cape game reserves with Brian Aldridge (tel. 082/801-7721; www.capetowntours.com) -- then tool down the Garden Route and back to Cape Town with him. Brian is Cape Town based (your tour could start there), but he knows the area well; he takes on only one booking at a time, so you have his undivided and very intelligent attention.