Get ready for the soccer!
1. The Port Elizabeth Museum is filled with archaeological and anthropological exhibitions, local marine fossils and relics of our area. Marvel at the huge skeleton of the last southern right whale to be harpooned in Algoa Bay and a giant Algoasaurus dinosaur reconstruction. Telephone: +27 (0)41 584-0650. Opening hours: Open Monday to Sunday from 09h00 to 16h30.
2. The Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment World has a casino, movies, shops, restaurants and is on the beachfront. Enough said.
3. Nelson Mandela Art Museum. House a collection of SA art, British art, international printmaking and Oriental art. Telephone: +27 (0)41 586-1030. Opening hours: Weekdays from 09h00 to 17h00 (Closed Tuesday mornings); Saturdays, Sundays, Public Holidays from 14h00 to 17h00; First Sunday of the month 09h00 to 14h00.
4. The Apple Express will take you on a pretty run around the Eastern Cape. The train leaves Port Elizabeth hauled by a chunky little steam locomotive with shining brasswork and shrill whistle, bustles past the Walmer residential area and through thick bush on the plain between the mountains and the sea. After crossing a high bridge over Van Stadens Gorge, the line leads westward into rugged country covered with bush and noted for its flowering aloes.
5.Donkin Church is one of the old churches in town. The splendour of the old Settlers houses and surrounds in the Donkin Reserve right in the heart of town gives you a taste of grandeur the settlers lived in.
6.Ron Belling Art Gallery. Ron Belling (1933 – 1998) was a Port Elizabeth architect, aviation and marine painter, and an authority on aviation history, aircraft design, aircraft camouflage and markings. His extensive reference library included details notes, sketches and photographs of the aircraft and ships represented in his paintings. http://www.ronbelling.co.za/
7. No: 7 Castle Hill is a declared National Monument and one of the oldest remaining dwelling houses in Port Elizabeth. It contains the Historical Museum. Telephone: +27 (0)41 582-2515. Opening hours: Tours by appointment.
8.Port Elizabeth Lighthouse or Donkin Lighthouse towers above the city in the Donkin Reserve. Enjoy a scenic view over the city.
1. National Afrikaans Literary Museum is a treasure house of African literature, with manuscripts, books, photographs and other items belonging to well-known South African writers. There’s also the Afrikaans Music Museum (musical instruments) and the Theatre Museum (theatrical costumes).
2. The Queen’s Fort is a Military Museum dedicated to showing the role of the South African army in the two world wars. There are also displays of weapons, including the legendary Mauser, and photographs of the 1914 rebellion.
3. Anglican Cathedral is near the east end of St George’s Street. If you’re into churches, this is an interesting one to visit.
4. The H. F. Verwoerd Building is a must with brilliant stained glass windows composed of over 17,000 pieces of glass.
5. The City Hall is decorated with Italian marble and intarsia work in Burmese wood.
6. Hertzog House was the residence from 1895 to 1924 of J. B.M. Hertzog, a Boer general who became President of the Union of South Africa. It is now a museum and worth a visit.
7. Old Presidency in a stately Victorian building on the west side of Brand Street was the residence of three Presidents of the Boer republic of the Orange Free State. It now houses a museum devoted to the terms of office of these three Presidents – P. J. H. Brand (1864-88), P. W. Reitz (1888-95) and M.T. Stein (1896-1900). It is also a cultural center used for art exhibitions, small theatrical performances and concerts.
8. Twin-Spired Church is to the north of Hoffmann Square. It is the only Dutch Reformed church in South Africa with two spires. It is known as the President’s Church, having been the scene of the swearing-in of several Presidents of the Free State.
9. The First Raadsaal is Bloemfontein’s oldest building. This thatched cottage was originally a school, then the meeting-place of the Volksraad and later a church. It is now a museum on the history of Bloemfontein.
10. For more pictures of Bloemfontein, check out: http://www.assabfn.co.za/bloem/index.htm
Port Elizabeth or Nelson Mandela Bay is known as the Friendly City and the Windy City. Appropriate for a place with two names.
1. Cape Recife Lighthouse has saved many a sailor. It can now cover up to 29 nautical miles with a light power of 4 000 000 Candelas keeping sunken ships in the history books. Opening hours: Daylight for architecture visibility; night or overcast for light visibility.
2. Café Ruwach Art & Craft Gallery with its colourful wall has a great ambience. Paintings and ceramics, sculptures, antiques and collectables form part of the collection. Telephone: +27 (0)82 299-5062. Opening hours: Open Monday to Saturday for breakfast and light lunches and Friday nights.
3. The PE Opera House is the oldest theatre on the African Continent, as well as the Southern Hemisphere. www.peoperahouse.co.za
4. GreenAcres Shopping Centre is the biggest mall in Port Elizabeth. The mall forms part of a kilometer long complex that will entice all shoppers. There’s also a Funtasia for the kids. www.greenacres.co.za
5. Elizabeth’s Pyramide towers above the city of Port Elizabeth and is the memorial of the person who gave the city its name – Elizabeth. Her death and sorrow of her husband Sir Rufane Donkin the acting Governor of the Cape Colony at the time.
6. The Oceanarium has an underwater observation area in the aquarium, a dolphin research centre, various smaller tanks of 40 different species of bony fish as well as two larger tanks which display sharks and stingrays. Apart from the Oceanarium, the Port Elizabeth Museum Complex also comprises the Museum, Snakepark and Tropical House. (Interesting specialist behind the scene tours may be arranged.) www.bayworld.co.za
7.Volvo Telo Bakery & Cafe began as a bakery featuring artisan breads and pastries in the historical district of Richmond Hill, Port Elizabeth in 2007. Since then, the original bakery has grown to include wonderful coffees, breakfasts and lunches. A not to be missed experience. Telephone: +27 (0)41 585-5606. Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 07h15 to 03:30
8.Visit the South African Airforce Museum boasts a total of nine aircraft, including helicopters, a supersonic jet fighter, two of the world famous Harvard trainers amongst others, and the oldest surviving jet fighter in South Africa. Telephone: +27 (0)41 505-1295. Opening hours: Weekdays from 09h00 to 15h00; Sundays from 10h00 to 16h00.
9. The Public Library was once a courthouse. It is an excellent example of Victorian Gothic architecture.
10. Feather Market Hall was long ago used as a market for ostrich feathers. It still is an impressive building. They recently got a new pipe organ, so look out for concerts held here. The Eastern cape Philharmonic give regular concerts. http://www.ecpo.org.za/
1. Bottoms up in Bloem at the Boudoir Cafe. Tel: +27 (0)51 436-5610. Opening hours: Please enquire. With velvet cushions and a great menu, Boudoir has everything going for it. Boudoir’s cocktails are opulently garnished and complimentary snacks are served between 4pm and 6pm.
3. Get active with Action Sports from cricket to soccer to netball. Call: 08611 228 466 for details. Opening hours: Daily from 10h00 to Late. Games by arrangement. Action Sport has 100 indoor floodlit all-weather sports arenas.
4. Freshford House Museum is one of the few houses of the upper middle class of the Edwardian Period that still exists in Bloemfontein. TIt has an asymmetrical facade, unplastered red brick walls, bay windows, veranda with carved wood and corrugated iron roof with cast-iron finishes.elephone: +27 (0)51 447-9609. Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 10h00 to 13h00,. Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays from 14h00 to 17h00
5. The Loch Logan Waterfront will keep you occupied with more than 100 shops, 17 restaurants and coffee shops, fast food outlets, and movies.
8. The Fourth Raadsaal is opposite the Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein and is one of the city’s finest buildings. It is a Renaissance-style building in red brick with a prominent dome and a portico of Ionic columns.
9. Contact the Tourist Centre at 051 405 8489 / 90 for more Bloemfontein info.
Bloemfontein means ‘fountain of flowers’. Its saving grace is the fact that it’s a university town with great historical buildings and the largest fire service museum in the country. It is the judicial capital of the country and is home to the Supreme Court of Appeal. As it has a small city centre, everything is within walking distance of each other.
1. A trip to Bloemfontein is not complete without a visit to the largest fire brigade museum in SA. If you’re a lover of those red fire-engines then this is a must. The kids will love exploring too. Viewing is by appointment only. Check out http://www.mangaungfire.co.za/museum.htm for details.
2. Anglo-Boer War Museum – Age old conflicts come to life in this volatile museum. +27 (0)51 447-0079. Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 08h30 to 16h30. Saturday from 10h00 to 17h00. Sunday from 14h00 to 17h00.
3. Windmill Casino & Entertainment Centre will service your gambling and bowling needs. http://bit.ly/9ux2kX. From 5c to R25, they’ve got your game.
4. Oliewenhuis Art Museum houses a permanent collection of exclusively South African artists. It has a solid foundation of early South African artists, and includes works by Thomas Baines, Jan Ernst Volschenk, Pieter Wenning, Jacob Hendrik Pierneef and Willem Coetzer. http://bit.ly/drLlta . Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 08h00 to 17h00; Saturday from 10h00 to 17h00; Sunday and Public Holidays from 13h00 to 17h00.
5. Boyden Observatory houses the third largest optical telescope in South Africa. Experience the dark African skies through star watching and telescope viewing. Telephone: +27 (0)51 401-2561 or +27 (0)51 401-2924. Opening hours: By prior arrangement only. http://bit.ly/dv1b9s
6. Choet Visser Rugby Museum is the biggest private museum of its kind in the world. It has over 200 jerseys and rugby related blazers as well as 450 ties. Original, signed cartoons and pictures of teams and players are displayed on the walls. For rugby fans a visit to this museum will blow your minds. Telephone: +27 (0)82 492-1600. Opening hours: Mondays to Saturdays, by appointment only.
7. Bloemfontein National Museum has a large collection of fossils and archaeological material, including the famous Florisbad Skull and one of the largest known dinosaurs. http://www.nasmus.co.za
8. For more pictures of Bloemfontein, check out: http://www.assabfn.co.za/bloem/index.htm
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That being said. Enjoy South Africa. We’re laid back.