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Living in Port Elizabeth, South Africa:
Tips for Moving and Visiting

85 local experts

If you've been wondering what it's like to live in or visit Port Elizabeth, the Crowdsourced Explorer community can help. We asked 85 people living in Port Elizabeth what someone who is considering moving to or visiting there should know. Here are their pros and cons, tips, and advice:

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85 comments on “Port Elizabeth”

Living in Port Elizabeth (Gqeberha) can be very dangerous, the crime rate is very high and is know as the murder capital in SA in 2023. The beaches outside of town are beautiful.

Catherine, says: 2023

Port Elizabeth is one of the smaller cities in South Africa, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in heart. Its is a lively little city that is well known for the friendly locals, exciting places and fun activities. Experience everything from beautiful beaches to world class malls. Being a smaller city also means everything is right within your reach. What a great place to call home.

Port Elizabeth has beautiful beaches and is a great community to raise small children. It offers really good schooling.

Helena, says: 2023

Gqerberha is a 10 minute city – you can drive all over easily. Great people, amazing beaches, affordable lifestyle. Some issues with safety but if you’re sensible and alert you’ll be fine.

It’s a windy windy city. It’s lovely, friendly and full of dolphins.

naeema, says: 2022

Port Elizabeth, nicknamed ‘The Friendly/Windy city’ is a beautiful place. It has a beautiful beach that a lot of tourists love to visit. Near the beach, there is a popular entertainment area known as the Boardwalk. A lot of people go to the Boardwalk for various reasons such as, playing video games, watching movies in the cinema or even spend time in the casino.

The city is very windy. Always have an extra jacket with you. Life here is slow. The city is small, so not many jobs are available. And everyone knows one another. The people are genuine and kind, well most of us. The town is picture pretty with many victorian architecture and antique sights.

Alicia, says: 2020

We have beautiful cities like Cape Town with one of the listed wonders of the world ‘Table Mountain’ and have rich history of ‘Robben Island’ which kept the freedom fighters captive for 27 years with one of those people being Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela the first black president of South Africa, and a noble prize holder.

Asanda, says: 2020

It is a friendly city and offers a lot of opportunities. There are various tourist attractions such as museums and the beach. People residing in the city are mainly of Xhosa origin however a lot of languages are spoken and understood.

Nolubabalo, says: 2020

Port Elizabeth is a city in South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province. It is well known for its beautiful and numerous beaches. The Donkin Heritage Trail takes in the Old Hill neighbourhood’s Victorian landmarks. Coastal boat tours spot whales and rare seabirds, while wildlife reserves outside the metropolitan area are home to elephants, rhinos and other big game.

Bogadi, says: 2020

It is named after the late president Nelson Mandela. It is quiet city with a lot of beautiful places to visit. It also has one of the top universities in the country. People who visit the city get to enjoy it’s beautiful beach views, world class hotels, landmarks and restaurants.

Cornelius, says: 2020

Port Elizabeth is often considered the friendliest city in South Africa. It is located on the coast, so you can enjoy the numerous beaches. It forms part of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan, a municipality named after our former president, the legendary Nelson Mandela. The city is also home to some great wildlife.

Londiwe, says: 2020

Someone moving to my city should consider the safety and security of the area they want to reside in. The country does have a long history of rampant crime and as a proud citizen I want the best experience for anyone moving to this country. One last thing to consider is the weather, it is always good to be prepared for anything in Port Elizabeth.

Danielle, says: 2020

Someone considering moving to Port Elizabeth should know that it is a rather windy city. There are days whereby the sun will be out and the weather will be pleasant though. However, the friendly people make up for the days with bad weather. Moreover, on the good days, one will usually find a vast number of people sprawled across the numerous beaches within the city.

Puleng, says: 2020

We are located by the beach, and as beautiful as that may be, the weather may not be as good at times. It is windy every day and as a result I strongly suggest they pack a jacket or jersey every morning no matter how bright and beautiful the sun may be.

Delaine, says: 2020

Port Elizabeth is known as the Windy City. It is a coastal city with many tourists attractions such as the Addo Elephant Park and Bayworld. In Port Elizabeth usually referred to as PE or IBhayi by locals we have a rich historic background that can be seen in multiple landmarks all throughout the city.

Remofilwe, says: 2020

Port Elizabeth is located near the seashores of the eastern parts of South Africa. The weather may be inconsistent at times, but it remains a beautiful city, regardless. On an annual basis, Port Elizabeth receives over a dozen tourists from all around the world. Port Elizabeth is also known for being the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.

Thulisile, says: 2020

In a situation where b someone has decided to move to my city, he or he should know that we have a problem with human trafficking. he or she should never walk alone at night in the streets, and must always carry a taser with them so as to protect themselves from criminals.

Zandile, says: 2020

Port Elizabeth is a very friendly city, also known as the “friendly city”. Many people complain about the weather because it is bipolar, one minute it’s raining and the next it’s sunny outside. The malls are really nice and there are a variety of shops in these malls. There are plenty of schools to choose from and these schools are all well developed schools.

Edward, says: 2020

The weather is usually very windy and the temperature changes two to three times a day in an unpredictable manner. The people are very friendly though, anyone who enjoys socializing would have a great time living here. You could visit the beach and The Boardwalk, which is one of the main tourist attraction sites here.

Rialda, says: 2020

Whoever decides to move to Port Elizabeth should know that it can get quite windy; they should also know that they could feel like they have experienced 4 seasons in a day so jackets should always be at-hand. Port Elizabeth has some of the friendliest people in South Africa. In addition, Port Elizabeth has some of the views of the beach.

Sibonile, says: 2020

Port Elizabeth is one of the big cities in the Eastern Cape province. It offers a wide range of fun activities to do either as a lone traveller or as one travelling in a group. The city has 3 big malls where one can enjoy shopping, watching movies at the cinemas or go ice skating. There is also the Boardwalk, which offers amazing restaurants and a casino. The city also has an aquarium just a few blocks away from the Boardwalk.

Lorraine, says: 2020

It is quite a windy city and has abrupt weather changes throughout the day, but the people are friendly. It is termed both the friendly/windy city. It has played host to the international Ironman triathlon and contains a variety of tourist places like the Addo Elephant Park.

Find a beach where they can relax. There are also some very nice and upmarket hotel close to the beach, they have great services, including places for children to play and enjoy themselves while they are on holiday and enjoying themselves. Some nice hiking mountains. There are very beautiful heritage sites.

Reabetsoe, says: 2020

Port Elizabeth is a city rich of heritage and culture. From the history of the old city buildings to the vibrant people residing in it. It is known as the Windy City due to the usually windy days we have. PE (Port Elizabeth), is a coastal city with lots of activities and also boasts the Nelson Mandela University which was named in honour of our first black president, Mr Nelson Mandela. You’ll never find yourself running out of things to do!

Carilyne, says: 2020

For someone considering moving to my city, they should know we are very cultural people who take pride in their traditions. They must be flexible enough to adapt to a completely different environment that expects them to embrace its culture and form unison with while not completely letting go of their own roots.

Theron, says: 2020

Port Elizabeth is a windy city, you probably need to carry a jacket with you at all times. It has many beautiful tourist sites that showcase the deep roots of South African history. The residents are very friendly and diverse. You will be greeted with a smile when you walk past somebody.

Kaylin, says: 2020

It is a coastal city in South Africa’s Eastern Cape, known as the “Windy City” and the “Friendly City”. Port Elizabeth has many good schools, an excellent work-life balance, and great restaurants. While safety is an issue in some neighbourhoods, as in many around the country, there are secure estates currently being developed.

Tibuyile, says: 2020

Port Elizabeth is a very friendly city with many tourist attractions along the Nelson Mandela Bay coastal area. It is a very safe and vibrant city full of events waiting to be explored. Its is also home to some of the best restaurants in the country and the oldest public library in South Africa.

Bokamoso, says: 2020

Expect a city with friendly people who are always willing and ready to help. There is a lot of beautiful scenery to enjoy including but not limited to the beach and wildlife. However, you must expect a lot of windy days as it is not called the Windy City for nothing.

Talita, says: 2020

The city is right on the coast which is amplified by the beauty of the surrounding townships that prove to be the heart of the city. The culture represented by the townships is what mostly draw tourists to our friendly city. Port Elizabeth is also the city of dreams for those who are from the Eastern Cape.

Port Elizabeth is a beautiful city, along the shores of the Eastern Cape in South Africa. The city is littered with beautiful restaurants, all across the city. The city is also filled with the friendliest people in South Africa, from the smiles you get walking along the streets, to the help you receive when you find yourself lost. The city’s main attraction to a lot of it’s tourist is the beautiful and majestic beach.

Melania, says: 2020

Port Elizabeth is a coastal city. Property in Port Elizabeth is very affordable. We don’t have a public transport system, you would therefore need to invest in getting your own vehicle. Port Elizabeth is known to be the friendly city as well as the windy city. There are endless sporting opportunities, particularly in water sports. Port Elizabeth is located in the Eastern Cape, surrounded by wonderful game reserves.

Georgina, says: 2020

Port Elizabeth is a very windy city and the weather changes probably 3 times a day. It also has very friendly people in it, hence it is referred as the friendly city. The City has beautiful beaches and beautiful views and one thing that is beautiful about Port Elizabeth is that it is low on crime.

Sisasenkosi, says: 2020

This a windy city, it is known for its numerous beaches like Hobbie beach which is the most famous beach here, so they better bring their swimming costumes. The most spoken languages are English, Afrikaans and IsiXhosa. We also have Nelson Mandela University which is situated in Summerstrand.

Melokuhle, says: 2020

Port Elizabeth is a relatively small town in the eastern parts of South Africa. It is known for its windy weather, amazing beaches as well as wildlife attractions such as Addo Elephant Park. The city also boasts a number of historic museums which are mostly located between Central and Richmond Hill.

Someone considering moving to my city should know that Port Elizabeth is a big city with different dwelling areas. These range from township, semi-suburb and suburb areas. In addition, there are three main malls for one to do their shopping and public transport is easily available. Port Elizabeth has a number of beaches, resorts, spas and outdoor activities for relaxation and unwinding.

Port Elizabeth is known for its beautiful beaches. Shark cage diving is also one of the main tourist attractions in the city. Nelson Mandela University is the biggest university in the city. Port Elizabeth is considered as one of the windiest cities to visit in South Africa.

Kundla, says: 2020

If one is considering moving to Port Elizabeth, they should always be prepared for the different weather confusions. You can leave your house wearing a jacket and come back holding the jacket. You can never be certain, you leave and it’s a hot day and come back and it’s raining. The city is a big and windy place with many activities. It is a diverse city, where one can expect different cultures and languages and have fun exploring them. The beach is one of the main places that attracts your attention and the one place where most people go to have fun. There is so much more to explore in Port Elizabeth, telling someone is never enough. They should experience the beauty of it themselves.

Port Elizabeth is such a wonderful place with beautiful holiday destinations. Take for example Summerstrand Beach where one can bask in the sun or maybe surf. The environment helps one relax; it is definitely the best place for family vacations. One place I would definitely recommend for any visitor would be the boardwalk where there are all sorts of fun activities to do including legal gambling, car racing, food tasting, etc. By the King’s Beach there are artists selling quality artifacts.

Palesa, says: 2020

Port Elizabeth is a beautiful, coastal city in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. It is particularly well known for its biodiversity. The Addo Elephant National Park is a stone’s throw away and the Baviaanskloof is attractive for adventurers. Port Elizabeth, also known as PE or Nelson Mandela Bay is the fourth largest city in South Africa. There is a good vibe in PE with many young people enjoying the natural beauty and sandy beaches.

Brandon, says: 2020

My city is a coastal city with many beautiful beaches. What make it unique is the friendly people and the beautiful weather.There is also a lot of beautiful hiking spots for those who love nature.A few minutes away from my city is a National elephant park where you can experience the wildlife.

Delisile, says: 2020

To learn about its history and the beauty of the Xhosa culture. The art and different taste of foods. It would also be imperative to be aware of areas where crime scenes are most rated high and only visit places where you would feel safe at. It would also be important to visit locations or townships to learn and get an understanding on how people face different challenges on daily basis.

It would be advantageous to know at least one of the 11 official South African languages because a lot of people who stay here come from different areas of the country and you would find it difficult to navigate your way through life if you cannot communicate properly. Additionally, you must be willing to ride minibuses because that is the primary mode of transportation in my city.

Joanne, says: 2020

The city is situated on the East Coast of South Africa. It is known to be very windy. It has a diverse population. The beaches are beautiful and very popular during the warmer seasons. It is a popular holiday destination. There are many hotels situated along the promenade, with several guest houses also offering accommodation.

Wayden, says: 2020

The weather here is mostly warm and there is a beach and many other recreational places for leisure. It is a good place for someone who wants to settle peacefully as there isn’t too much noise. The stores are easily accessible and not far from residences. It is has an airport and a port for ships.

Port Elizabeth is a beautiful place however the weather is very tricky, they must know that they should bring a jacket with even if they’re certain it won’t rain because the weather changes every hour. For the ladies, always make sure to wear tights underneath skirts as it very windy.

Thobani, says: 2020

Port Elizabeth is one of the greatest place to travel to in South Africa due to the fact that it has sea and great views. One of the places one can look out for is bungee jumping at the highest bridge in the world in Tsitsikamma. If you would like to visit I suggest you go to the suburb Summerstrand because of it’s closer to the sea.

Shandre, says: 2020

Someone who is moving to my city, Port Elizabeth should know that destinations are no further that 30 minutes away from one another. There is a lovely beachfront where you can find the Boardwalk as well as appetising restaurants to eat at. The area called “Summerstrand” is famously known as a student rich area due to the university being situated in that area.

Cynthia, says: 2020

The city is filled with a graceful nature of humility and sheer excellence – from the people to the vibrant tourist destinations. In terms of day to day living, stores and work places are found at a close proximity where one would say that it’s convenient beyond measure. Accommodation for students or workers is affordable and versatile.

Kefilwe, says: 2020

This is a fun city with a lot of history that you can explore. The first Humans to arrive in South Africa was here in Port Elizabeth. Port Elizabeth is a relaxed, laid-back city with friendly people and very kind. This city has a harbor, beautiful beaches, a university, and a marine world.

Sibusiso, says: 2020

My city is very cold, therefore a person interested in moving to my city must be used to cold weather. The crime is high, you must be always careful and do not ask directions from strangers. We have the beach close to a tourist attraction mall. People in my city are very rude sometimes, so be prepared for that.

Reunert, says: 2020

It’s a very busy area. One needs to be cautious though not too much. The weather is a very unpredictable form of dependency, one should always carry an umbrella or a sweater incase the unthinkable occurs. The people are kind, well some are and the elderly woman are very curious, they love stories and love sharing them too so be careful of them or you will run late!

Fondly known across the country as the Friendly City, Port Elizabeth is a beautiful, coastal city that is home to almost one million people who understand the value of kindness and community. Also commonly referred the as the Windy City, tourists are often blown away by the weather which has been known to change to all four seasons during various times of the day.

Muhammed, says: 2020

Port Elizabeth is one of South Africa’s biggest tourist attractions, due to its beautiful beaches. I think we have the friendliest people in South Africa, always smiling faces. Places to check out just to name a few are The Boardwalk, which has a casino for adults and Baywest Mall, which has a variety of entertainment for kids, like ice-skating.

Palesa, says: 2020

Port Elizabeth is a coastal city which has world class beaches, great restaurants and is near to some excellent attractions like Addo Elephant Park. It also has great schools and is home to Nelson Mandela University. It’s a great place. One of my favourite things about living in Port Elizabeth is that it combines a coastal town vibe with city living. It’s the perfect size city.

The city of Port Elizabeth is the windy city and truthfully so. You will however fall in love with the friendly people and laid back approach to life. Port Elizabeth has some of the best beaches in the world. The city also has great weather year-round.

Bullet, says: 2020

My city is very small and beautiful, most of the time my city is very windy. People in my city are very friendly, and they all speak the same language called Isixhosa. The weather in my city is very warm and sunny. People in my city love to swim during summer days.

Shafeeq, says: 2020

My city is very welcoming to both visitors and investors. It has one of the best-run municipalities which offer world-class service delivery. The weather is lovely, residents are friendly and there are wonderful beaches on the 30km long coast that graces the city. To top it all, the crime rate is far below the national average.

Sebastian, says: 2020

Port Elizabeth is on the Southeast coast of South Africa and has a population of approximately 967 million people. It is the friendly city as the town has a friendly neighborly atmosphere about it. The town is relatively small so most destinations are “10 minutes” from each other with hardly any traffic. The town offers good quality of life as most inland inhabitants chose to settle down here.

Tiisetso, says: 2020

Port Elizabeth is the friendly and windy city of South Africa. People are very helpful and friendly to visitors and people always come back a second time. We have really beautiful beaches and the weather is quite good year-round. We are in the Eastern Cape, the homeland of Mr Nelson Mandela.

Khatija, says: 2020

Port Elizabeth is a beautiful city in Eastern Cape, South Africa. One of its many perks is the ocean and its beautiful beaches. The weather is, more often than not, mild and sunny. On the downside, it is known as “the windy city” and most days it does this name justice. Fortunately, the spectacular views, many site attractions and tranquility of the sea makes up for that.

Noxolo, says: 2020

My city is a very friendly city with friendly people. The weather is always sunny and bright. In summer we always go to the beach to have fun and there is no high crime. There are nice restaurants, night clubs to go to and have fun.

Mfanafuthi, says: 2020

Port Elizabeth is known as The Friendly City, although it really should be The Windy City. It has perfect weather for watersports, as is evidenced by the annual Ironman and Corporate Ironman tournaments. Surfers can be seen along the pristine Blue Flag beaches daily, regardless of the weather. This laid-back coastal city also has a rich history dating back to the 1820 Settlers, and is also home to the famous Donkin fort, of which the cannon has never fired a shot.

Fezekile, says: 2020

Some moving to Port Elizabeth should know it a very quiet city. People often move to this city as it is perfect for those who enjoy a peaceful atmosphere. We also find that people in this city are extremely friendly perhaps because it is so small. Finally the weather is crazy! We have four seasons in one day.

Rhulani, says: 2020

Port Elizabeth is a beautiful city with many activities to enjoy. We have many restaurants, cute little shops and many cultural and historical sites. We have a lot of friendly faces willing to help travelers. We are also known as the windy city, due to our extreme weather.

Nomvuselelo, says: 2020

While Port Elizabeth is a wonderful, friendly city, one should be wary of the public transportation. While the omnipresent minivans, locally referred to as taxis, are relatively cheap and reliable in their schedule, they are not the safest. Pickpockets, and at times even armed robberies, are a common occurrence in taxis. This is why it is always safer to wait for a bus or call an Uber when you wish to travel.

Lebogang, says: 2020

there is a high crime rate and thus one needs to take precaution such as locking one’s doors and making sure you do not leave items in your car that might get stolen. The city is known as the friendly city or the windy city.

Tristan, says: 2020

It is untrue that it is very windy in Port Elizabeth but there are a few intensely wind days. Secondly, most people speak Xhosa but many can speak English and Afrikaans too. There are quite a few very dangerous area that you should not wander into alone or late at night.

Mihlali, says: 2020

Port Elizabeth is a beautiful city which is on the south east coast of South Africa. It is also named Nelson Mandela Bay and is known for its windy weather and friendly citizens, thus known as “The windy city” or “The friendly city”. It is surrounded by beautiful blue-flag white sandy beaches and malaria-free game reserves, making it a popular tourist destination.

Port Elizabeth is small city also known as Nelson Mandela Bay. Port Elizabeth has a lot to offer: world-renowned blue flag beaches, amazing hiking trails, and many wildlife reserves within a short drive. We have a laid back way of life and you will smell the smoke of our braais (similar to a BBQ) on a Sunday afternoon.

Regomoditswe, says: 2020

I should be known that Port Elizabeth is an extremely small city. If you are wanting a private lifestyle, then moving here would not be the ideal choice for you. Casual bump-ins with neighbors and friends at a local supermarket are a regular occasion – and everybody knows everyone’s business!

Kubeshnie, says: 2020

Port Elizabeth is a wonderful quiet seaside city. It is both a friendly and windy city with breathtaking white sands and gorgeous warm beaches due to the warm Benguela current experienced on the south eastern tip of Africa. The are amazing coffee shops and restaurants which make Port Elizabeth the perfect holiday get away and city.

Thulisile, says: 2020

Port Elizabeth is the friendly city, and you will quickly be shown why. We may be the windy city too, but I like to think the friendliness makes up for the wind every time. Perhaps don’t bring an umbrella with you, unless you like to fly. Our beaches are world-class, they alone are reason to pack immediately.

Siyabonga, says: 2020

This city is the “City of Gold” because of the gold it produces due to its mines. It is also “The City of Dreams” because many people move here to chase the various opportunities the city offers. Johannesburg has over 10 million trees, which makes it the biggest man-made forest.

Kgomotso, says: 2020

Port Elizabeth is the windy city and you may also find that it has all for seasons in one day. You need to always pack a separate outfit in your car or bring a warmer jacket on a sunny day, as you’ll never know what kind of weather you’ll find yourself in, at the end of the day.

Fortunate, says: 2020

Port Elizabeth is on the gateway to the Garden Route en route to Cape Town. It is a sixty minute drive from the Addo Elephant Park. It is also a coastal city and offers a wealth of opportunities for enjoyment to nature lovers. Port Elizabeth has all the facilities of the huge cities as far as schools and entertainment goes while retaining a small town personal feel.

Yasmin, says: 2020

Port Elizabeth is not known as the “Windy City” for no reason. It is not uncommon to see pedestrians battling the elements in a semi-horizontal position when the mighty South-Easter is blowing. However, Port Elizabeth is known as the “Friendly City”, and I find this more apt; it is a surprisingly welcoming seaside metropolis.

Lebato, says: 2020

Port Elizabeth is an amazing city. It has some of the most amazing beaches in our country as well many Historical Monuments and Museums. We also have many Nature Reserves and Game Parks which one can visit and are within easy reach of the city centre. Port Elizabeth also has many shopping centres and restaurants.

Lindokuhle, says: 2020

While our city is beautiful, especially because it is a coastal city, it is the windy city. Expect to have very windy days year-round. It is a sunny city and our summers are amazing, as on perfect summer days you can quickly pack and go down to the beach. Depending on where you stay you are in walking distance from the beach.

Paballo, says: 2020

Port Elizabeth is an excellent city to raise children in. The city is safe, clean and very friendly. We also have excellent schools, both private and public. Port Elizabeth has clean beaches with excellent facilities nearby for the shopping enthusiast. there are nice neighborhoods where residents can walk their dogs in peace.

Lelodwa, says: 2020

The people in our city are both diverse and benevolent. Port Elizabeth is one of South Africa’s windiest cities, so bring lots of jackets and blankets. The schools in our city may be pricey, but they’re worth it. The children at Port Elizabeth are both well educated and wise beyond their years.

Karabo, says: 2020

Port Elizabeth isone of the friendliest cities in South Africa. It is known as the “Windy City”, even though it is only the fifth windiest city in the country. Despite the wind, the weather is temperate year-round and as pleasant as the people.

Fezekile, says: 2020

Port Elizabeth is a beautiful coastal city in South Africa. It’s also known as the Nelson Mandela Bay. The city is very beautiful and has really nice beaches, although the weather can be very windy most of the time. It’s rich in diversity and cultural heritage. It has a lion park.

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