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Nelson Mandela Bay – uniting Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage and Despatch
Nelson Mandela: humanitarian, activist, icon to the world and towering figure of the twentieth century. Now a destination has been named after him – the only geographical area that has been allowed to do so: Nelson Mandela Bay, incorporating the beautiful and historic old city of Port Elizabeth and the towns of Uitenhage and Despatch.
Situated on the south-eastern tip of Africa, Nelson Mandela Bay boasts 40 km of magnificent golden beaches, washed by the warm water of the Indian Ocean. The city’s breathtaking seashore and protected beaches of international standard and excellent accommodation facilities lure thousands of visitors to its shores every year.
As a major seaport for passing ships on their way to the East in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the Bay’s waters have over 400 shipwrecks, making it a diver’s delight. Offering virtually unlimited opportunities for watersports enthusiasts, the Bay is known as Africa’s Watersports Capital.
A must-see on any itinerary is the Red Location Museum of Struggle. This multi-award winning museum, which was opened in November 2006, commemorates South Africa’s turbulent apartheid history and long struggle for freedom.
Nelson Mandela Bay carries the rich legacy of an area which saw the first meetings of the Khoisan, British, Dutch, German and Xhosa people. The landing place of the 1820 Settlers, it boasts some of the finest Victorian and Edwardian architecture in South Africa. The city’s wealth of historical attractions, museums and places of interest offers the visitor a fascinating ourney of discovery.
Nelson Mandela Bay is situated in a nature-lover’s paradise. The Bay is within half an hour’s drive of several internationally acclaimed game reserves, offering an unforgettable experience of African wildlife. Most reserves have the Big Five (lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant, and rhinoceros).
Those seeking retail therapy will find that their every desire is met by the Bay’s array of attractive shopping malls, upmarket boutiques and tourist-friendly craft markets. And when the sun goes down in Nelson Mandela Bay, the fun continues! After dark, the city is transformed into a bejewelled sea of lights, and the nightlife sizzles, providing entertainment for every taste.
Nelson Mandela Bay is the hub of the automotive industry on the African continent, with many major international vehicle and component manufacturers based in the city. The preferred region for the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, flour, meat, frozen veggies, soft drinks, chocolates, cheese, yoghurt, ice-cream, paper products and leather products. Nelson Mandela Bay is also a major exporter of everything from manganese ore, wood, fresh produce, fruit juices wool, skins and, of course, motor components.
Nelson Mandela Bay’s well-equipped bustling international airport, harbour and port link it with other national and international destinations, while its national roads allow easy access to the Western Region of the Eastern Cape, including the Sunshine Coast, Frontier Country, Sundays River Valley, Kouga / Tsitsikamma / Garden Route and the Karoo Heartland Routes.
Approximately 1.1 million people inhabit the city, making it South Africa’s fifth largest city in terms of population and second largest in terms of area. The predominant languages are English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa, and the official language used in shops and the business sector is English.
So if you want to experience the splendour, the beauty, the spirit, the freedom, the wildlife, the culture, the openness and the friendliness of the only city to be named after the world’s greatest statesman, come on in to Nelson Mandela Bay.
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