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Nelson Mandela Bay’s coastline and natural beauty have been attractive to local and foreign tourists for over a century, and, because of its well-established hospitality industry, the mid-sized city continues to live up to its name as South Africa’s “Friendly City”.
Nelson Mandela Bay is undoubtedly South Africa’s Nature Capital and is the gateway and a logical starting point to enjoy the Eastern Cape province’s superb beaches, game parks, and nature reserves. The Addo Elephant National Park is arguably the province’s greatest attraction and offers visitors the opportunity to view the ‘Big Seven’ – lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo, the Southern right whale and the great white shark. The fact that the region is malaria-free at all times is another selling point for nature-lovers visiting South Africa. More than half of the foreign tourists visiting the Bay each year travel from Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, UK and France.
In addition to its natural treasures and relaxed urban identity, Nelson Mandela Bay also has a unique historical and cultural offering, a product of the history of interaction between British colonial settlers, the indigenous Xhosa-speaking people, and other cultural groups. The city proudly hosted the 2018 IRONMAN© World Championship, adding the event to an ever-expanding list of successful international sports fixtures hosted by the city – including a FIFA World Cup (2010) quarter-final.
The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber, in collaboration with the local municipal government, Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism (NMBT), and Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), embarked on a new project in 2018 to bring more frequent and affordable flights to Nelson Mandela Bay. Our ultimate aim is to add more domestic, regional, and international routes to the Port Elizabeth International Airport’s offering and, in doing so, promote the Bay as a destination for tourists and investors alike. After decades of proposals, promises, and postponements, the Bay is also likely to see construction of its long-mooted waterfront development begin soon at the city’s Port Elizabeth harbour.