By Mandlakazi Skefile
The April edition of the Tourism Tattler Trade Journal’s front cover features the Donkin Memorial, which commemorates the city of Port Elizabeth and South Africa’s colonial past. Erected by Rufane Shaw Donkin, who named the rising seaport of Algoa Bay as Port Elizabeth, the memorial was erected in memory of his wife in August 1820. The Hill Lighthouse next to the memorial pyramid was built in 1861.
Heritage and culture are key components to Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) as a tourism destination, to such a degree that the NMB region (Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage, Despatch and Colchester) has been named after Nelson Mandela − humanitarian, freedom fighter and world icon of peace. Nelson Mandela Bay is the only geographical area which has been allowed to retain Madiba’s name and possesses qualities that resonate with that of our beloved hero.
Locals from the friendly city openly invite you to Ikhaya lenkululeko (Experience the Spirit of Freedom) through the free smiles of their people, wide open beaches, endless wildlife viewing and an abundance of activities and attractions to be explored. With NMB being known as the City of Freedom, a person is able to experience the feeling of freedom through the stories and freedom routes fondly shared by locals.
Popular to explore is Route 67, which is a route that is depicted through 67 artworks symbolising Madiba’s years dedicated to the freedom struggle. The ‘Route 67’ meanders through the CBD taking visitors past some of the Bay’s oldest monuments, art deco architecture and a series of open-air artworks.
It is a destination where one enjoys the easy going lifestyle of NMB with a round of golf or a luxury spa treatment with cocktails at a 5 star facility. The climate is complementary to our breathtaking beaches where in summer the water temperature ranges from 18 to 21 degrees Celsius and in winter between 14 to 19 degrees Celsius allowing ideal opportunities for snorkelling, diving or surfing.
For the adventure seekers there are a variety of experiences to get the blood pumping. Adrenalin Addo is a family friendly attraction for anyone in pursuit of sheer fun and adventure and they are proud to lay claim to the longest double zip line in Africa and the only giant swing of its kind in South Africa. Sandboarding is another must do activity that is a unique adventure that starts with a scenic boat cruise on the Sundays River where you will see the local birdlife feeding in their natural habitat. After about 10 minutes you reach the famous Alexandria Coastal Dune field which is the largest, most impressive and least degraded dune field in South Africa.
Due to its easy accessibility, Nelson Mandela Bay has become a popular tourist destination in its own right. NMB is a destination which is easily accessible by road, air, rail and sea travel. Popular among many visitors and locals is the “gift of time” as with little traffic congestion and the close proximity of attractions, accommodation facilities and restaurants, one can experience a multitude of activities in a short time frame. This is further enhanced by the Nelson Mandela Bay Pass card that, once purchased, allows free and discounted entry into a variety of attractions and activities (read more on page 07).
Blue Flag status has been awarded to three beaches in NMB by the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) for the Blue Flag season of 2015/2016. These include Humewood, Hobie and Kings Beach.
Today South Africa is recognised as the producer of the highest quality mohair in the world. Mohair South Africa leads the global mohair market and Port Elizabeth renown as the Mohair Capital of the World. Over 60% of the world’s mohair passes through the city. Take a tour at the Hinterveld factory in Uitenhage, a processing plant that is the epicentre of the world’s mohair production.
While visiting the home of the Big 7 (Lion, Leopard, Cape Buffalo, Elephant, Rhinoceros, Southern Wright Whale and Great White Shark) be sure not to miss out on a wildlife experience at the nearby game reserves. Alternatively if good vibes and flavours are your style, we recommend a micro brewery tour, township buy and braai or a stroll through the Stanley Street restaurant area.
As a destination marketing body, Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism (NMBT) is honoured to introduce, and to be featured in, this month’s edition of Tourism Tattler.
I encourage readers to experience the world-class quality service provided by our accommodation and activity establishments listed on pages 08 to 17. The commitment by NMBT members to promote and conserve a sustainable environment and community, while reducing waste and energy consumption in Port Elizabeth is a prime example of quality tourism services (read more on page 20).
Moving on to my favourite subject, namely food, the feature stories on Organic Food for Conscious Conferencing (page 24), African Cuisine (page 28), and Food in Tourism Marketing (page 32) are of particular interest.
Yours in Tourism,
Guest Editor – Tourism Tattler
About April’s Guest Editor: Mandlakazi Skefile is the Chief Executive Officer of Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism and is the woman responsible for bringing the world to Nelson Mandela Bay. She has seen many successes during her term, including Port Elizabeth’s hosting of the IRB World Series Sevens rugby tournament. Born and bred here, Skefile says that her position is the perfect outlet for the passion she feels for the Bay. Her hobbies include spending time with her three children, travelling and cooking.
For more info visit www.nmbt.co.za