With so much to do and enjoy in and around Nelson Mandela Bay – located on the warm coast of South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province – the city has come up with an innovative pass card that allows you to do a whole lot more for a whole lot less money.
The Nelson Mandela Bay Pass is a smartcard that provides visitors and residents with free or discounted admission to a variety of attractions and activities in the metro, which includes the cities of Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage, Despatch and Colchester.
Nelson Mandela Bay Metro is known as one of South Africa’s premier holiday destinations and an excellent value-for-money and family-fun-in-the-sun holiday destination, named after Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first democratic president, humanitarian, freedom fighter and a world icon of peace. It is the only city that can boast of being home to the Big 7 – elephant, buffalo, rhino, lion, leopard, humpback whale and the great white shark.
The city has over 40km of golden coastline that includes several Blue Flag beaches. Port Elizabeth is also known as both the mohair and bottlenose dolphin capital of the world, and on top if it all it boasts being home to no fewer than 5 biomes.
Now the best way of exploring this fabulous coastal city, is by means of the Nelson Mandela Bay Pass Card. The card provides access to a multitude of attractions and activities at cheaper rates. For tourists, holidaymakers and residents, it is a passport to flexibility, convenience, variety and savings.
Included in the pass card offering are entry to museums, game reserves, scuba diving, art galleries, sightseeing tours and much more. It also entitles the cardholder to some great discounts in selected stores for shopping, activities, entertainment and more.
There are two types of Nelson Mandela Bay Visitors Passes (packages), namely the 5-in-1 Pass as well as the Unlimited Access Pass. The pass package you decide to buy will be loaded onto a smartcard that will give you access according to the type of pass that has been selected by you.
Here are some of the fun activities you can enjoy with the Nelson Mandela Bay Pass:
Free Zip Line Tour on Africa’s longest double zip line
Adrenalin Addo, located in the heart of the Sundays River Valley just a 20-minutes’ drive from the Addo National Elephant Park, lays claim to having the longest double zip line in Africa and the only giant swing of its kind in South Africa. This is a family-friendly attraction for anyone in pursuit of sheer fun and adventure. If exhilaration and an adrenalin rush are what you are after, you won’t be disappointed.
For something a little more sedate, you can hire a canoe and paddle the waters of the Sundays River or hike up to the viewpoints and enjoy the view of the surrounding citrus-farming valley. There is a café overlooking the river, offering light refreshments, and a jungle gym and mini zip line on site to keep all family members entertained. With your Nelson Mandela Bay Pass you get the zip-line ride for free.
Ama ‘TUK-TUK Beacons of Hope’ Tour
This is a delightful blended tour on board a zippy 3-wheel, open Tuk-Tuk – a modern day motorised rickshaw. From Bayworld, the tour zips off to the southern tip of Algoa Bay and visits the working Cape Recife Lighthouse. Situated within the Cape Recife Nature Reserve, the fully functioning lighthouse has been warning sea captains of the lurking Thunderbolt Reef since 1851.
Here one has the opportunity to walk on the wild side and take in the history, spectacular coastal views and fresh sea smells, or dip your toes in the ocean and allow the warm sand to massage your feet before zipping off back along the coastline to another historic attraction, The Donkin Lighthouse and Pyramid.
Situated on a hilltop overlooking the sweeping Algoa Bay, the Donkin Lighthouse towers over the Pyramid which was built in 1861 by order of Sir Rufane Donkin. Besides scaling the lighthouse for remarkable views over the city, you can learn about the tragic love story that led to the naming of the City of Port Elizabeth.
You can also venture further into the area surrounding the Donkin to enjoy some of the sights of the historical suburb of Central, part of the Donkin Heritage Route. The Tuk-Tuk tour comes free with your Nelson Mandela Bay Pass.
Beach Horse Riding Tour
Revitalize yourself with a horse-riding tour at Sardinia Bay in Port Elizabeth and enjoy the exquisite freedom of riding along the unspoilt beaches. The real magic of this fabulous adventure along the coast of Sardinia Bay lies in the spectacular scenery set against the crashing waves of the Indian Ocean.
The experience includes a scenic two-and-a-half-hour beach ride through the Sardinia Bay Nature Reserve onto Sardinia Bay beach and back again. A one-hour trail ride for those who prefer a shorter distance is also available. All riders are led by a professional guide. Your pass gets you the two-and-a-half-hour beach ride for free.
Addo Elephant National Park
Also with your pass, you can enjoy a free day visit to the world-renowned Addo Elephant National Park with its famous elephants and abundance of other wildlife. The park proudly conserves the Big 7 within its vast borders – stretching from the rugged plains of the Karoo to the untamed coastline. It is conveniently located only 40km from Port Elizabeth and offers the best elephant viewing in the country.
Sand-boarding at Sunday’s River is an experience to add to your bucket list. This unique adventure starts with a scenic boat cruise on the Sundays River where you will see the local birdlife feeding in their natural habitat.
You’ll quickly reach the famous Alexandria Coastal Dune area that has the largest, most impressive and least degraded dune fields in South Africa. The boards and polish are provided and lessons will be given to those who are new to sand-boarding. The trip lasts three hours from pickup to drop-off and is definitely an adventure enjoyed by all. The Nelson Mandela Bay Pass gets you the 3-hour sand-boarding tour for free.
Route 67 celebrates each of the 67 years of public life of the great Nelson Mandela, and it appropriately includes a total of 67 giant steps and 67 public art pieces by 67 local Eastern Cape artists. 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. Pass-holders get a free guided walking tour of Route 67.
To find out more about these and other activities that can be experienced when utilizing the Nelson Mandela Bay Pass, you can visit www.nelsonmandelabaypass.co.za.
Information supplied by Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism