PE: 10 Interesting facts

2013-04-17 16:15
PE has many places of note

PE has many places of note

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

We all know and love PE as that town we stop at along the Garden Route. But, as most residents would argue, there is much more to Port Elizabeth than just beaches and Sea World. So we thought we would take a little trip through PE fact land and learn a bit more. Enjoy!

1. Port Elizabeth was founded when just over 4 000 British Settlers arrived by sea, hopped off the ship and claimed the bay as their own. The city became home to the first permanent British residents of our country. Oh, and you guessed it, these were the now famous 1820 settlers.

2. PE got its name from Sir Rufane Donkin, the Acting Governor of the Cape Colony in 1820. He gave the port the name of his late wife, Elizabeth. Luckily he wasn't an egotist or we'd all be talking about Port Rufane right now.

3. PE is home to the world's only monument to Prester John. A tad confused? I was too, which is not surprising as the few people who actually believed in his existence all died several hundred years ago. Between the 12th and 17th Centuries, the mythical Prester John was believed to be the white ruler of a Christian republic hidden somewhere amongst the pagans and the Muslims in the undiscovered lands. First believed to be in Asia, the Portuguese then ‘discovered' Prester John in Africa, spurning many explorers to confidently forge ahead into Africa, convinced that they would find a Christian ally waiting for them with open arms. You can find the monument adjacent to City Hall.

4. Shockingly, there is more than one Port Elizabeth in the world. Another PE is located in New Jersey in the United States of America. But if you Google ‘Port Elizabeth' - the first 10 results relate to our PE. Clearly the SA version is the best one.

5. Believe it or not, PE is actually South Africa's second largest city - with regards to its area at least. In terms of population, it's the fifth largest. This probably means that it's a pretty spacious, pleasant place to live.

Image by

6. PE used to be called the 10-minute city, because - you guessed it - you can get anywhere in 10 minutes or less. But not anymore, as things have grown and gotten busier, it will now take you 15 minutes to get somewhere. So PE is now officially a 15-minute city. Unless you get stuck in traffic...

7. While famous for its beaches, PE is also quite a wild place. No, not in terms of nightlife, we meant wildlife. There are many reserves where you can go game spotting including the Addo Elephant Park that is dedicated to the preservation of the Eastern Cape Elephant and the Cape Buffalo. And the best part? PE is completely Malaria free.

8. Port Elizabeth is known as the windy city, but according to climatologists (you know, the experts), PE is actually the least windy coastal city in the whole of South Africa.

9. PE has many beauties, including being lovely and green all year round. So green in fact that PE can make the claim to fame that it is home to more indigenous plant species than the entire British Isles. True story.

10. PE also has nice weather. The highest recorded temperature was 41°C and the lowest recorded temperature ever was just -1.

Read more on:    port elizabeth

SHARE: publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside Travel


#FindYourEscape with Traveller24

Your insider guide to exploring South Africa and the world...
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.