Bayworld Museum Complex
Now known as Bayworld, which means you get to see the Oceanarium, the snake park, and no 7 Castle Hill as part of the same visit, the country’s third oldest museum boasts a 15 metre Southern Right whale skeleton, a life-size reconstruction of the giant dinosaur Algoasaurus (it’s not a recently discovered species, but a take on Algoa Bay!), and a bronze cannon that dates back to 1640 that was recovered from a Portuguese galleon shipwrecked off the coast near Port Elizabeth.
If that isn’t enough reason to visit the Port Elizabeth Museum, which effortlessly combines cultural and natural history in displays of dinosaurs, bird and marine life, costume and local history, Xhosa beadwork and a curiosity corner, then perhaps the maritime history hall will do the trick. Fully rigged models of sailing ships of an era long gone by, together with the ships’ artefacts, never fail to impress; whilst models and skeletons of whales, sharks and dolphins give one a still life view of the live animals on display in the Oceanarium, which offers close encounters with local marine wildlife. And the snake park is a veritable feast of reptiles that include tortoises, juvenile crocodiles, geckos, terrapins and snakes.
The Bayworld complex is one of the top ten things to do in Port Elizabeth along Marine Drive on the beachfront at Humewood. Don’t forget No 7 Castle Hill Museum – amongst the oldest of the original settler buildings, it is an insight into domestic life during that time.