Eastern Cape / Eastern Cape Visitorials / Visitorials: We Love South Africa

I Love Port Alfred Because …

Updated Tuesday, 14 May 2024

Hi, we are Valerie and Peter from Port Alfred in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.

Port Alfred IS BEST KNOWN FOR being the Heart of the Sunshine Coast with pristine beaches, nature trails, the Kowie River, good game reserve and deep sea fishing. Many residents are descendants of the 1820 Settlers.

GET YOUR PICTURE TAKEN next to the old cannons on Wesley Hill.

Port Alfred

THE BEST holiday PICTURES CAN BE TAKEN AT the small Boat Harbour or at the river mouth.

OTHER HAPPY SNAPS AT Big Pineapple in Bathhurst only 8 minutes away and in front of the small aircraft at 43 Air School en route.

WHEN THE WEATHER’S GOOD, WE LIKE TO take long walks along the beach, go on a game drive or a bird watching tour.  You can go on a boat cruise up the Kowie River to take in the scenery of hire a Kowie Leisure Liner for the weekend making your trip a cruise. Imagine watching the sun set with a glass of chilled wine in the hand and a fishing rod in the other when the afternoon calm is shattered the shrill shriek of the Fish Eagle on a tree nearby. Deep sea fishing is another option, for the more adventurous.

WHEN THE WEATHER’S BAD, WE LIKE TO visit the agricultural museum in Bathhurst or our local museum which has an amazing collection of over 600 antique egg-cups.

WE THINK THE BEST TIME OF YEAR TO VISIT IS all year round, BECAUSE the Eastern Cape is never too hot or too cold.

Port Alfred

MY FAVOURITE BREAKFAST SPOT IS the Spur in the small boat harbour on the edge of the marina, with cormorants and gulls plunge diving for fish. Another good breakfast spot is the Fish River Sun Hotel only 20 minutes away, which offer a huge buffet breakfast.

FOR LUNCH, WE SUGGEST the Ski Boat Club and the Ocean Basket on the Kowie River – maybe a pub lunch at The Links restaurant on Wesley Hill. How about lunch at Guido’s at the river mouth, you can see miles and miles of sea!

MY FAVOURITE RESTAURANTS ARE are The Thistle Restaurant at the Royal St Andrew’s Lodge opposite the golf course, and the Fish River Diner on the bridge over the Great Fish River, east of Port Alfred.

BEST LATE NIGHT SNACK FROM Beavers! Famous for their pies and open 24 hours, situated at the entrance to Port Alfred on the Port Elizabeth side of the R72.

OUR FAVOURITE browsing SPOT IS the antique shop next to Beavers, which stocks stunning small collectables, furniture and books. The shop also sells the sweetest Queen pineapples grown by a local famer.

Port Alfred

OUR FAVOURITE scenic SPOT IS from our house and guest cottage high on a ridge looking north up the Kowie River with 180 degrees view of the country side and hills. Down in the valley are houses with jetties along the riverbank.

FOR A NIGHT OUT ON THE TOWN have cocktails and dinner at the Barmuda on the river, on to the Warf Street Bew Pub and dance till late at the Lounge near the old railway station.

IF YOU WANT TO MEET LOCALS, GO TO the Ferryman’s Inn Hotel Pub opposite the marina.

Port Alfred’s BEST KEPT SECRET remains a secret until October this year, when it will be completed, is the transformation of Wharf street (our oldest street) and historical buildings there into a major tourist attraction. Pavements will be re-done in cobblestone and street lined with Victorian lamps. It will be a shopping mecca with an indoor flea market, tea garden and restaurants, a theatre, library, fresh produce and a ticket office for river trips on an old 14m whaling boat. A vintage village ambience to highlight the history of our town.

OUR FAVOURITE THING TO DO WITH FRIENDS IS a 6.2km morning walk along the beach front, from Piet River Mouth to Kleinemonde, just outside Port Alfred. Take your dogs for the walk as well, you can all get fit.

Port Alfred

TO RELAX AND RESTORE OUR SOULS, WE LIKE TO listen to classical music and soirees at Richmond House overlooking the town and the marina.

IF YOU’RE FEELING ADVENTUROUS, TRY one of our 3 horse safaris along the beach, through the nature reserve, along the river banks and bush trails – only 15 minutes from Port Alfred.

OUR FAVOURITE DRIVE IS through Kenton-on-sea to Boknes and Cannon Rocks along the coast.

OUR FAVOURITE SHOP IS the home industries shop for home baked confectionery and preserves.

OUR FAVOURITE bird WATCHING SPOT IS the mudflats of the Kowie River, especially to see the Kingfishers and waders. There are 300 species of bird life and the Giant Eagle Owl nests on the cliffs above the old station. The booklet by Anne Williams on “Birds-watching Hotspots” can be obtained at our tourism office for R20.

IF YOU’RE HERE IN the second week in December, JOIN IN THE FUN AT SA Schools Boat Race.

OUR FAVOURITE ART GALLERY IS Quinn Sculpture Garden in Alexandria, 50 km away. Maureen Quinn is an artist of sculpture with bronze figures. Check out Wiles Gallery and Corner Gallery in Bathhurst.

OUR FAVOURITE BUILDING IS the historic observatory museum in Grahamstown originally a stately Victorian double story home it has the authentic camera obscura in the southern hemisphere. The large concave “mirror” in the Bell Tower gives a 360 degree view of Grahamstown needed to locate the horse and trap of the doctor on his rounds in the 1800’s, each floor depicts Victorian living.

TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN? A FUN OUTING IS a trip to the adventure centre for outdoor fun like canoeing, sand boarding, quad trails, horse riding and kids scuba diving. There is a safe area for small children to paddle in seawater behind the ski-boat club at the Willows caravan park. There is also a heated swimming pool to give your children hours of fun in winter. Fun Jigsaw puzzles are made in a factory in Port Alfred. Near Port Elizabeth children can safely cuddle a lion cub at the Seaview Game and Lion Park – a great day’s outing.

BEST CHEAP AND CHEERFUL OUTING IS to our blue flag status beach, Kelly’s Beach or only 15km each side of Port Alfred at Kleinemonde and Kenton-on-sea.

WHEN MONEY’S NO OBJECT, WE LIKE TO watch game at Shamwari Game Reserve.

THE MOST UNUSUAL THING WE SEE HERE IS a seal frolicking in the Kowie River, nicknamed “Sammy the Seal”. He likes to catch fish in the marina and in the river below us.

Port Alfred

OUR FAVOURITE WEEKEND GETAWAY IS at any of the game reserves in the Eastern Cape – Addo Elephant Park near Port Elizabeth, Lalibela, Sibuya, Kariega (34 km away), Nyala Valley Game Farm (15 min away), Mansfield Game Reserve (4 minutes away).

WHEN WE WANT TO GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY, WE supply Hospice with Free accommodation for folk who need a short holiday.

WE Love Port Alfred BECAUSE the moderate climate, mostly sunshine, old historical cottages and churches, the sea, beach and the amazing sand dunes, profilic bird life, many social and sporting activities and friendly people. We live in a country-like environment in a town with only one robot!

Port Alfred Links:

Desirable Digits

Bathurst Big Pineapple: +27(0)46 625-0515
Kowie River Cruise: +27 (0)46 624-4432
Tahoe Spur: +27 (0)46 624-5330
Fish River Sun Hotel: +27 (0)40 676-1101
Ski-boat Club: +27 (0)46 624-4532
Ocean Basket: +27 (0)46 624-1727
The Links Restaurant: +27 (0)46 624-4533
Guido’s: +27 (0)46 624-5264
The Thistle Restaurant: +27 (0)46 624-1379
Beavers: +27 (0)46 624-2760
Barmuda: +27 (0)46 624-8659
Ferrymans Hotel Pub: +27 (0)46 624-1122
Richmond House Museum: +27 (0)46 624-4878
Horse Safari: +27(0)46 675-1271 or +27 (0)82 433-5662
Quinn Sculpture Garden: +27 (0)46 653-0121
Observatory Museum: +27 (0)46 622-2312
Outdoor Focus (canoeing): +27 (0)46 624-4432
Seaview Lion Park: +27 (0)41 378-1702