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Life on the wild coast

Kabelo Dipholo
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Gqeberha lives up to its billing

Officially renamed Gqeberha on 23rd February last year, Port Elizabeth, founded in 1820 as a British settlement was named by the acting governor of the Cape Colony Sir Rufane Donkin.

The heart broken governor named it after his wife Lady Elizabeth, likening its beauty to his deceased spouse.

A YouTube video that has so far received well over a million views is available to help you pronounce the Xhosa word, which is the name for the Baakens river flowing through the city.

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The eastern cape underwent a couple of name changes, including their airport which is now named after David Stuurman, a leader of the Khoi people who fought colonialists in the 19th century.

Stuurman was amongst the first political prisoners to be jailed on Robben Island.

The eastern cape is a province of great natural beauty from the ancient semi-arid Karoo, to the mighty Tsitsikamma Forest, magnificent beaches and mesmerizing wild coast.

It is here that thousands of tourist come to surf the world’s biggest waves at Jeffreys Bay, and go on a Big seven safari including great whites and whales.

The eastern cape also boasts of being the birth place of South Africa’s liberation icon and former President Nelson Mandela.

Overlooking the blue flag beaches, most hotels in Gqeberha offers sweeping views of the Indian ocean, and one is spoilt for choice with adventure experiences that include sandboarding, quad biking, boat cruise, biking on the beach, skydiving and game drive at the Addo Elephant National Park.

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A visit to PE will not be complete without without a boat cruise at Cape Recife Nature Reserve.

The 366-hectare reserve was proclaimed in 1973.

The reserve offers some of the best beaches and views within Gqeberha, the Roseate Tern hiking trail and is home to SANCCOB where one can view the rehabilitation of marine animals in particular the African Penguin.

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