Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Port Elizabeth is today one of South Africa's busiest seaports, but for almost 250 years mariners believed that it's bay had no merit an as anchorage. Pieter Timmerman, a Dutch captain sent to survey the area in 1690, said it was "nothing better than an exposed bight", and did not even bother to drop anchor there.

P.E. Beaches
Yet Algoa Bay, as the British misnamed it on thier maps, and Port Elizabeth were to become extremely important to the development of the Eastern Cape.

Dutch farmers first took up farms on the bay in 1772, and in 1799 the British, then occupying the Cape for the first time, built a stone fort overlooking the Baakens River.

In 1820 it was deemed the idea place for disembarking the British Settlers. The acting governor, Sir Rufane Donkin, officially awaiting the first shipload of settlers, named the place Port Elizabeth after his recetly deceased wife. Originally all goods and persons had to be brought ashore through the surf in small boats, but in 1837 local merchants pooled resources to build the first jetty of what has become the modern port the Port Elizabeth is today.

The city is one of the centers of the motor assembly industry in South Africa, but the city itself and seafront have a pleasant holiday atmosphere.