Port Elizabeth was wonderful and the change from our camper to the La Mer Guesthouse couldn’t have been bigger. We had booked their cheapest room and received an upgrade to their best room. Probably one of the benefits of an off-season stay. The room was beautiful, the breakfast fantastic and Jaco and Suzaan Smit who managed the guesthouse provided us with many great recommendations on what to do and where to go.
We visited Donkin Reserve which is a landmark at Nelson Mandela bay and the Sanccob penguin rescue station where we learned a lot about the African penguins. We took a hike along the coastline and went to run and jump around in the sand dunes at Sardinia Bay and Maitland Beach. We also explored the Kragga Kamma Game Park, a really small, but compared to the Mlilwane, very organized park where in a separated section there were even five cheetahs. It wasn’t the same as our cheetah encounter at Kruger as it felt more like a zoo but having that wild cat walking around our car and observing it from that close was thrilling. And even though we had learned that they see cars as objects and don’t recognize the people sitting in it, we closed our windows when it came that close.
Two of our three evenings we spent at Stanley St where most of the houses in this street had been turned into restaurants and bars and where we not only enjoyed some fantastic poke bowls at Fushin restaurant but also met Dalton who was working as a bartender at Upstairs. Dalton is the son of Jaco and Suzaan and besides being a great host, he provided us with quite some valuable insights into South African society and politics.