Middle East & Africa

Port Elizabeth, South Africa

A Comprehensive Guide to the Best Places to Run in Port Elizabeth

South African Tourism

Port Elizabeth is the main city of South Africa’s Nelson Mandela Bay in the Eastern Cape Province. Known as “The Friendly City,” this major seaport is known for its great weather, beaches, and as a gateway for big game and safari tourism. It’s also the hub of the Eastern Cape’s economy, boasting some of the top investment, manufacturing, and automotive businesses in the country. Thanks to its waterfront location and proximity to many nature parks, there are many places to run in Port Elizabeth.

The top running route in Port Elizabeth is the waterfront boardwalk/promenade stretching from Summerstrand to King’s Beach. To the south, we’ve mapped a route to Cape Recife. We also point to some of the best road running streets and neighborhoods, and a number of runnable parks/trails, including the Sacramento Trail, the Lower Guinea Fowl Trail, the Aloe Trail, A good destination spot for a run is Van Staden’s Wildflower Reserve, 40 km west of Port Elizabeth. If you’re looking for some friendly competition on your run, try any of the four Parkrun routes for a free 5 km.

Most visitors arrive to Port Elizabeth via the airport or train station, but once here, getting around is pretty straightforward. The recently updated public bus system is easy to navigate, but taxis remain the most popular form of tourist transportation.

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Some of our favorite runs in Port Elizabeth, South Africa

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Port Elizabeth has a great year-round climate for running, with abundant sunshine year-round. It’s rarely too hot or too cold. Summers are delightful, with high temperatures in the 26C range, and nights that do cool off. Winters are mild, with daytime temperatures averaging 20C, but you’ll need a layer for the cool mornings. About 625mm (25 inches) of rain falls annually, with October through January being drier.

Most hotels in Port Elizabeth are located near downtown and along the Summerstrand/waterfront area. See the Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism group for accommodations.

Brians Band Sports is the go-to running store around the city.

Some running groups around Port Elizabeth include PE32Gi Running Club, We Run PE and the Crusaders Athletic Club.

If you’re running along the waterfront, we also recommend Wayne Pheiffer Cycles and Coffee Bar. They offer parking, showers, and locker facilities for a small fee, and massages can be booked ahead of time.

The most popular running event management company in Port Elizabeth is Big O Sports.

Brians Band Sports also has a list of upcoming races here.