Nostalgic steam train trips can be taken throughout Port Elizabeth's surrounding country side where national parks and the city of Uitenhage are located.
Addo Elephant National Park
The Addo Elephant National Park (area 14,551ha/35,941ac) lies 72km/45mi north of Port Elizabeth between the Zuurberg range and the valley of the Sundays River. It was established in 1931 to preserve the last eleven South African bush elephants from extinction (there are now some 450 elephants in the reserve). The valuable Cape buffalo has also been preserved here. Other animals to be seen in the park include black rhinos and numerous species of antelope (bushbucks, kudus, red hartebeests, elands, Cape grysboks, duikers, etc.). Among nocturnal animals found here are porcupines, anteaters and bush pigs. 185 species of birds have been recorded, including Cape thick-knees, bronze-naped pigeons, ostriches, little swifts, quails, wattled starlings, Cape red-shouldered glossy starlings and kites. The bush in the park consists of low-growing trees and climbing plants. The dominant plant is the spekboom bush, the elephants' main source of food. The best place to see elephants is at one of the six waterholes in the park. For bird-watchers there is an observation platform at the entrance to the park.Accommodation for visitors is available in rondavels, cottages, chalets and a camping site, and there are a restaurant and a shop. Day visitors are also welcome. The park can be explored by visitors in their own car. There is also an area surrounded by an elephant-proof fence in which they can walk freely.
Address: Box 787, Pretoria, Eastern Cape 0001, South Africa
Zuurberg National Park
The Zuurberg National Park (area 20,777ha/51,319ac) lies in the Winterhoek Mountains 12km/71\2mi north of the Addo National Park. It is a hilly region with deep rocky ravines in which rare and beautiful plants flourish. There are expanses of fynbos scrub, including the low-growing sugarbush. Among the animals to be seen in the park are numerous antelopes and gazelles, including mountain reedbucks and rheboks, as well as baboons, caracals and jackals. Kudus are to be found both within and outside the park. Mountain zebras and hippopotamuses have been re-established here.Facilities for visitors include hiking trails, pony trekking and a guest house.
Seaview Game Park
30km/19mi west of Port Elizabeth is Seaview Game Park occupied by large numbers of giraffes, lions, zebras, wildebeests, antelopes, gazelles, baboons, caracals, steppe lynxes and cheetahs. The more highly strung animals live in special enclosures. Visitors can observe the animals from cross-country vehicles, or they can walk the Nyala Trail (45 minutes), which winds its way through the scrub. There is a camping site within the park.
Address: Box 50432, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape 6018, South Africa
Uitenhage, South Africa
35km/22mi north of Port Elizabeth is Uitenhage (pop. 202,000), a busy modern industrial city which is famed for its beautiful trees and gardens. It is an important center of automobile manufacture, metalworking, mechanical engineering and railroad engineering. The Volkswagen works are the largest car assembly plant in Africa.
Cuyler Manor Cultural Museum
The Cuyler Manor Cultural Museum, 4km/2.5mi from the town center, occupies the former home (restored) of a British officer named Jacob Glenn Cuyler.The manor features period furnishings and is home to a demonstration farm.
Drostdy Africana Museum
The Drostdy Africana Museum has a collection of material on African life and culture before the arrival of white settlers.
Old Railway Station Museum
The old Victorian railroad station in Market Street (built 1875; restored) now houses the Railway Museum which displays steam locomotives and railroad equipment.
Address: Market Street, South Africa
For railroad buffs nostalgic for the days of steam, a trip on the Apple Express is a must. The narrow-gauge line on which fruit was formerly transported to Port Elizabeth harbor from the fruit-growing country to the west of the city is now used by steam trains conveying passengers to the beaches south and west of the city.