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Living in Port Elizabeth | PE Areas Guide

Havana Dauncey
Living in Port Elizabeth | PE Areas Guide

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Are you looking to find your new home in South Africa's Friendliest City, a.k.a Port Elizabeth? Well, you’re not the only one. Port Elizabeth has become the favourite spot for South Africans searching for the perfect balance between city life and the charm of a peaceful small town.

With the beautiful beaches in your backyard, the staggering nature as your backdrop and the low cost of city living — what more do you need? You might as well call the best moving company already!

Here’s our complete guide with everything you need to know about moving to and living in Port Elizabeth.

Port Elizabeth Overview

Port Elizabeth, renamed Gqeberha in 2021, is the 6th largest city in South Africa in the Eastern Cape. Home to some of the best beaches in South Africa, PE takes up 40km of the breathtaking coastline of Algoa Bay, a region of Nelson Mandela Bay. The population of Port Elizabeth is estimated to be around 1 312 631 in 2024, increasing by 1.17% since 2022.

Port Elizabeth BroadwalkThe names of Port Elizabeth

Port Elizabeth is a town of many names. Nicknamed the Friendly City and the Windy City among others, the most important name is its official one — Gqeberha. This is the isiXhosa word for the Baakens River, a river flowing through the city. It’s also the name of the Walmer Township in the area.

Gqueberha has proven to be a difficult name for non-isiXhosa speakers to pronounce, mostly because of the click sound found at the beginning with the ‘q’. But once you’ve got the click down, it’s actually quite simple.

The official pronunciation is [!ɛˈbɛəxə], but if you’re like most people and can’t read the IPA, here’s a guide on how to pronounce Gqeberha:

  1. You start the click ‘q’, which is an alveolar click made by placing your tongue on your palate (the top of your mouth) and pulling downwards to produce a popping sound.

  2. Then you continue to say “berha”, where the “rh” is pronounced like the Afrikaans ‘g.’

You can also watch this video pronouncing Gqeberha.


Top PE Areas to Live in

Port Elizabeth’s sublime setting results in some spectacular suburbs to call your new home, whether you want a house right on the beachfront or tucked away in the rolling hills. Some of PE’s best areas to live in include Summerstrand, Mill Park, Lovemore Heights and more.

There are many factors to choosing the right suburb in PE to move to— location, security, budget, schools, healthcare services and more. So here’s our quick guide to the top 8 suburbs in Port Elizabeth:

1. Summerstrand

Summerstrand is a luxurious suburb located right on the shorefront of PE’s most famous beaches and radiates with buzzing energy as the centre of the town's most popular attractions.

Hobie Beach is home to the annual Splash Festival while Pollock Beach is a favourite for watersports enthusiasts.

Summerstrand is also home to the Boardwalk Casino Resort — the hub of entertainment and leisure in PE with hoards of shops, restaurants, live music and more. You’ll find the Oceanarium, Humewood Golf Club and Nelson Mandela University.

2. Mill Park

Mill Park is one of the oldest suburbs in PE and is a favourite spot for families. With its large, leafy properties and central location, it’s no wonder that Mill Park is the most expensive suburb in Port Elizabeth.

It’s not only close to some of the top schools in PE, but its low traffic makes it safe enough for children to ride their bikes and walk dogs in the neighbourhood. Plus, it’s home to St. George’s Park, the second oldest cricket club in the country, making Mill Park even more appealing to sports lovers.

3. Lovemore Heights

Lovemore Heights is the second richest area in Port Elizabeth– and one of the safest. Taken up mostly by Lovemore Heights Estate, top security and freedom are guaranteed.

Set on the outskirts of town, perched on a hill, Lovemore Heights provides residents with magnificent views of the Indian Ocean.

Its perfect position ensures that everything is super accessible and just a short drive away — whether you’re going to the city centre, PE’s airport or Sardinia Bay beaches.

4. Sunridge Park

Sunridge Park is another great option for families looking for top schools, more affordable prices and some space from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Located just next to the N2, it’s accessible to all parts of the city. The popular Sunridge Village is another big draw as a large complex of shops, restaurants, salons, florists, medical facilities, pet services and so much more.

5. Upper Walmer

Upper Walmer sits in the more northern and lustrous parts of the suburb of Walmer. These upper tree-lined avenues are favoured for their proximity to great schools, businesses, shopping centres and leisure activities.

With the beach 10 minutes away in one direction and the airport 5 minutes in the other direction, your location could not get more central.

You also have Settler’s Park Nature Reserve just next door and the convenience of Walmer Park Shopping Centre which provides an upmarket shopping destination. Residents also love Upper Walmer for its close, active community group and community projects.

6. Bluewater Bay

Bluewater Bay occupies a small strip on the coastline north of the city centre and has been growing in popularity and demand, especially with its proximity to Coega, a deep-water harbour development.

Its main attraction is the white sand beaches that lifeguards patrol, perfect for swimming, surfing, fishing, parasailing and dolphin watching.

7. Lorraine

Lorraine has also been a popular suburb, especially for retirees and first-time buyers as one of the more affordable PE areas.

With the central business district to the east and Kragga Kramma National Park to the west, Lorraine sits perfectly in between for those looking for the city and bush life. Sitting just north of Lovemore Height, Lorraine also benefits from the proximity to the ‘wild coast’ of PE’s beaches including Sardinia Bay, Willows, Kini Bay, Seaview and Schoenmakerskop.

8. Fairview

Tucked in right next to Lorraine and Sunridge Park, Fairview is also bubbling with new residential and commercial developments, causing an influx of investors and first-time buyers.

You can find various types of residential buildings to suit what you’re looking for, including freestanding houses and apartment blocks, quality social housing, as well as townhouse complexes. It’s also conveniently situated on the banks of the William Moffet Expressway which gives you easy access to all parts of the city.


Moving Costs to Port Elizabeth

Moving costs can vary a lot depending on the size of your home, the amount of furniture you have and the distance you’re moving. However, on average, for a 3-bedroom house, moving costs in Port Elizabeth tend to be R2 000 - R6 000 for a local move and R8 000 - R20 000 for a long-distance move from across the country.

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Living in Port Elizabeth

Cost of Living

Port Elizabeth is known as one of the most affordable cities in South Africa. And considering the extraordinary lifestyle PE has to offer, you know you’re getting the best value for your money. This is why PE has become a beloved city for many South Africans looking for a change of scenery. The average total cost of living in Port Elizabeth is R14 216.

Here’s a brief breakdown of the basic expenses in PE:

Rent for 1 bedroom apartment: R3 889
Rent for 2 bedroom apartment: R6 500
Rent for 3 bedroom apartment:  R9 910
Basic utilities: R837
Meal for 2: R400
Monthly transport:  R400
Milk:  R16,99
Bread:  R18
Eggs: R17,99
Petrol 95 per litre:  R21,91
Cappuccino: R30
Gym membership: R349
Cinema ticket:  R100

Climate

Port Elizabeth is not called the Windy City for nothing. PE has a temperate climate with a constant wind all year round, boasting an average temperature of 21°C. The hottest month of the year is February, with an average temperature range between 23 - 26°C, while the coldest month of the year is July, reaching an average low temperature of 8 - 11°C.

And thanks to the warm ocean currents, Port Elizabeth also boasts warm sea temperatures of around 19° Celsius which combined with its warm temperatures, makes PE one of the most popular beach towns in the country for both residents and tourists.

Public Transport

While Port Elizabeth's public transport system isn’t as advanced as Johannesburg’s or Cape Town’s, it does still offer a range of options for those looking to get around the city.

Taxis are a cheap and reliable public transport service that operates all throughout PE. You also have the choice of a variety of bus and minibus transport options. For example, Algoa Busis a local bus service that operates across the Nelson Mandela Metropole area.

PE also has train services through its Metrorail, it’s quite limited to certain areas, having only 5 stations in Lorraine, Walmer, Humewood, Port Elizabeth Central and North End. While these public transport options are more affordable, it’s important to note that they aren’t always the safest, so be aware when using them.

Additionally, if you’re looking for a quick and convenient ride around PE, another great option is e-hailing companies like Uber, Bolt and DiDi; however, they do tend to be more expensive.

Education

Port Elizabeth is home to some of the best educational institutions in the country for primary, secondary and tertiary education. This is why PE has also become home to many new families as well as students.

The top primary schools in PE include:

  • Lorraine Primary School

  • Sunridge Primary School

  • Grey Junior School

  • Parson Hill Primary School

  • Claredon Park Primary School.

The top high schools in PEinclude:

  • Grey High SchoolCollegiate Girls High

  • Pearson High School

  • Collegiate Girls’ High School

  • Victoria Park High School

  • Alexander Road High School

Universities and colleges in PE include:

  • Nelson Mandela University

  • Pearson Institute of Higher Education

  • IIE’s Varsity College in Nelson Mandela Bay

Healthcare

Port Elizabeth offers a range of healthcare services for its residents. In fact, Port Elizabeth is considered one of the healthiest cities in South Africa. From government hospitals and public clinics to private hospitals and small private practices, you’ll always be able to find healthcare services nearby in case of an emergency

Public healthcare facilities in PE include:

  • Port Elizabeth Provincial Hospital, Mount Croix

  • Livingstone Hospital, Korsten

  • Central Clinic, Port Elizabeth Central

  • West End Clinic, Port Elizabeth Central

  • Malabar Clinic, Glenhaven

  • Gelvandale Clinic, Gelvandale

Private healthcare facilities in PE include:

  • Life St. George’s Hospital, Port Elizabeth Central

  • Life Hunterscraig Hospital, Port Elizabeth Central

  • Netcare Greenacres Hospital, Greenacres

  • Edge Day Hospital, Port Elizabeth Central

You can also find smaller, private practices for more specialised services across PE.


Things to do in PE

Beaches

If Port Elizabeth is known for one thing, it’s its string of golden-sand beaches and warm waters.

PE is also home to a few of the prestigious blue-flag beaches, recognised for their to-notch safety and environmental awareness.

  • Hobie Beach: This is not only 1 of 3 blue-flag beaches in PE but is also PE’s most beloved and popular spot for the ultimate beach day.

  • King’s Beach: This blue-flag beach is 1,6km long and perfect for swimming, body-surfing, suntanning and long walks and is also home to the famous Slash Waterworld park.

  • Sardinia Bay Beach: Found between Schoenmakerskop and Seaview, this beach is a peaceful paradise of unspoilt coastline, known for its popular diving spots and as the starting point to the Sacramento hiking trail.

  • Humewood Beach: As South Africa’s oldest blue-flag beach, Humewood has a steady stream of visitors who swim, fish, snorkel, explore rock pools and take advantage of Happy Valley which is found right next door.

  • Bluewater Bay Beach: Providing lifeguards in the summer, Bluewater Bay boasts great family facilities such as children’s playgrounds and is popular for swimming, fishing and surfing.

  • Pollock Beach: This is the surfers’ hotspot in PE and is known locally as the ‘Pipe’.

Stunning beaches worth visiting just outside of PE include Kini Bay and Maitland Beach to the south and Brighton Beach and Colchester Private Beach to the north.

PE is also home to a large diving and snorkelling community thanks to its exquisite marine life, coral reefs, shipwrecks and more. Areas around Cape Recife prove to be great diving spots as well as Devil’s Reef, Postmans and The Slipway near Humewood Beach.

PE Things To Do

Sports

Port Elizabeth is a sports enthusiast’s playground with all the world-class sporting events and facilities available.

  • St. George’s Cricket Club: Built in 1860 with a capacity of over 22 000 people, St George’s Park hosts many cricket matches every year, both local and international, as well as tennis tournaments throughout the year.

  • Humewood Golf Course: Considered one of the top golf courses in the country and one of the world’s recognised “True Links,” these pristine greens are a must for any golf lover, even with the wind

  • Fairview Racecourse: Situated in Greenbushes, this track holds horse races every week and is the only horseracing track in PE.

  • Mountainbiking Trails: For all you mountainbikers, your top trails are Norm Hudlin, Hopewell and Slipperfields Mountainbike trail

  • Valley Crag Indoor Climbing Centre: Quickly growing in popularity as the largest indoor climbing gym in the province, it’s the perfect place for any keen climbers.

Nature

From its rugged coastline to its lush forest interior, Port Elizabeth is an adventurer’s wonderland.

You can catch sightings of game at:     

  • Kragga Kramma Nature ReserveElephants grazing in a Nature Reserve

  • Addo Elephant National Park

  • Seaview Lion Park

Or explore the wilderness at:

  • South African Foundation For the Conservation of Coastal Birds

  • Groendal Wilderness Area

  • Settlers Park

  • Island Nature Reserve

And don’t forget about PE’s unbelievable hiking trails:

  • Baakens Valley

  • Sacramento Trail

  • Donkin Heritage Trail

  • Bushbuck walking trail

  • Lower Guinea Fowl Trail

Entertainment

You can never get bored in PE with all the exciting entertainment it has to offer for both children and adults:

  • The Boardwalk: As the centre of entertainment in PE, The Boardwalk offers visitors much more than just shops and restaurants but also the Casino, the Camelot Spa, Nu Metro Cinema, The Magic Company Arcade, Go-Karting, Rides, Adventure Golf, Bowling and more!

  • Splash Waterworld: Sitting right on King’s Beach, Splash Waterworld offers a variety of waterslides and pools for the ultimate fun day, birthday party or field trip.

  • Gravity Indoor Trampoline Park: This will have kids bouncing the walls and includes a foam pit, basketball arena, interconnected trampolines, Olympic trampolines, ninja course, devil slide, rope course and climbing walls and more

  • Bayworld: Consisting of both a Snake Park and Oceanarium, Bayworld is a massive tourist attraction and a great education centre where visitors can meet some of the marine mammals living in Algoa Bay.

  • McArthur Swimming Pool and Leisure Complex: An excellent place for safe family fun where you can relax by the pools, take a swim and even take a slide into the kiddie's pool.

  • Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum: Located at the entrance to St. George’s Park, this historic building houses impressive art collections from around the world.


Working in Port Elizabeth

While Port Elizabeth does not offer as many job opportunities as other South African cities, like Cape Town and Johannesburg, it still offers plenty of opportunities for new residents.

Port Elizabeth’s economy is booming in industries like tourism, finance, manufacturing and especially trade considering Port Elizabeth is built around one of the oldest and largest ports in the country. With the constant shipments going in and out, the ports of Port Elizabeth continue to provide a steady stream of jobs.

Popular jobs in Port Elizabeth with their average salaries include:

Occupation Salary Range Average Salary
Office Administrator R62 000 - R223 000 R117 397
Software Developer R108 000 - R372 000 R208 511
High School Teacher R134 000 - RR330 000 R239 848
Operations Manager R81 000 - R773 000 R300 292
Bookkeeper R78 000 - R295 000 R154 658
Project Manager R148 000 - R928 000 R352 138
Accountant R153 000 - R420 000 R276 917

Property Prices

Port Elizabeth property prices are very affordable compared to other South African cities. In fact, PE’s average property price is more than half of the average property prices in both Cape Town and Johannesburg, sitting around R611 955. It’s also useful to note that 98% of all transactions in PE fall under R3 000 000.

However, property prices can vary greatly depending on the type of property and the area. So here’s a closer look at the range of property prices in Port Elizabeth.

PE’s average property prices by the number of rooms:

Number of bedrooms Average property price
0 (Land) R722 500
1 R499 000
2 R730 000
3 R1 300 000
4 R2 250 000
5 R3 300 000

PE’s average property price depending on the suburb:

PE Suburb Average property price
Mill Park R3 495 000
Lovemore Heights R2 697 000
Sunridge Park R2 450 000
Summerstrand R2 400 000
Walmer R2 299 000
Bluewater Bay R1 450 000
Lorraine R1 120 000
Fairview R972 000

To start searching for the best properties at the best prices, check out the top property websites in South Africa.

PE Public Library


Need a moving service to get you to PE?

If you needed a sign to finally make the move to Port Elizabeth — this is it! But with such an important move, especially if it’s long-distance, you want to make sure you’re using the best moving services so that you can start your new life on the best foot.

So what’s the wise move? Easy! Wise Move — the low-cost, reliable moving service that’s trusted by thousands of South Africans across the country. For our movers, no delivery is too big or too small. No matter what you need to transport, our team will get it there door-to-door at an affordable price.

Get your quote right now and take the wise first step in your exciting new journey!

Moving services in PE

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