Oct 12, 2011
All roads lead to Rome, or so the saying goes. But replace ‘Rome’ with ‘Port Alfred’, and you have a literal idiom that illustrates various ways of landing at this gorgeous coastal destination. Very few seaside towns can boast so many interconnected roads, a bus stop, taxi routes, harbour and aeroplane landing strip. Heck, there’s even an old train station. It may no longer function, but it’s still cool to add to the list – perhaps for those who prefer going nowhere slowly …
A beautiful drive along Route 72 will get you to Port Alfred from either Port Elizabeth or East London. If flying into one of these bigger cities (both cater to South African Airways and 1time, and Kulula also services Port Elizabeth), hire a car as you land and take the 90-minute drive to your holiday destination. Driving from Port Elizabeth, you’ll pass Alexandria with its lush green landscape, as well as Port Alfred’s fun coastal neighbour Kenton-on-Sea. On the opposite side, coming from East London, you’ll bypass picturesque Kidds Beach and Kleinemonde with its twin rivers. Visiting these small towns en route could turn your drive into a fun, extended road trip of discovery.
There’s also the inland road for those coming from Johannesburg on the N1, passing Bloemfontein and the Gariep Dam, the largest dam in South Africa. You could spend a night here if you’re not in a rush, as the nature reserve alongside the dam is abundant with wildlife, making for a relaxing midway stop. Continuing your journey the following day, you’ll pass through Cradock and Grahamstown before driving through Bathurst and perhaps stopping for fresh pineapple juice at the Big Pineapple before the big ‘hooray’ as you zoom into Port Alfred.
National bus services such as Greyhound and Intercape stop in Grahamstown, a 30-minute drive from Port Alfred, and taxis are easy to find to take you to the coast. If you prefer to travel by yacht (admit it, you’re dying to use your toy again), the quaint Port Alfred harbour will welcome you with open arms as you sail into the Kowie River. For those ditching their yachts for their private planes, 43 Air School’s landing strip will cater to chartered or private flights.
So, you see, whether you prefer the two-day road trip or travelling in the lap of luxury, all roads really do lead to Port Alfred!