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British settlers founded Port Elizabeth in 1820 because of the need to strengthen the Cape Colony and Xhosa. This important seaport stretches for 18 kilometres along the Algoa Bay. It is part of the Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality that contains 1.3 million people. Residents and tourists to this city can expect a sub-tropical climate with lots of wind and a little rain almost every day.
The port at Port Elizabeth is still one of the most important ports in the Southern Hemisphere. In addition to the commercial facilities, the port is also popular with cruisers looking for sunset cruises and whale watching cruises. The city is also home to manufacturing facilities for General Motors, Volkswagen, Ford, and Continental Tyre. The city also has large metal processing facilities, timber processing mills, and an electrical engineering firms.
Tourism is big business in Port Elizabeth. Many people go to the South African Marine Rehabilitation and Education Centre where volunteers work to rehabilitate sick and injured African penguins. Nearby, St. Croix Island is the largest breeding colony in the world. Another popular activity is visiting the many animal parks in the area including Kragga Kamma Game Park, Kwantu Private Game Reserve, and Cape Recife Nature Reserve. Still other tourists choose to visit the Boardwalk Casino & Entertainment World located on Nelson Mandela Bay featuring 781 modern slot machines and 23 American- style gaming tables.
Golf is a popular pastime in Port Elizabeth where golfers find St. Francis Links and Humewood Golf Course. Players play exciting cricket games at St George's Park, the oldest cricket park in South Africa. Many fans follow the Bay Stars Football Club located here. The nearby water is a popular scuba diving location.
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University educates about 24,000 students each year. The university uses six different locations for its eight colleges. This university offers bachelor through doctorate degrees. Some of the most popular doctorate programmes include architecture, literature, music, philosophy, business administration, education, and health sciences.
Port Elizabeth is the fifth biggest city in South Africa. It is a bustling city with major car factories, smaller factories, and many small businesses. Tourism is big business in the city by the bay. Sports are popular here as well.