Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth

About Humpback Dolphin Trail

Port Elizabeth's beautiful beaches are a revelation. Perhaps because it's such a low-key city their diversity and size take one by surprise. They're every bit as big and beautiful as the beaches in Cape Town. So it's surprising that everyone isn't talking about them.

But therein lies their appeal.

King's, Humewood and Hobie beaches dominate the city's beach front, and they're fantastic for swimming and surfing. They seem to take turns at flying the blue flag, but King's in particular has amazing facilities.

A little further west is a raised coastal walkway linking Pollock beach to Flat Rocks. It's made from recycled plastic that looks very much like wood and is known as the Humpback Dolphin Trail for the elevated views out over the bay from which one can easily spot these frequent visitors.

The seaside amble is considered an extension of the beach front promenade, but functions as a walk in its own right. What makes it brilliant is the number of different access points - you don't have to join at any particular spot - and the way that its elevation protects the sand dune vegetation from being trampled.

You'll notice the odd sign about 'dunes on the move'. This literally happens and often you'll find yourself having to wade through sand that has swept on board, or balance on the side beams to avoid it.

You can walk it in either direction, passing the 'lollipop' or Admiralty beacon partway, or as a there-and-back trail. The walk's introductory board is at Flat Rocks, but there are other boards intermittently along the walk describing dune vegetation or the whales and dolphins that visit the bay.

Pollock beach is brilliant for swimming, and surfers come here to catch the Pipe, a famous break.

Need to Know

WhereHumpback Dolphin Trail, Pollock Beach, Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth

WhenBest during daylight hours

How muchFree

OvernightThe closest town is Summerstrand, in Eastern Cape

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