Tourist Places to Visit in East London, South Africa, Africa

Tourist Places to Visit in East London, South Africa, Africa

East London is a South African city, situated on the southeastern coast of the country, part of the Eastern Cape Province. Located between the Nahoon River and Buffalo River, East London holds the only river port of South Africa. East London is situated around 300 km northeast of Port Elizabeth and 640 km southwest of Durban, sprawling over an area of 168.86 sq. km. East London is popularly called as a ‘Surfing Mecca’ as its beaches are a heaven for surfers. East London is also renowned for game reserves like Mpongo Private Game Reserve and Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserve.


History of East London:

East London was founded as a town in 1836, led by the Lieutenant John Bailie of the Royal Navy and it gained city rights in 1914. The river port of East London is the only of its kind in the country that was originally called Port Rex, around that what is today’s East London originated.


How to reach East London?

East London holds a domestic airport, served by Airlink,, South African Airways and South African Express with scheduled flights from Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth.

East London has a good connectivity by train to all the major cities in the country, direct trains to Johannesburg, Bloemfontein and Cape Town and visitors can also get Kimberley, Pietermaritzburg, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Mthatha from East London (by changing trains).

Bus services between East London and other important South African cities are served by Translux and Greyhound.


Culture, Food and Shopping in East London:

East London Museum is the focal point of East London’s culture, displaying the culture and history of the city with well preserved artifacts and artworks.

Shops are dozens in number in East London, including handicraft stores. Buccanneers is a recommended restaurant in East London.


Things to do in East London:

  • Mountain biking
  • Skydiving
  • Horse riding
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Scuba diving
  • Fishing
  • Boating


What to see in East London?


Beaches of East London:

Beaches are the first preference of tourists visiting the city of East London. Though beaches offer different water sport activities, the most popular among is surfing, this can be enjoyed best at Nahoon Reef.


The City Hall:

Iconic building of the city, the City Hall is situated in Oxford Street, attracting a large number of tourists throughout the year for its eye-catching exterior designs. Visitors can also spot statue of the Pan Africanist leader, Steve Biko, outside the city hall.


East London Harbour:

Being the only natural deep-water harbor in the country, the East London Harbour is one of the identities of the city. There are many restaurants near harbor, of which Ballyhoo Bistro is the famous one, offering a view of the moored yachts and arranges river cruises.


The Gately House:

A national monument, The Gately House was the former residence of the mayor of East London in the 1870’s. The building features the Victorian style of architecture, will be a great treat for visitors’ eyes.


East London Museum:

The East London Museum is concentrated on showcasing the complete history of East London, including fossils found around the city and wars fought in the area, including Xhosa-British War.


List of other places of interest in and around East London includes:

  • Apex Predators Snake Park
  • Hemingways Mall
  • Khaya La Bantu Cultural Village
  • The Craft Galley
  • Floradale Centre
  • Mpongo Park Game Private Reserve
  • East London Aquarium
  • Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserve
  • East London Zoo


When to visit East London?

The climate of East London is classified as humid subtropical and the best time to visit East London depends on visitors, if visit is for beach exploration, then from April to September is great.


Where to stay in East London?

Most hotels of East London are on the beach line that are relatively expensive compared to hotels in the outskirts of the city. Advance booking is recommended as the city gets over-crowded during high season. Here are some nice hotels in East London:

  • Premier Hotel EL ICC
  • Quarry Lake Inn
  • Premier Hotel Regent
  • Garden Court East London
  • Majestic Boutique Hotel
  • Blue Lagoon Hotel & Conference Centre
  • Hotel Osner
  • Premier Hotel King David
  • See More Guest House
  • Mpekweni Beach Resort
  • Tu Casa B&B
  • African Dreams Bed and Breakfast
  • Cozy Nest Guest House
  • Road Lodge East London
  • Southern Sun Hemingways

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