Serving as the gateway to South Africa’s Wild Coast, East London lies along the Indian Ocean between the Buffalo and Nahoon rivers. It boasts one of the best natural history museums in South Africa and an outstanding private game reserve, as well as warm waters that make it a popular destination for surfing, swimming and fishing.
Things to do in East London
Delve into the region’s natural history at the East London Museum, which showcases local wildlife, fossilised human footprints and beadwork created by the Xhosa people. Learn about East London’s maritime past and come face-to-face with a coelacanth, an ancient fish believed to be extinct until it was discovered in the nearby Chalumna River in 1938.
East London is surrounded by beautiful beaches where you can swim and sunbathe during the warmer months. Families can head to the sheltered waters of Orient Beach where you’ll find a playground and paddling pool, while surfers can make a beeline to the breaks of Eastern Beach. To escape the crowds, drive north to beautiful Blue Flag-awarded Gonubie Beach.
Wildlife lovers shouldn’t miss a visit to Inkwenkwezi, a private safari park that sprawls across 4,000 hectares and is home to rhinos, giraffes, buffalos and zebras. In addition to guided game drives in open-topped jeeps, you can embark on walking safaris, canoe trips and quad-bike tours or interact with elephants and cheetahs during handler-led experiences.
Getting around East London
East London Airport is a 15-minute drive from the city centre and has regular flights to Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. Trains connect from the East London railway station to destinations across South Africa and buses travel throughout the city. Having your own vehicle is the most convenient way of accessing the surrounding sights.