Travel to East London – City on the Indian Ocean Coast
Thanks to its fine sandy beach, East London is one of the most appealing cities on the Eastern Cape and one of the best destinations in South Africa for surfers, swimmers, and sun worshippers. East London’s easy access to other areas like the Wild Coast, and inland to the Amatola Mountains also makes it a popular destination.
Also called Buffalo city, East London is situated on the Indian Ocean Coast, 1,000 kilometres from Cape town, between the Nahoon River in the north and the Buffalo river to the south.
It is the only river port in South Africa and the second largest city in Eastern Cape. The city was originally known as Port Rex and eventually settled as a means of providing supplies to the garrisons who were protecting the white settlers from the Xhosas.
East London was founded as a military camp in 1847, became a municipality in 1873, and elevated to the rank of city in 1914. The city bears an indelible mark on the history of South Africa and has been the meeting place of people of diverse ethnicities particularly the blacks and the whites.
East London was also the site of the encounter between the Khoisan, the Xhosa, and later the white pastoralists belonging to the Cape Town region. In the beginning of the 19th century, it became the home of the Boers.
Attractions are numerous and include East London Aquarium, East London Zoo, East London Museum, Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserve, Mpgongo Private Game Reserve, Lion Park, Queens Park Zoo and Botanical Garden, University of Fort Hare, Eat London City Hall, Steve Biko Garden of Remembrance, and the Ann Bryant Art Gallery.
The city is also dotted with magnificent beaches known as the most attractive stretches of the Eastern Cape seaboard. Among them are the Nahoon Beach, Leechers Bay, Orient Beach, and Igoda Beach.
Travellers to East London can enjoy sand-boarding on Bonza Bay’s massive sand dunes as well as surfing, sailing, water-skiing and boating. The river mouths, lagoons and gullies provide a paradise for fishermen.