East LondonLondon/East End. For the Eastern Suburbs of London in the United Kingdom, see London/East.
East London is a city in the Eastern Cape, South Africa
East London has an estimated population of 810,000. It includes extensive tracts of land suitable for grazing and horticulture and is one of the major tomato-growing areas in the country because of its good climate throughout the year. Known for its beautiful beaches, it also boasts great game reserves where the Big Five can be found, including a lion park close to the city. In the sporting world, East London is also known as the Mecca of Boxing due to the number of world champion boxers it has produced and continues to produce.
In 1938 the then-curator of the town museum found an unusual fish in the catch of a local fishing vessel. The fish turned out to be a prehistoric coelacanth, long thought to be extinct.
By carEast London can easily be reached by car. The N2 highway connects East London to Port Elizabeth and Durban ; the N6 goes to Bloemfontein.
If you are coming from or going to Port Elizabeth you should consider taking the scenic R72 "Romantic Coast Road", which takes a bit longer, but offers spectacular views and some nice little coastal towns (such as Port Alfred).
- East London-Mthatha (Umtata) : 235 km
- East London-Durban : 676 km
- East London-Cape Town : 1100 km
- East London-Johannesburg : 982 km
- East London-Kimberley: 720 km
East London AirportSouth African Airways flies from East London to Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban, as well as to some smaller cities in the country. Local low-fare airlines 1Time and Kulula.com serve the airport as well. See also Discount airlines in Africa
By trainThe central train station is in the city centre, on the corner of Station and Terminus streets.
Shosholoza Meyl operates regular inter-city trains to Johannesburg, Bloemfontein and Cape Town. You can also get to Kimberley, Pietermaritzburg and Durban (by changing trains in Bloemfontein), Port Elizabeth (by changing trains in Noupoort or Colesburg) and Mthatha (by changing trains in Amabele). the train fare from East London to Johannesburg is R540 in Sleeper class.
The Eastern Cape Department of Transport runs a daily train to Mthatha (previously called Umtata) via Amabele, this service is called "Kei Rail". Passengers are conveyed from East London station to Amabele (76 km north of East London) by bus. Trains leave early in the morning and the trip takes about 12 hours.
MetroRail operates commuter trains to some outlying suburbs of East London, with a reduced service over weekends.
By busTranslux and Greyhound operate regular bus services to all bigger South African cities. on the corner of Buffalo and College streets are Minibus taxis going to port Elizabeth for R100. 6 hours. Eldo Coaches have buses to Johannesburg for R300.
Taxis are the best way of getting around East London and the suburbs of the city. They can be pre-booked and are quite cost-effective. A journey from the seafront (Sugarshack hostel) to the Hemingways Mall should only cost around R70 each way (2011 prices). From the Sugarshack to the downtown Shoprite costs R7.
To get from the Airport to any address in East London, the "Little Red Bus" offers a safe, reliable and good value link. They can be pre-booked by phone or email and will wait at the airport with your name on a sign. There may be other people sharing the bus with you, but the fee is per passenger. The bus will leave when all of the booked passengers have been picked up, so there is no worry about over filling the bus. The return journey to the airport or any other journeys in and around East London can be arranged as well.
EL Bus ShuttleLittle Red Bus
- East Londoners are fortunate enough to have access to an amazing coast line with white sand beaches and excellent surfing spots like Nahoon Reef. "Vaalies" (as visitors from Gauteng, formerly Transvaal, are called) flock down to East London for sun, sea and sand over the Christmas/New Year and Easter periods.
- The East London Harbour is the only natural deep-water port South Africa has. There are restaurants along the waterfront, like the Ballyhoo Bistro, where you can enjoy a very affordable meal with a view of the harbour and the moored yachts right before you. The Ballyhoo offers river cruises and caters for parties and general events.
Gately HouseBuilt in the Victorian style. Belonged to the former mayor of East London in the 1870s, now a national monument.
phone: +27 43 722 4044address: 9 St Marks Road, SouthernwoodShows works including those of Thomas Bowler, Maud Sumner, Lawrence Scully, George Pemba, Willie Bester and Norman Catherine.
phone: +27 43 743 0686address: 319 Oxford Street, SouthernwoodThe museum summarizes itself as "history, artifacts and customs", and it's well worth a visit on all counts.
- Inkwenkwezi Game Reserve, +27 43 734 3234, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, website: www.inkwenkwezi.com. It has the all of the Big Five game animals for a reasonable price.
phone: +27437429000Mpongo Private Game Reserve features rolling hills and river valleys on more than 3,500 hectares of conservation land.
phone: +27 43 730 7161The Lion Park has a variety of animals for visitors to view, including a pride of white lions, a breeding pair of tigers (white male and Bengal female), Cara the Cheetah, wild dogs and tame Nyala buck.
phone: +27 43 743 0704address: Corner Union Avenue & Dawson Road Selborne East
phone: +27 11 884 0277address: 357 Rivonia Boulevard Rivonia 2191A major music festival that features artists from throughout the African continent.
phone: +27 11 482 5936address: Hemingways Casino, cnr Western Ave & Two Rivers Drive, East LondonA great festival of wine tastings.
Daily Dispatch Cycle TourBuffalo City’s most important cycling event. Roads are closed to all by bicycle traffic during the race.
phone: +27 43 555 0077, +27 43 721 3181address: Cnr Western Avenue and Two Rivers Drive
phone: +27 43 783 6700address: Devereux AvenueVincent Park provides secure and hassle-free shopping, with a choice of over 75 stores.
phone: +27 43 703 3000address: Corner Gillwell Road and Fleet StreetMixed-use shopping centre offering a variety of choices including food, groceries, restaurants, health & beauty, IT services, fashion and banking.
phone: +27 43 748 4660
address: c/o N2 & Bonza Bay Rd, Beacon BayDescribed locally as a mixed-use, one-stop destination centre.
phone: +27 43 762 4110address: Cnr Billie Road and Qumza Highway, Mdantsane, 5225At the heart of the township lifestyle. Mingle with the people.
Restuarants and cafes
The Guidos beach front should be visited while here, not forgetting the Milkshake Shop and the locally legendary Windmill.
Cafe Neophone: +27 43 722 4531address: Windmill, 128 Moore Street QuigneyGreek cafe, opened in 2017.
phone: +27 43 748 2494address: 13A, Beacon Bay Crossings, Bonza Bay Rd, Beacon BayThai eatery that serves simple, tasty food.
phone: +27 43 748 2636address: Shop i&j Beacon Bay Crossings Bonza Bay Road Beacon BayTraditional Mexican food and a lot of craft beer.
phone: +27 43 722 2009address: Upper Esplanade/Beach Front Rd
phone: +27 43 721 3117address: Shop G3839 Hemingways Mall, Two Rivers Drive, VincentHome roasted coffee, and lots of frozen treats.
- The Buccaneers
- Mans Tavern
- Corner Pocket
- Que Bar
Budget under R 200 a night
phone: +27 43-7228240address: 50 Eastern Esplanade Road.Dorm beds, single/double rooms and camping. a nice clean backpackers overlooking the sea. free tea and coffee.
Buffalo Backpackersaddress: 79 Moore StreetMore like a workers' hostel than a backpackers'.
phone: +27 43 748-3672address: 37 Flamingo Crescent, Beacon BayA very good guesthouse overlooking the Indian Ocean. It is outside town but beautifully situated.
- Go west to Port Elizabeth and the Garden Route driving through Port Alfred.
- The Wild Coast is a rough and spectacular coast line to the east
- Go north to Bloemfontein, inside the Karoo.
- Heading in the direction of Cape Town, you will travel along Settlers Way through the semi-industrial area of the West Bank. Settlers Way becomes the R72 again as you pass the airport through the traffic lights.
- If leaving toward Durban, the Wild Coast of the Transkei lies before you. The Kei Bridge marks the entry into what used to be the Transkei.
- Stutterheim is the first small town one encounters following the N6 toward Bloemfontein. Take the North-East Expressway from Fleet Street or Pearce Street off-ramp.