East London, South Africa - Stein Travel
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East London

Gateway to the Wild Coast, East London is a small, friendly city on the Indian Ocean where activities like surfing, fishing and golf take precedence. The city centre branches out into business parks, malls and suburbs set in subtropical vegetation, which are dissected by a myriad of rivers such as the Buffalo and Nahoon, whose wide banks meander lazily into the ocean, offering locals excellent fishing, rowing and cruising opportunities.

Formerly a British fort, the city can easily be explored on foot. There are many attractions such as the East London Museum that houses the prehistoric coelacanth and the city hall that should not be missed. It is best for visitors to have a car so that they can access various attractions dotted on the outskirts such as Steve Biko's grave, the aquarium, the harbour which is the only river port in the southern hemisphere, and the superb seafood restaurants that line the beachfront.

It takes only 20 minutes from the bustle of this small city to one of the tranquil and isolated holiday villages on the coast where rolling hills of indigenous vegetation are met by long expanses of untouched beaches. Here visitors can go horse riding on the shore, visit the Gonubie Nature Reserve that has over 150 different bird species or stay at the Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserve where the remarkable Big Five can be seen.

Information & Facts


East London is a sunny city that experiences hot summers and moderate winters. Temperatures in summer can reach over 86°F (30°C) and rainfall is usually in the spring and autumn months.


South Africa has 11 official languages, including Afrikaans, English, Xhosa, Zulu and Sotho. English is widely spoken.


South Africa's currency is the Rand (ZAR), which is divided into 100 cents. Money can be exchanged at banks, bureaux de change and the larger hotels. ATMs are widely available (there is a daily limit for cash withdrawals) and major international credit cards are widely accepted, except in petrol stations where cash is required. Visitors should be vigilant when drawing cash from ATMs, as con artists are known to operate there. Travellers cheques and some foreign currencies are accepted at larger hotels and shops, but commission is charged, otherwise all commercial banks will exchange them.


Local time is GMT +2.

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