I stayed in this coastal town for close to 8years, I refer to it as my home because I spent most of my life here when I left home. I love East London because it caters for my love for nature and adventure while it also entertains my love for beach living. Though I have been to almost all the areas in East London I have never really fully explored it which is what I decided to do this time around and share my experience with you. East London is home to outstanding beaches with the most amazing shore line, good food, historical buildings and friendly locals. It is the heart of entertainment and shopping, so brace yourselves.
I hope this makes you want to pack your bags and book your holiday as soon as you finish my full experience. Enjoy!
The most exciting thing about East London is the lovely beaches that have been attracting scores of people to its shores for many years. There are seldom any at sea accidents, and I don’t remember a time where sharks were ever spotted in the area. Cintsa and morgan bay are one of my favorite beaches mainly because they are out of town, with little or no interruptions from cars and people traffic, perfect for a relaxed vacation. However, do not underestimate the beauty offered by the other beaches near the city, like the popular Eastern Beach, Nahoon Beach and Bonza Bay. These are good for a swim with friends and family and some offer very nice picnic and camping spots. There are a number of water sports that can be enjoyed in all the beaches, these includes: Boat cruises, kayaking, beach volley and kayaking to name but a few.
East London boasts luxurious hotels, both new and old with one thing in common, very welcoming and homely. These include Regent, Premier Hotel ICC, Hemingways Hotel and Blue Lagoon and many more upmarket accommodation establishments.
However, if you are looking for a more tranquil establishment and the wild life experience, to relax, have fun, and discover a world of opulance away from the city check yourself in at Miarestate Hotel and Spa. Located just one hour’s drive from the city of East London, Miarestate Hotel & Spa is a 5-star luxury family resort set upon 740 hectares of pristine wildlife estate. “Here, at the gateway to the spectacular Wild Coast, guests are beckoned by the rugged beauty of our surroundings and the promise of adventure in an unspoiled wilderness.”
While watching the waves, there are a number of restaurants at the beach front that have an amazing selection of dishes. You can either enjoy a light meal on the go at the windmill, or relax after a busy day of sightseeing for sundowners at Café Neo. If you feel like fine dining, Grazia is a stone throw away; perched at a perfect spot to give you the most amazing views. In recent years there has been a selection of boutique coffee shops that have mushroomed all over the city.
If you enjoy the country style setup, step out to the countryside and visit Pine Creek Restaurant and Farm Stall which is comfortably nestled in the gentle sloping green hills along the R102 (Old Gonubie Road) and conveniently located on its of Beacon Bay. The R102 forms part of the Jikeleza Route, East London’s premier tourism route and also it is East London’s best-kept secret. I love everything about that place, its location, set up and the food is to die for, not to mention that within the establishment there is also a small farm stall that sells fresh home-made goodies.
While still on the food topic, there is another germ hidden in a small suburb of Abbottsford that sells the most amazing pizza in town (if not the whole of Eastern Cape) called Pedro’s. Your Pizza is prepared in full glare therefore, comes to you smoking hot, allowing that fascinating struggle with melted cheese we love to hate ~ awesome stuff!
To get in touch with nature you must make a turn at a very special place that I hold dear to my heart, Mpongo Private Game Reserve (where I hosted my 30th birthday) but that’s a story for another day. Mpongo is home to four of the Big Five – Lion, Elephant, Rhino and the Buffalo, and is conveniently located close to East London. Bird-watchers can spot over 250 bird species from this nature reserve. Incorporating the historic Mpongo River, this luxurious private game reserve has wonderful scenery with rolling hills and green river valleys.
On the fun side of things, East London has a vibrant night life, there is a wide selection of night clubs and entertainment all year round. However, during the festive season this metro comes alive, there is completely no sleeping. There are annual events and pop-up parties in every corner. The city is always buzzing creating a colourful and vibrant experience for the visitors.
For the ever sort after Kasi experience, one can visit Mdantsane (the home of boxing) and experience the real Kasi life getting to know the locals at the second largest township in South Africa. This is the haven for braai meat lovers. There is a wide variety of Tshisa nyama (braai places).
Things to do in East London
• Visit the Aquarium
• Gambling at Hemingways Casino
• Visit the Guild Theatre for some artistic activities
• Go surfing in Nahoon Beach
• Enjoy fishing at Orient and Eastern Beach
• Hemingways mall for shopping and gaming
Create your own experience and tell us all about it…….