East London Vacation Packages

East London This Eastern Cape river port city is famous for its European architecture, superb surfing and gorgeous South African Wild Coast beaches.

Laid-back East London, situated on South Africa’s Wild Coast, has excellent surfing beaches, magnificent scenery, wildlife centers and an interesting legacy of European architecture. East London sits at the heart of the Eastern Cape’s long coastline. It is South Africa’s only river port city, nestled between the Buffalo and Nahoon rivers. 

The focal point of East London’s attractions are its beaches and surf breaks. Swim in the tidal pools at family-friendly Orient Beach. Learn to surf and admire huge sand dunes at Eastern Beach, which fronts an esplanade nearby the city center. Ride big waves, kayak along a river estuary and explore nature trails at Nahoon Beach. Go sandboarding down the rolling dunes of Bonza Bay or spot dolphins and whales from the boardwalk at Gonubie Beach.

Away from the beach, East London’s city center plays host to several cultural attractions. Find fascinating artifacts, such as a dodo egg and a millennia-old fish, at the East London Museum. See a collection of antique handcarts and horse wagons at the Calgary Transport Museum. Admire the work of Eastern Cape artists at the Ann Bryant Art Gallery, housed in an elegant Edwardian mansion. Check out the impressive Victorian-style East London City Hall

The city presents plenty of opportunities to get up close with wildlife, too. Watch seal shows, discover tropical fish and spot southern right whales at the East London Aquarium. Visit the East London Zoo, home to over 300 animals, including big cats, primates and snakes. 

East London is about a 4-hour drive east from Port Elizabeth. Efficient local trains connect the city with Bloemfontein and Johannesburg. Getting around the city and between the beaches is easiest via rented car. 

Many visitors use East London as a gateway to the wildlife reserves and game parks of the Eastern Cape. Go in search of South Africa’s “big five” at Kwelera Coastal Nature Reserve and Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserve. Spot myriad birdlife at Amalinda Nature Reserve and Hluleka Nature Reserve.

Accommodation in East London

Booking a great place to stay is imperative if you're after a truly laid-back vacation. You can find the best East London hotel options on Expedia's user-friendly hotel deals page.

The Premier Hotel East London ICC, at 22 Esplanade, Beachfront, and the Quarry Lake Inn, at Quartzite Drive, The Quarry are two of the higher-ranking hotels in East London. Book a room at either and you'll be guaranteed to have some of the nicest guest amenities and hotel features in town. Alternatively, The Premier Hotel Regent, at 22 Esplanade, Beach Front, and the See More Guest House, at 14 Montrose Avenue Bunkers Hill, are two choices worth checking out if you're traveling on a budget.

Guide to Exploring East London

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