East London is one of the main cities and industrial areas of the Eastern Cape, also known as Buffalo City. It continues to grow and develop at an impressive pace.
East London is a popular destination for those wanting a real beach holiday, thanks to its warm waters and extensive stretches of coastline. It is also a common stop for those on business travel or en route between the larger metropolises (such as Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg).
For those that will be spending limited time in East London, here are some activities that can be combined to fill up a free day here and there …
There are a number of cycling trails near the popular Kidds Beach. This terrain means that some trails are easier to manage, while others are considerably more difficult and technical. One of the trails actually takes riders along the beach, and some of the trails include rocks and dunes, while others can be rather mountainous, getting the heart pumping and the muscles burning.
Day tours to the traditional Xhosa Mgwali Village allow visitors to get a real taste of local culture. This is known for being the oldest village in the Eastern Cape and visiting here means getting to savour a traditional lunch, visiting the market place, meeting a sangoma (or witch doctor) and seeing the local museum. Interacting with the people of the village is an experience that resonates with visitors, as they get to ask them questions and hear their fascinating stories first-hand.
The Anne Bryant Art Gallery
Whether or not you are an art enthusiast, you will enjoy seeing the extent of local talent at this esteemed gallery. Set within an elegant Edwardian building, many of the pieces on display here date back to the early half of the 20th century. There are distinctive Cape Dutch and Victorian inspirations, which lend the gallery and its art an old world charm that is quite alluring. Visit http://www.annbryant.co.za/ for more info.
The Chocolate Warehouse World of Chocolate
Diets aside, the Chocolate Warehouse World of Chocolate is a must for anyone with a sweet tooth. This facility is about a century old, and offers delicious, creamy chocolates produced by some of the world’s largest chocolate brands. Visitors can tour the factory, learn about chocolate and how it is made, and purchase mouth-watering delights.
Strandloper Hiking Trail
If your time in East London allows for you to don some comfortable shoes and head out on a hike, Strandloper boasts about 60 kilometres of unspoilt beaches, spectacular forests and impressive cliffs. Explore the sand dunes and the rock pools as you enjoy a scenic meander through the gorgeous Eastern Cape. Along the way, there are several opportunities to stop and enjoy a snack and refreshments at local restaurants. However, this hike requires a certain degree of fitness and competence, as there are tricky river crossings, and some tough sections. The views are well worth the effort, though.
Burnside Touch Farm
Less than 10 kilometres from Beacon Bay is the family-friendly Burnside Touch Farm. This is home to an array of animals; from bunnies and donkeys to emus and pigs. In addition to seeing them and interacting with them, visitors are able to be part of feeding them. There is a play area for little ones as well as a scenic dam, the banks of which invite you to relax and take in the surrounding beauty and serenity.