East London

This article is about the city in South Africa. For the East End of London in the United Kingdom, see London/East End. For the Eastern Suburbs of London in the United Kingdom, see London/East.

The town hall in East London.

East London is a City in the Eastern Cape in South Africa.


East London is situated on the east coast of South Africa, boasting the only deep water river harbour. Buffalo City Local Municipality incorporates East London, Bhisho and King William's Town, as well as the large townships of Mdantsane and Zwelitsha. and smaller surrounding towns too. Though the renaming is official most people still refer it still as East London. The East London Airport code is still ELS which references to the old naming. However the airport too will undergo a name change in the near future.

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.

Get in

By car

East 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).


By plane

East London Airport ((IATA: ELS)) South 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 train

The 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.

The disused railway line to King William's Town is being upgraded. Passenger services should commence sometime in 2009.

By bus

Translux 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.

Get around

Unfortunately East London lacks a public transport system, so getting around is difficult if you don't have a car. There are many Car Rental Companies available, 3 of which have branches at the airport.But the Government promised a BRT system transportation at the cost of 2billion.

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 70 Rand each way(2011 prices). from the Sugarshack to the down town shoprite 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.




If you like dancing,Gonubie farmers hall is the place. You should stick around till the last or sometimes the first (see newspapers) Saturday of each month. That is when you could head over to Gonubie farmers hall, you'll need an extra pair of dancing shoes!


Must try! The Guidos beach front should be visited while here,not forgetting the Milkshake shop and the legendary Windmill now opened is Cafe Neo which caters delicious treats.Paul's Pies in Central East London-Buffalo Street.



Backpacker Hostels

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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, February 06, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.