The city of East London, known by locals as Buffalo City is on the South East coast of South Africa, 1000 kilometres from Cape Town. Situated between the Nahoon River in the north and the Buffalo River to the south, it is South Africa’s only river port and was originally named Port Rex. Playing an important role in the economy of the city, during the 2005/6 fiscal year, it serviced 399 ships. East London has a sub-tropical climate with warm sea water ensuring its popularity as a tourist destination for locals and overseas visitors. Made up of approximately 400 000 city residents, the metropolitan area boasts a population of 1.4 million, making it the second largest city in the province of the Eastern Cape.
To make the most of every minute, when visiting East London opt for a cheap car hire vehicle that will get you where you need to go when you want to. If it’s relaxation and tranquillity that you seek ‘The Blue Lagoon Hotel’ is the perfect choice. Situated within indigenous, sub-tropical foliage, it overlooks the mouth of the Nahoon River as it meets the sea, allowing you total seclusion from the buzz of the city. The hotel offers stylish garden facing rooms or luxury lagoon facing suites with easy access to the lagoon and beach including self catering facilities. ‘The Blue Lagoon Hotel’ covers every person’s need from families to business people with conference venues suitable for training programmes or seminars and with the river and beach on your door-step, it’s ideal for team building activities. The hotel’s restaurant ‘The Highlander’ has an excellent reputation for delectable dishes including a superb choice of superior wines. Their ‘Highlander Pub and Tanqueray Cocktail Bar’ overlooking the scenic Nahoon River, is the perfect setting for late afternoon drinks. For leisure besides the sea, relax in a sparkling pool with your little ones splashing away in a separate kiddies’ pool and if you’re in the mood for exercise, squash and tennis courts are available as well as golf at the well-known East London Golf Course.
If you’re a businessman wanting easy access to business districts, combine business with pleasure and stay at the ‘Premier Hotel Regent’ located on the Esplanade with spectacular views of the Indian Ocean and only 15 minutes from the airport.
Enjoy Flight and car journey to East London from Durban
Taking a cheap flight with ‘Kulula’ and a cheap car hire vehicle from ‘Europcar’ will afford you benefits on travelling and accommodation when you stay at the ‘The Garden Court Hotel’, an affiliate of the infamous group of ‘Tsogo Sun’ hotels, who along with ‘Europcar’ is in partnership with ‘Kulula’. ‘The Garden Court Hotel’ is situated on the Eastern Beach Promenade, 300 metres from the beach with stunning views of the Indian Ocean and is ideally suited for families or business people. The hotel offers luxury accommodation, catering for every need from baby-sitting to on-call dentists and doctors and for those on business, wake-up calls, services for faxing, photocopying, printing and high speed internet access are also available.
If you’re a family with children visiting East London, take a drive in your ‘Europcar’ rental vehicle to ‘Queen’s Park Zoo’ which is an attraction not to be missed and is accessible for both wheelchairs and prams. A highly regarded asset of the City, ‘Queen’s Park Zoo’ has remarkable characters, one of which is Pollo, an African Grey parrot who in 1988 became the zoo’s ‘bouncer’, swearing in English, Afrikaans and Xhosa. As you meander through the zoo you’re likely to see numerous free-flying birds such as Giant Kingfishers, Flycatchers, Goshawks and Hornbills to mention just a few. Additionally for children, feeding the free roaming rabbits and chickens is always a delight. A play park and large jungle gym close to the refreshment kiosk including the new tarantula jungle gym near the boma area will keep your children occupied while you enjoy your refreshments with a good variety of light meals including breakfast to choose from, at very reasonable prices with the speciality being tea and scones. The much loved train, relocated from Marina Glen to the zoo, for both children and adults runs at set times during the week but all day on weekends and public holidays. ‘Queen’s Park Zoo’ exhibits 47species of mammals, 38 bird species and 7 reptile species of which include big cats, a few indigenous antelope, primates and numerous small mammals. The zoo also boasts a large variety of aviaries where various bird species are housed and a big attraction for the zoo is a group of chimpanzees that can be viewed in a large open enclosure as well as ‘The East London Zoological Gardens’, well known for its successful breeding programme with animals such as Bushbuck, Nyala, Lions, Marmosets and including a number of bird species.
The next day take a worthwhile 17km drive in your cheap ‘Europcar’ rental vehicle from East London to Gonubie beach, a well kept secret of the ‘Sunshine Coast’ and one of South Africa’s ‘Blue Flag’ beaches. With access to the beach along a raised boardwalk that leads down to a stunning cool tidal pool, the boardwalk also serves as a brilliant look-out for watching dolphins and whales including windsurfers and surfers. Gonubie Lagoon is a long-time favourite for families.
When you’ve had enough sun, sand and sea, children always love the aquarium so take a drive in your cheap car hire vehicle to the ‘East London Aquarium’ opened in 1931, making it the oldest in South Africa. With exclusive displays, it plays an integral role in conserving the coastline and estuaries of the East London region.
If you’re an art lover, pop into the ‘Ann Bryant Art Gallery’, an elegant house built in 1905 that was officially opened in 1947 to the general public or visit the ‘East London Museum’ and check out a coelacanth, a funky fish with limb-like fins that was caught in the Chaulumna River in 1938 and believed to have become extinct more than 50 million years ago. There are, however approximately 200 to 300 of these ‘prehistoric’ fish near the Comoro Islands.