things to do in East London

Things to do in East London

Looking for things to do in East London? Nestled on South Africa’s southeast coast in the Eastern Cape province, East London boasts an incredible blend of scenic landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture. This coastal gem awaits your exploration, offering experiences that are both unique and memorable. Here are the best things to do in East London.

Things to do East London South Africa

East London Museum


Dive deep into the past at the East London Museum. This isn’t your typical museum! Home to the coelacanth, a prehistoric fish believed to be extinct, it displays East London’s rich cultural and natural history. Stroll through its halls, and each exhibit will speak to you, revealing tales of ancient inhabitants and highlighting the vibrant tapestry of this region.

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East London Museum Address: 319 Oxford St, Belgravia, East London, 5201

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East London Museum opening hours: Monday to Friday 9 am to 4 pm and every Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm.

To enquire about the East London Museum entrance fee phone 043 743 0686 or email

Ann Bryant Art Gallery

Art enthusiasts, rejoice! Nestled in a lovely colonial-style building, this gallery displays South African artists’ talents. The artwork here isn’t just painted on a canvas; it’s a reflection of East London’s soul. It tells the tale of creativity and passion. Visit and let the vibrant colors mesmerize you.

Ann Bryant Art Gallery Address: 9 St Mark Rd, Belgravia 5201

Mpongo Game Reserve
best things to do in East London

Witness the wild side of East London! The reserve is a sanctuary for Africa’s iconic animals. Whether you’re seeing an elephant for the first time or the hundredth, the feeling is indescribable. Embark on a safari and watch nature unfold its tales. This is the heart of East London’s natural beauty, a must-visit for every traveler.

Premier Resort Mpongo Private Game Reserve Address: Macleantown District, N6 National Road, East London, Eastern Cape. PO Box 18143, Quigney, 5211

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Steve Biko Center

Steve Biko Museum

The Steve Biko Center in Ginsberg beckons with open arms. Beyond being just a museum, it’s a heartfelt tribute to a legend whose ideals and sacrifices have left an indelible mark on the nation’s history. The Steve Biko Museum seamlessly melds history, culture, and art, offering visitors a 360-degree view of the legacy of Steve Biko and the broader anti-apartheid movement. Each exhibit, artifact, and narrative transports you back in time, making you a silent witness to a turbulent yet transformative era.

Steve Biko Museum Address: One Zotshie Street previously, 2429 Mbeka St, Ginsberg, Qonce, 5601


Areena Resort

Things to do in East London

Adventure calls at Areena Resort! From zip-lining to quad biking, every moment is packed with adrenaline. And for those who seek calm, the river views are soothing. You’ve not experienced East London fully without a day at Areena. So, gear up for an adventure or relax amidst nature.

Areena Resort East London Address: Corner of Schafli Road & Glen Garriff Turn off East Coast Resorts Kwelera, East London, 5259

Sanook Cafe

No trip to East London is complete without indulging in its culinary delights. At Sanook Café, treat your taste buds to a medley of flavors. From authentic South African dishes to international cuisines, every bite is a celebration. It’s a culinary journey that echoes the city’s diverse spirit.

Sanook Cafe Address: 11 Chamberlain Rd, Berea, East London, 5241


Python Park East London

Reptile enthusiasts, here’s your haven. Python Park, with its array of reptiles, offers a close encounter with some of nature’s most fascinating creatures. Experience the thrill of watching pythons, crocodiles, and other reptiles in their habitats. It’s both educational and exciting! It’s a unique space where you can not only admire the beauty of these misunderstood creatures but also learn about their significant role in the ecosystem.

Python Park East London Address: Thornpark, East London, 5247

Phone: 079 864 7912

Mdantsane Township Tour

things to do in East London

Experience the heart and soul of East London with the Mdantsane Township Tour. Walk through the vibrant streets, interact with the locals, and get a genuine feel of the city’s cultural tapestry. Each corner reveals a story, and each smile speaks of the city’s warmth. Then end the tour by visiting Vicky’s place for a cup of coffee or Jeff’s place for some nice braai meat.

Contact: Siseko Yelani at Uncuthu Tours

Phone number: +27 73 184 9617

Bat’s Cave Trail

A natural wonder, Bat’s Cave is for the truly adventurous. Located at Nahoon Point Nature Reserve, this cave is home to countless bats and displays stunning rock formations. The echoing sounds, the thrill of exploration, and the cave’s natural beauty make for an unforgettable experience.

Address: Stirling, East London, 5241

Contact: Siseko Yelani at Uncuthu Tours

Phone number: +27 73 184 9617

Cafe Neo East London

Experience the local café culture at Café Neo East London. With its cozy ambiance, delightful coffee aromas, and a menu to die for, it captures the essence of East London’s contemporary culinary scene. Whether you’re looking for a hearty breakfast, a light snack, or simply a cup of the finest brew, Café Neo East London has you covered.

Cafe Neo East London menu

Cafe Neo East London contact number:  043 722 4531

Cafe Neo East London Address: 128 Moore St, Quigney, East London, 5201

Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserve

things to do in East London South Africa

Nature’s beauty unfolds at Inkwenkwezi. Close encounters with lions, giraffes, and zebras in this spectacular reserve are nothing short of magic. Imagine being surrounded by such majestic creatures in their natural habitat! It’s a memory you’ll cherish forever. This reserve embodies the wild spirit of East London in the most pristine way.

Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserve Address: Schafli Rd, Chintsa West, East London, 5200


Hemingways Mall East London

Hemingways Mall is more than just a shopping destination, it’s a fusion of fashion, entertainment, and gastronomy. Whether you’re hunting for local handicrafts or international brands, watching the latest blockbuster, or simply savoring a gourmet meal, Hemingways caters to all.

Hemingways Mall Address: Cnr. Western Bypass and Hemingways Casino, Two Rivers Dr, Cambridge Village, East London, 5201


Queens Park Zoo and Botanical Gardens

Queens Park Zoo and Botanical Gardens offer a resplendent retreat for nature lovers. Birds of varying hues flit about, while a range of animals, from the regal to the mischievous, make their presence known. The botanical garden, with its diverse flora, is a verdant tapestry that changes with the seasons.

Lion Park East London

Then there’s the Lion Park, a place where the wilderness meets compassion. Located on the outskirts of the city, this sanctuary provides a refuge for lions, cheetahs, and various antelopes. It’s more than just a viewing experience; the park’s guides and caretakers share stories of rescue, rehabilitation, and love, fostering a deeper appreciation for these majestic creatures.

Address: N6, East London, 5201

Phone: 071 564 0445

Sanook Berea

Speaking of sensory delights, East London’s culinary scene is one to be explored. The Sanook Berea Cafe epitomizes this with its sumptuous local and international fare. Every dish, carefully curated and presented, is a palette of flavors that captures the city’s eclectic mix of cultures. For the wine aficionado, the cafe boasts a selection that pays homage to South Africa’s renowned wineries.

Sanook Berea Address: 11 Chamberlain Rd, Berea 5241


Bulungula Lodge

One cannot talk about East London without mentioning its indigenous roots and rich heritage. The Bulungula Lodge, a community-driven initiative in a nearby village, offers an authentic Xhosa experience. The community invites you into their homes, shares their tales, and introduces you to a way of life that’s been preserved for generations. Here, the sounds of traditional Xhosa songs fill the air, as vibrant dances and delicious cuisine offer a sensory journey unlike any other.

Nahoon Beach East London

Nahoon Beach is a surfer’s paradise. Waves crash along the shoreline as both novice and seasoned surfers take to the water, carving their paths upon the ocean’s canvas. For those who’d rather stay on land, the beach itself offers a tranquil spot for sunbathing and picnics. Nearby, the Nahoon Footprints reveal an ancient world, with fossilized human footprints believed to be over 124,000 years old, making this spot an intriguing blend of modern-day fun and deep-rooted history

Emerald Vale Brewery

For an indulgence of a different kind, Emerald Vale Brewery is a must-visit. Located a short drive from the city, this boutique brewery is a testament to the art of craft beer brewing. Guided tours offer insights into the brewing process, from selecting the finest ingredients to the final pour. And the tasting sessions? Pure delight for the senses. Each brew tells a story of passion, expertise, and innovation.

Emerald Vale Brewery menu

Address: Chintsa, Amatola Coastal

Gonubie Beach

The coastal allure of East London comes alive at Gonubie Beach. This pristine stretch of sand and surf is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. Whether it’s building sandcastles with the little ones, enjoying a rejuvenating swim, or simply lounging with a book, the beach promises a slice of paradise. The boardwalk, meandering through coastal flora and offering stunning ocean views, adds to the charm.

Kidd’s Beach

Away from the hustle, Kidd’s Beach offers a tranquil escape. Soft sands, gentle waves, and the horizon stretching infinitely – it’s a dreamscape. Build sandcastles, indulge in beach games, or simply soak in the serenity; Kidd’s Beach is East London’s hidden gem.

Guild Theatre East London

Drama, emotions, and incredible performances! Guild Theatre is where art comes alive. The pulsating energy of live shows, the applause, and the sheer talent on display make for an unforgettable evening. Be it drama, comedy, or music, the theatre displays the cultural richness of East London.

Address: Dawson Rd &, Union Ave, Selborne


Bisho Massacre Memorial

Bhisho Massacre Memorial Museum

The journey to understanding South Africa’s past and its fight for freedom brings us to the Bisho Massacre site. On September 7, 1992, the peaceful protest march against the Ciskei homeland regime turned tragic when soldiers opened fire on the protesters, leaving 29 dead and many injured. Today, a somber memorial stands in Bisho, a testament to the sacrifices made for democracy. This site serves as a powerful reminder of the price of freedom and the resilience of the South African spirit.

Amathole Museum

Amathole Museum

The Amathole Museum, located in King William’s Town near East London, offers a fascinating foray into the natural and cultural history of the region. Housed within its walls, you’ll find an impressive collection of mammal specimens and a rich tapestry of exhibits tracing the footsteps of the indigenous Xhosa people. A highlight is the Huberta exhibit, dedicated to a famous wandering hippopotamus that captured the hearts of many during her journey in the 1920s. Each corner of this museum invites you to step back in time, unveiling stories that have shaped this vibrant region.

Amathole Museum Address: Alexandra Rd, Qonce, 5601


East London Aquarium

Adding a touch of maritime allure to East London’s repertoire is the East London Aquarium. Situated gracefully along the city’s esplanade, the aquarium is a window into the breathtaking underwater world of the Indian Ocean. From vibrant coral displays to playful seals, the aquarium offers a kaleidoscope of colors and life. The whale-watching decks are a unique feature that, during the migration season, offer an unparalleled view of these majestic marine giants.

Address: 13 Esplanade St, Quigney

For East London Aquarium prices contact: 043 705 2637

Drifters Raceway Theme Park

Things to do in East London

If you’re after a thrill of a different kind, then Drifters Raceway Theme Park in East London is where you should head. This place is a “jol” in every sense! It’s not just for the petrol heads; it’s for anyone with a zest for life and a need for speed. Whether you fancy whizzing around in go-karts, testing your limits on the exhilarating rides, or testing your shooting skills with an exciting paintball shooting experience.

Drifters Raceway Theme Park Address: 3 Mayfair Ave, Cambridge Village

Phone number: 061 586 7423

Kayaking at Bridledrift Dam

things to do in East London

Hidden amidst the verdant landscapes of East London lies a gem that offers solace, adventure, and a connection to nature – the Bridledrift Dam. This expansive water reservoir, with its tranquil waters and scenic surroundings, has become a sought-after spot for kayaking enthusiasts and novices alike. Whether you’re a seasoned kayaker or someone trying it for the first time, Bridledrift Dam caters to all. The calm waters make it ideal for beginners to find their paddling rhythm, while the dam’s vastness offers enough challenges for pros to navigate and explore. Bridledrift Dam is not just a body of water; it’s a sanctuary where nature, adventure, and tranquility converge. So, when in East London, let the call of Bridledrift Dam lure you into a world where every paddle leads to discovery.

Contact: Siseko Yelani at Uncuthu Tours

Phone number: +27 73 184 9617

Southern Cross Cruises

things to do in East London

Southern Cross Cruises offers an experience like no other. As the coastline recedes and the horizon stretches out, you’re enveloped in the maritime magic of East London, often accompanied by playful dolphins or the majestic sight of whales. As you set sail, there’s always the exhilarating possibility of dolphins playfully racing alongside or the awe-inspiring sight of whales breaching. The salty sea breeze, combined with stunning views of East London’s coastline, makes this a must-experience.

Southern Cross Cruises Address: 25 Pontoon Road Latimers Landing East London Harbour


OHmi Gin Bar

Ohmi Gin Bar

After all this exploration, if you’re looking to unwind with a drink, the OHmi Gin Bar is where the city’s pulse can be felt most vibrantly. Here, East London’s modern spirit comes alive. With a cocktail menu that’s both inventive and rooted in tradition, it’s the city in a glass. At OHmi Gin Bar, it’s not just about sipping a drink; it’s an affair of the senses. The evening here is a symphony of flavors, conversations, and memories in the making.

OHmi Gin Bar Address: Two Rivers Dr, Cambridge West

Phone number: 078 977 5193

Things to do in East London: Final Thoughts

The beauty of East London goes beyond words. Its landscapes, history, and vibrant culture make it a mosaic of experiences. Dive deep, explore more, and let East London surprise you at every step. Whether you’ve been here for a lifetime or it’s your first visit, this city promises something unique, waiting to be discovered by you!

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