Top 30 Things To do In East London | 30 Top Rated Tourist Attractions in East London

Sandy shores, pristine waters, and sensational scenery, East London is known for its nightlife and beautiful beaches which will leave you with endless beach days and tons of fun in the sun for holidaymakers and residents alike. If you are planning your next outing or should your next holiday be a staycation, then we’ve got a load of suggestions for you to check out the top 50 things to do in East London and surrounding areas. These include the best places to indulge and grab a tasty snack, top beach spots, family outings, good music and more which they are in no particular order!

 

1) East London Museum

Established in 1921 and considered to be one of the most interesting natural and cultural history museums in the country, the East London Museum features a number of fine exhibits, including the type specimen of the coelacanth, a fish previously believed to have become extinct some 80 million years ago, together with an extensive collection of beadwork relating to the Xhosa-speaking people.

Address: 319 Oxford Street, Southernwood, 5201
Contact: 043 743 0686
Website: www.elmuseum.za.org

2) East London Aquarium 

The East London Aquarium is the oldest aquarium in South Africa. It was opened in 1931 and strives to offer unique displays and play an active role in conserving the coastline and estuaries in the East London region. Visitors can view the migration of southern right whales, humped-back whales, and the ever-present bottle-nose dolphins through binoculars on the magnificent whale deck. There is a breeding colony of African penguins to be seen, a shark tank, a rare display of Cape pigmy clawed lobsters, as well as a rehabilitation pool with injured marine animals, including turtles, seals, dolphins, and gannets.

Address: 13 Esplanade St, Quigney Beach, East London, 5201 
Contact: 043 705 2637

3) Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserve

Nestled along South Africa’s breathtaking Wild Coast, Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserve is one of its own class Big Five Private Game Reserves with an emphasis on luxury and thoughtful detail. Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserve is situated in a prime, malaria-free zone in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. The reserve offers many unique opportunities as it encompasses five different regional eco-systems (biomes) and a tidal estuary. Inkwenkwezi‘s rich diversity of landscapes offers you an unparallelled wildlife viewing experience. Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserve is a short distance away from magnificent beaches and a short convenient drive to and from the East London Airport.

Address: Schafli Rd, Chintsa West, East London, 5200
Contact: 043 734 3234
Website: www.visitbuffalocity.co.za

4) Nahoon Beach

Nahoon Beach is East London's best prestine beach which offers for an amazing stroll on the beach leaving a lasting and unforgettable experience of what the little city of East London just has to offer. Perfect for simply soaking up the sun or extreme big wave surfing, kite surfing, short hikes and fishing in the estuary.

Get Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/2Ardpf1KnmUxa4rN7

5) Areena Riverside Resort

Areena is a place to escape the hectic world, relax and rejuvenate. It is a place to reconnect. A place to become grounded. Areena is a wholesome place, a place where family values count. A place where children can wander around in safety. A place that evokes feelings of a time gone by – A time when there were no video games, no cellphones, and no high-security fences. This is a place where kids and adults can learn to play again, to get outdoors and establish real-life friends.

Address: Corner of Shafli Road and Glen Garriff Turn off Kwelera, East London, 5259
Contact: 043 734 3055
Website: www.areenaresort.com

6) Friesland Milk Bar

Friesland Milk Bar “Your Guarantee of Goodness” was established in 1924, selling milk, yoghurts and sour milk from a shack made of wood and iron. The present building was built in +/- 1945 with the area space of the shop being approximately 50 square meters. Friesland Milk Bar then started manufacturing and selling ice – cream in 1945. The current owner Mr. Kishore Cassiram took over the establishment from the previous owner in 1975. The building was renovated again in 1987 resulting in the area space of the shop growing to 80 square meters. Further renovations were done in 1997 and last changes to the shop were done in October 2006 with the end result being the current appearance.

Friesland Milk Bar specializes in the manufacturing and selling of quality milkshakes and ice-cream. It is well known in the East London area and throughout the rest of the Republic of South Africa for its products and has maintained its quality over the years, living up to its slogan “Your Guarantee of Goodness”

Address: 49 Tennyson Street Quigney, 5201, East London, Eastern Cape
Contact: 043 722 3260

7) Mpongo Private Game Reserve

A unique experience of game viewing and true South African hospitality. Home to a variety of African wildlife (elephants, lions, buffalos, giraffes, numerous antelope and bird species). Mpongo Private Game Reserve offers a unique blend of luxury and wildlife experiences on more than 3500 hectares of conservation land. With its rolling hills, river valleys and luscious surroundings, it caters to the heart of even the keenest eco-tourist. This game reserve near East London is perfectly positioned for the enjoyment of both travelers and locals alike.

Address: Macleantown District, N6 National Road, East London, 5201
Contact: 043 742 9000
Website: www.premierhotels.co.za/hotels/eastern-cape/east-london/mpongo-private-game-reserve

8) The Lion Park

Located within 5 minutes drive of the city of East London in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. The Park offers visitors the opportunity to view some of Africa's most powerful predators at an arms length away. The Lion Park has an amazing number of animals to view. The rare White Lions, Tigers, Cheetah, Crocodile, Fellow dear, Alpaca, Nyala, Giant Aldabra tortoise, Meerkat, bunnies and a large variety of Bird life. The park gives visitors the chance to interact with an adult Cheetah, baby crocodiles and with lion cubs when available or feed buck from the palm of your hand. Why not take your camera with and capture this once in a lifetime chance.

Address: N6, East London, 5201
Contact: 043 730 7161

 

9) The Venom Pit Snake Park

Located within 5 minutes drive of the city of East London in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. The Park offers visitors the opportunity to view some of Africa's most powerful predators at an arm length away. The Lion Park has an amazing number of animals to view. The rare White Lions, Tigers, Cheetah, Crocodile, Fellow dear, Alpaca, Nyala, Giant Aldabra tortoise, Meerkat, bunnies and a large variety of Bird life. The park gives visitors the chance to interact with an adult Cheetah, baby crocodiles and with lion cubs when available or feed buck from the palm of your hand. Why not take your camera with and capture this once in a life time chance.

Address: Portion 12 of ERF 598, Python Park, Thorn Valley, East London, Eastern Cape​
Contact: 083 285 0534
Website: www.thevenompitsnakepark.com

10) Hemmingways

Planning a visit to East London and wondering what to do? Hemingways is geared towards the whole family with events and activities to be enjoyed by the young and the young at heart. For family entertainment at its best in East London, come and spend the day at Hemingways.

Catch the latest movie releases at movies@ Hemingways, shop till you drop at Hemingways Mall and take the kids to Magic Company for arcade gaming fun. When it’s time to sit back, head to one of our restaurants for a great meal that you and your kids will love.

Hemingways is also a great base from which to explore East London and some of the Eastern Cape’s top attractions. Local East London attractions include the aquarium, harbour and East London Museum as well as the Gonubie Nature Reserve.

Address: Cnr Western Avenue & Two Rivers Drive, Cambridge Village, East London, 5247
Contact: 043 721 3180
Website: www.hemingwaysmall.co.za

11) Gravity Indoor Trampoline Park

Gravity Trampoline Park has something for the entire family, starting with the little ones, who have a fantastic indoor kids play area, safely separate from the main trampoline area and close to the indoor coffee shop and snack bar, making it ideal for parents who want to catch their breath and have some much needed down time while keeping an eye on the little ones.

The play area is vast so the little ones will not get bored anytime soon.The trampoline park itself is quite something to see.  There are obviously plenty of trampolines to tire out even the most active of children and adults, but in addition, there are a multitude of fun activities and games that can be played while jumping on the trampolines.

Basketball, dodgeball, cageball, the olympic course, the ninja course and the foam pit make sure that both children and adults are never bored.

Address: 1B Bonza Bay Rd, Beaconhurst, East London, 5241
Contact: 043 748 2767

12) Jonginenge Eco-Adventure

Jonginenge Eco Adventures is fantastic for corporate team building events, school programmes, kids holiday adventure programmes and birthday parties.

There is a large variety of action packed adventures to participate in, on and around Nahoon Beach in East London.

Kids will be supervised by trained lifeguards while on the beach and exploring the rock pools, discovering many of the seas wonders.

Surf lessons, kayak expeditions and the canoe trail are very popular group activities enjoyed by all.

For those wanting to interact more with the sea, why not try the guided fishing or snorkelling. If you are not overly keen on getting in the water then perhaps sand boarding, rock climbing and abseiling are more your scene.

Address: EL Surf Lifesaving Club, Beach Rd, Nahoon Beach, East London, 5210
Contact: 083 305 2590
Website: www.jonginenge.co.za

13) Ann Bryant Art Gallery

The Ann Bryant Gallery is an absolute must for anyone wishing to acquire contemporary African Art, but even if buying isn’t in the budget, a walk through the Ann Bryant collection will most certainly alter your perception of South Africa and South Africans across culture and through the past century.

The permanent collection began in the early century by Mrs Ann Bryant who bequeathed the beautiful Edwardian gallery building, built in 1905, to the city of East London in the 1940’s, complete with artworks she had collected over a period of 20 years. There are now over 350 pieces, with the City of East London endeavouring to add to it each year.

Address: 9 St Marks Road, Southernwood, 5201, East London
Contact: 043 722 4044
Website: www.annbryant.co.za

14) Extreme Valley

Are you keen to have a chilled round of mini golf with your choice of three color courses or a serious round of Lasertag, Your choice we have it all and cater For all ages, Or come chill have a cold one and a food plate of food while your children have some fun. No place better to watch to sun set with loved ones sipping on a Sun Downer.

Address: https://goo.gl/maps/bM2wJpzp1mvRt29i8​
Contact: 043 706 6808

15) Dassie Hiking Trail

This delightful, short, flat trail is well suited to family outings and is situated in the Nahoon Estuary Nature Reserve in Beacon Bay on the outskirts of East London.  The Dassie Trail starts at the Visitor Centre (which also has a quaint bird hide) and proceeds through a forested section before opening up on a wide vista of mud flats lined with mangrove trees. For the most part, the trail is on a boardwalk made with recycled plastic from which you can enjoy an estuarine environment that is relatively pristine and representative of the bigger river systems in the area.

Address: 2 Blue Waters Rd, Beaconhurst, East London, 5241
Contact: 083 232 5055

16) AV8 Flight Tours

Let your adrenaline soar to the skies and let your dreams take flight. Learn to fly a helicopter with qualified instructors with AV8 Helicopters. You can train for a private license as well as a commercial license.

If you are not keen to learn then book a chartered flight, perfect for photographers looking for fabulous aerial shots and great to take your friends or family for a zoom through the wild coast for an exceptional view.

The fleet consists of the R44 Ravel IIs, R22 Beta IIs, AS350 B2 and the Alouette IIIs. Flights depart from East London Airport. This exhilarating experience is not to be missed and will be one that will get the envy of all your friends.

Address: East London Airport, 5201, East London.
Contact: 043 736 1660 / 082 774 3553

17) Southern Cross Cruises

Until recently, East London has not had a Tour Operator with a boat based Whale & Dolphin watching permit, which has meant that this wonderful spectacle has been largely inaccessible to the people living in our city.  This year however, all that has changed.  John & Kathinka Barry from Southern Cross Cruises have been awarded the only boat based Whale & Dolphin watching permit in East London.  This has opened up exciting opportunities for locals and visitors wishing to experience these wonderful animals and these spectacular events up close.

Address: 25 Pontoon Road Latimers Landing East London Harbour
Contact: 043 735 1918 / 073 257 2319
Website: https://www.southerncrosscruises.co.za/​

18) Hood Point Lighthouse

Hood Point Lighthouse is situated two kilometres from the root of the harbour breakwater on the west bank within the boundaries of the city of East London. Hood Point, one of the most popular stations in the service, has a delightful parklike golf course on its western boundary which infinitely outweighs the imposing presence of a nearby cemetery on its north-eastern flank.

This lighthouse was established on the recommendation of the colonial government's lighthouse commission of 1890 and was lit for the first time on 4 June 1895.

Address: https://goo.gl/maps/yZaLpryFVvSXm8ie7​
Contact: 043 701 9600

19) Tea In The Trees

Relax and take a stroll on the forest walk, enjoy a hot, fresh coffee under the trees or just put your feet up and take in the surroundings.All the food is fresh and seasonal with a twist of creativity and lots of delicious flavours. From slap-up cooked breakfasts to tasty home-made burgers and decadent salads, all served in hearty portions and at fair prices, theres something to suit all hungry tums.The restaurant is child friendly with a fun range of kids meals all for R25, tables right next to the jungle gym and a sand pit and all the outdoor space they need to let off a little Sunday morning steam.The cake stand is filled with delicious, fresh, home-made cakes, cupcakes and baked treats. They also serve a wide range of hot drinks, smoothies and cold drinks.

Address: https://goo.gl/maps/tZZoMHtVRSmrZ131A​
Contact: 072 611 2367
Website: https://www.teainthetrees.co.za/

20) Guild Theatre

The East London Guild Theatre is a dynamic playhouse facility, producing and presenting performing arts in Buffalo City, Eastern Cape. The Guild Theatre has been home to some of South Africa’s leading artists and emerging local performers, as well as several international acts, since 1962.

Situated in the heart of East London, Eastern Cape, this well-loved theatre serves a community of over 800 000.

The theatre, which is fully equipped and has experienced staff, attracts a loyal and enthusiastic audience drawn from all segments of the population.

Address: https://goo.gl/maps/jUKJucXTcFSaR9Ra8​
Contact: 043 743 0704  /  081 746 3387
Website: http://www.guildtheatre.co.za/

21) Floradale Nursery

Established in 1937, Floradale Nurseries & Garden Centre is one of South Africa's oldest garden centres. The family nursery business started in East London and has grown to Port Elizabeth. Floradale is committed to offering an exceptional range of quality plants from familiar favourites to more rare and unusual varieties.

They are well stocked with a choice of pots, tools, seeds, pebbles, and garden ornaments and accessories. Gift vouchers are available. Our garden centres offer restaurant-coffee shops for your refreshment and jungle gyms to entertain the little ones.

Address: https://goo.gl/maps/5gGh3Vn8apgHqTBk7​
Contact: 043 748 2420 / 043 748 2414
Website: https://www.floradale.co.za/

22) Gonubie Boardwalk

Gonubie Beach is one of the best secrets of the Sunshine Coast. Access to this beach is along a raised boardwalk leading down to a beautiful tidal pool. The boardwalk is a fantastic lookout spot for watching dolphins and whales as well as surfers and windsurfers. 

Gonubie Lagoon is popular with families, providing kids with many hours of fascinating exploration as they discover small fish, shells and other marine creatures. 

Situated only 8 km from East London, the coastal village of Gonubie is considered to be a suburb of the city. But the chilled vibe and awesome scenery of Gonubie belies this. Lying on the estuary of the Gonubie River and enjoying a wonderful climate, Gonubie is a small piece of paradise on the Eastern Cape Coast.

Address: https://goo.gl/maps/cywgmX4AvQLzHGHF8​

23) The Highlander

Our Highlander Bar boasts the most spectacular view of the Nahoon river. Relax on the deck and enjoy your favourite brew or a refreshing cocktail whilst watching the sunset. The perfect way to begin your weekend.

Address: 21 Blue Bend Pl, Blue Bend, East London, 5241
Contact: 043 748 4821 
Website: http://bluelagoonhotel.co.za

24) Lindale Farm

Lindale farm was the fulfilment of a dream for myself, Terry, and my wife ,Robyn. When we met, I had a few breeding birds and Robyn a horse, it soon became evident that we both had a love for animals. Living in town meant that the horse was in livery on someone else’s farm and the number of birds was restricted as we lived in a flat. Soon we had to spread our wings a bit and move to a house with a large yard, still no place for a horse, but the number of birds increased as the aviaries went up, but there was a limit.

Address: Call in for directions.
Contact: 082 415 2791
Website: http://lindalefarm.co.za/

25) Amathole Museum

The Amathole Museum, which has an international reputation, originated from the King William's Town Naturist Society founded in 1884. The name of the Museum has changed twice, and in 1999 officially to Amathole. The isiXhosa term amathole (calves), is the name of the nearby mountains. It is housed in 4 national monuments.

Address: Alexandra Rd, King William's Town, 5601
Contact: 043 642 4506

26) Bats Cave and Trail

The Bat’s Cave Trail is the most popular walk in the Nahoon Point Nature Reserve and follows in the spirit of the early beachcombers. It passes an excavation site, where human fossil footprints (dated at 124000 years old) were found in 1964.
The trail starts at the Coastal Education and Visitor Centre boardwalk and leads down to a sandy beach.

After a short distance along the beach, you encounter the first of a number of quiet sandstone coves - the home of rock hyraxes and the nesting sites of giant kingfishers. Walkways and stairways made from recycled plastic snake over and around the fascinating sandstone formations, which makes entering and exiting the coves easier.

Address: https://goo.gl/maps/CuCDisYFm8cwhq9f6

27) Pinecreek

Tucked away in the gentle rolling hills on the outskirts of Beacon Bay, Pinecreek Restaurant and Farmstall is a beautifully appointed venue of Cape Dutch influence, offering a wide range of entertainment for the whole family.
If you are looking for a fine dining experience, a beautiful wedding venue or simply a place to take the kids, let Pinecreek indulge your senses with a taste of the Winelands lifestyle.

Address: B Road, Holm Hill, Beaconbay, East London, 5201
Contact: 043 732 1101

28) Lavender Blue Market

All roads in East London lead to Lavender Blue Market! A family destination for the best breakfasts, fantastic lunches and fun shopping. With our restaurant boasting indoor seating for over a hundred guests and our outdoor, lakeside seating able to accomodate easily the same, we have space for everyone. Lavender Blue is a family destination which will satisfy the youngest and oldest of our guests. Located in a rural country setting, Lavender Blue is 10 minutes from the CBD of East London. Lavender Blue Market, Meet, Greet, Shop and Eat.

Address: Sunnyside Farm, Old Gonubie Road, Beacon Bay North, East London, 5205
Contact: 043 732 1172
Website: https://lavenderbluemarket.com/

29) Nahoon Corner

Bronze surfers, long golden sandy beaches, safe bathing, tanned bodies & eye candy - Nahoon Beach has it all - climb the boardwalk to the viewpoint & look down into the beautiful turquoise waters of Mermaids Pool - watch the surfers catching the huge waves at Nahoon Reef. Enough to refresh your soul!!

Address: Nahoon beach, 5201, East London.

30) Emeraldvale Brewery

Its rural setting and magnificent views host the Brewery buildings, Restaurant, Children’s play area, The Hops Shop with merchandise and milk shake bar.

The breweries initial 50 litre brewing system has been replaced with a 500 litre batch system capable of doing 12000 litres per month. We provide tours for min. 5 or more people. This 45 minute tour is followed up with a personal beer tasting explaining the intricacies of our Ales.

The restaurant boasts simple delicious wholesome homemade pub fair, kiddies menu, and a full bar.

Our establishment has been host to Weddings, Trail runs, X track races, Music Events, MTB , birthday parties and much more. Offering flexible packages from braai facilities with our famous self help outside beer tap to Ale Carte meals.

We also cater for Corporate, events and Team Building.

The child friendly environment is under constant improvement, with free Wi-Fi and milk shake bar for the teenagers and jumping castles trampoline and jungle gym for the younger kids. Every time you visit us there will be something new

Address: Emerald Vale Farm, Chintsa East, Eastern Cape
Contact: 043 738 5397
Website: http://www.emeraldvale.co.za