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An update from Evaneos
East London

East London (South Africa)

Practical information about East London

  • Beach / Seaside Resort
2 / 5 - 2 reviews
How to get there
7 hours and 30 minutes' drive from Durban and 3 hours and 15 minutes' drive from Port Elizabeth
When to go
All year round
Minimum stay
Half a day

Reviews of East London

Travel writer
13 travel articles

A little-known small city on the South African coast.

My suggestion:
This could be a nice stopping place, but there is nothing in particular to see here.

I spent little time in East London and I do not have an enduring memory of it. It is a lovely little village on the coast. There is a nice little yacht club and a restaurant filled with smiling staff who will welcome you to eat beside the river. However, the rest of the city is like a number of the cities in this part of the country; it is more westernised than cities further inland. The advantage of this place is that the roads are very well maintained and there is easy access to everything.

At the end of a long day on the road, you can make a welcome stop at the beautiful beach that borders the city and faces the ocean. Many locals go swimming there completely dressed, which amused me greatly. Moreover, there is even a youth hostel that looks really nice, but I did not try it out as I was staying on a yacht. It should be noted, however, that the locals advised my friends and me not to go on the very beautiful dunes that border the beach because some disreputable people meet there... It is a real pity.

In short, this could be a nice stopping place if you stay next to the city near the beach or in the outlying area, but don't expect to find anything fantastic there.

A sunrise over the river where the boats are anchored
Fred Jasseny Travel writer
11 travel articles

East London is a river port that is rather dull but gifted with an impressive surfing spot.

My suggestion:
Stay near the beach but don't be there longer than a night, there are much better places a few kilometres down the Wild Coast.

I arrived in East London two days before the running of an international level sporting event. So I could meet sportsmen and women from all around the world and make the most of Orient Beach's waves. But a few days later, I discovered the true face of the city: cold and suspicious

The township of Mdantsane, 15km from the city centre, is one of the biggest in South Africa. I tried to go there many times to train in a boxing club but the residents themselves advised me not to. Being surrounded by poverty, the city centre residents are very distrustful. So it's not easy to meet people.

At the east of the city, the beach is surrounded by enormous cliffs and dunes plunging towards the ocean. It is pleasant to walk there during the day but formally discouraged to go there at night. Lots of assaults and muggings are committed in that area. You will have understood, from my observations, that the bad reputation of this city is not unwarranted.

East London City Hall