When it comes to traveling to South Africa, people often restrict their plans to Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Durban. These cities are indeed must-visit places of South Africa for pretty good reasons, but the country has much more to offer than that.
This article mainly focuses on the unsung beauties of East London and George. Tourists often think traveling around South Africa might be difficult without realizing domestic flights of South Africa have made the journey across the country much easier. If you want to check the flight costs, you can easily find the cheapest flights at SA Airlines.
Eastern Cape is one of South Africa’s most beautiful provinces, and East London is the best city to visit in Eastern Cape. From a rich cultural experience and a warm welcome from the locals to adventurous activities, East London guarantees the tourists an unforgettable experience. The best way to explore East London is by private car. Explore this magnificent city and go on a road trip with car hire East London.
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The capital of the Southern Cape and the heart of the Garden Route, George is the ideal place to explore the diverse scenery and natural wonders. It has a low rainfall Mediterranean type climate with activities you can enjoy all the year-round. George is lying at the foot of the Outeniqua Mountains nearby the Garden Route airport that connects with the main centers in South Africa. So, you can find flights to George directly from anywhere in South Africa.
Top places to visit in East London, Eastern Cape
1. Orient Beach
South Africa is known for its picturesque beaches, and East London boasts many of them. The nearest to the city center is Orient Beach, washed by warm waters due to the Indian Ocean currents. Orient Beach is a relatively safe beach sheltered by the breakwaters of the harbor. The beach is extremely suitable for you if you are here for a family trip as it has a playground for the children with a paddling pool, numerous shops, and restaurants to enjoy.
2. East London Museum
The East London Museum, located at the end of Oxford Street, is one of the amazing natural history museums in South Africa. The main attraction of the museum is Coelacanth fish which was believed to extinct 80 million years ago until it was discovered in Chalumna River bear East London in 1938. The museum also exhibits numerous specimens of endangered animals, even a dodo’s egg, the region’s maritime history, and an anthropology section displaying mesmerizing beadwork of Xhosa-speaking people.
3. Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserve
While you are in East London, you wouldn’t want to miss the opportunity to visit Inkwenkwezi, one of the top private safari parks in the Eastern Cape. The park is a habitation of an incredible diversity of wildlife, including rhinos, elephants, giraffes, antelope, cheetahs, rare white lions. The park is also home to 180 species of birds, including rare ground hornbill. Apart from a chance to interact with these fantastic creatures, you can experience guided game drives in open-topped 4WD vehicles or self-guided game drives. Some other adventure options include walking safaris, quad bike tours, canoe trips, and mountain biking. If you are amazed by the serenity of the atmosphere, you can stay a night in luxury tents that blend beautifully with the surroundings.
4. City Hall
City hall is one of few colonial buildings that elegantly stands in East London’s city center. This massive Victorian building is the landmark of 1899 with its red-painted exterior and white trim. The clock tower was added much later to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. The building is still in use, so you have to take caretakers’ permission for a visitor tour.
5. Hemingway’s Mall
Hemingway’s mall is the perfect rainy day activity in East London. Though you cannot take a trip to the beaches, you can still enjoy your day shopping, enjoying cinemas with 3D offerings and 4D simulator, arcade games, bowling, and riding bumper cars. The complex has more than 200 shops and a custom-designed amphitheater used for fashion shows, music shows, and exhibitions.
6. Khaya La Bantu Cultural Village
Khaya La Bantu Cultural Village is a must-visit place if you are in East London. This cultural village will give you a fascinating insight into the culture of the local Xhosa people. The village is visitor-friendly, and they are greeted with a traditional music and dance performance by Xhosa residents. You can have a traditional village tour, which includes visiting Kraal (where major meetings are held), ritual huts, traditional healer, and the communal kitchen. You can stay overnight in their exotic small guest lodge.
Top places to visit in George
7. Redberry Farm
If you are in George, you must take a Redberry farm trip for fun and a wonderful day out. The farming area just outside George on the Geelhoutboom Road, commonly known as “Strawberry Country”, is ready to awe-struck you with the rows and rows of strawberries. Among the farms, Redberry farm is the first to greet you with the view of the beautiful Outeniqua Hop Route, where you will be mesmerized by the sweet aroma of strawberries. The main attractions of the farm are you can pick strawberries on your own and take “Redberry Express,” the miniature railway, for a quick trip to the farm. There is an outdoor playground, farm stall, restaurant, and a beautiful farm-cottage. Children can experience Pony rides and bubble ball fun besides enjoying the outdoor playground.
8. Play Golf
George is one of South Africa’s premier golfing destinations with ten courses, driving ranges, and a world-class golf academy. Among them, Fancourt Hotel and Country Club Estate is a paradise for golfers. Located amidst the breathtaking scenario, this golf club is a must-visit place.
10. Victoria Bay
Victoria Bay, also referred to as ‘Vicbay”, is located approximately 3km from George. This small bay has a relaxed beach setting enclosed by cliffs. There are few beachfront cottages situated exactly right on the beach, so you can enjoy the sound of waves splashing on rocks while staying overnight in one of these cottages. The best part of the bay is the green lawn where you can have a picnic with your friends and family. You can take a sunbath on the clean white sand and children can swim in pools created by huge rocks. It is a quite popular beach for surfers, and if you are more energetic, you can make your trip more adventurous with surfing.
11. Outeniqua Power Van
The most popular tourist attraction in the Southern Cape is the trip on rain with the Outeniqua Power Van. Travel in the Outeniqua Mountains with the Power Van is a lifetime experience as it is the country’s most scenic railway pass. Enjoy watching the forest, four passes, waterfalls, six tunnels, fynbos, proteas, and other wildlife.
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