East London


Buffalo City, located 33.01.26 degrees south and 27.54.50 degrees east, is one of South Africa; s richest and most diverse and most diverse eco-tourism destinations on offer. It serves as a gateway to three of the Eastern Cape’ tourist destinations. The Sunshine Coast and Country to the west of East London, the Wild Coast to the east of East London and Amatola Mountain Escape, towards the interior. Along these routes are destinations of exceptional beauty including open, sandy beaches, daring coastal cliffs, fertile valleys, river and estuary lagoons and indigenous forests, the ultimate outdoor and wilderness destination!

An abundance of attractions are found in the region, reflecting its rich cultural, natural and historical heritage. There are two provincial museums in the area and more municipal and private institutions. Major attractions in the East London Museum include the most famous fish in the world, the original specimen of the Coelacanth “Latimeria Chaluma”, a fish thought to be extinct for 70 million years. The Nahoon fossil footprints of Homo Sapiens, recently re-dated to 200 000 years old, have forced scientist to rethink the age and sites of the origins of man. The finest collection of Southern Nguni material culture of the 19th centuries to be found anywhere, is displayed an the second floor of the Museum; as well as shipwreck artifacts from 17th century Portuguese wrecks, the 18th century wreck of the ‘Governor’ and the 20th century wreck of the ‘Oceanos’. Gately House, a satellite house museum of the EL Museum, belonged to the first mayor of East London, dating back to 1876, still with its original Victorian furniture and furnishings. A visit to Queens Park Zoo and Gardens, and the Aquarium is well worthwhile. The Calgary Museum of Transport houses a fascinating collection of carts, wagons, buggies and a gypsy caravan.

The Amatole Museum in King William’s Town, home of Huberta the wandering hippo, houses one of the best Xhosa displays in the country and the fourth largest mammal collection in the southern hemisphere is kept here. The Missionary Museum, a satellite of the Amothole Museum, housed in an old church in King William’s Town, is the only one of its kind in Southern Africa. Further afield, the Haddon Grotto Museum at Kei Road, 50km from East London, contains a selection of excellent rock art photographs and artifacts from over 100 sites.

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