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East London is a city on the southeast coast of South Africa in the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality of the Eastern Cape province. The city lies on the Indian Ocean coast, largely between the Buffalo River and the Nahoon River, and hosts the country's only river port. East London today has a population of over 267,000 with over 755,000 in the metropolitan area.HistoryLieutenant John Bailie of the Royal Navy, one of the 1820 Settlers, surveyed the Buffalo River mouth and founded the town in 1836, a memorial on Signal Hill commemorating the event. The city formed around the only river port in South Africa and was originally known as Port Rex. This settlement on the West Bank was the nucleus of the town of East London, which was elevated to city status in 1914.During the early to mid-19th century frontier wars between the British settlers and the local Xhosa inhabitants, East London served as a supply port to service the military headquarters at nearby King William's Town, about away. A British fort, Fort Glamorgan, was built on the West Bank in 1847, and annexed to the Cape Colony that same year. This fort is one of a series of British-built forts, including Fort Murray, Fort White, Fort Cox, Fort Hare and Fort Beaufort, in the border area that became known as British Kaffraria.Take stress off the schedule by using our South Africa trip planning site.
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Top East London tours
One-Way Hop-on Hop-off Bus from Johannesburg to Cape Town BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $459
Duration: 14 to 365 days
14-Day Pass Hop-on Hop-off Baz Bus Travel Pass – Cape Town Departure BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $351
Duration: 14 days
East London Walking Tour BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $17
Duration: 1 day 3 hours
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Side trips from East London
Hidden gems in East London
Shopping in East London
Kid-friendly things to do in East London
Parks in East London
Duration: 1h 30 min
Places to visit with East London
Tsitsikamma National Park BEST FOR: Zipline, Stand-Up Paddleboarding, Bridge Port Elizabeth BEST FOR: Nature / Park, Casino, Safari Graaff-Reinet BEST FOR: Nature / Park, Specialty Museum, National Park Sundays River Valley BEST FOR: Zipline, Gift & Specialty Shop, Nature / Wildlife Tour Jeffreys Bay BEST FOR: Surfing / Windsurfing / Kitesurfing, Beach, Equestrian Trail
Recently planned trips to East London
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