East London is the best place to start your adventure in Transkei. It has great links to Johannesburg and the rest of the Wild Coast.
Humans have lived in this area for millennia; San hunter-gatherers once scaled the rock faces and decorated them with ritualistic paintings. You can still see some of them today! There’s also some decent beaches and adventure activities to try.
Discover Mdantsane, a township that’s the backbone of East London’s industrial hub. Explore this area to discover real life in South Africa. For tourists, the beach is the main hub of activity in this city. Nahoon Beach is probably the most popular spot, as it’s great for surfing. However, you can wander further up the coast to discover a few more solitary areas. Between East London and Port Alfred is some of the least-developed coastline on the Eastern Cape – the perfect spot for watching the sunrise.
Try to visit Oxford Street during your stay. It’s not quite the same as the British equivalent, but is definitely worth seeing. It’s mostly deserted at night, but we’d suggest going with friends in the daytime to get the true feel of the city. From here, you can head up to Eastern Cape Drakensberg. Explore the dramatic landscape by hiking, horse riding or even skiing (if the season’s right).
Sadly, most of the original buildings in East London have been demolished and the very centre is not particularly visitor friendly. However, the original City Hall is still standing; it was built in 1899. Keep an eye out for its distinctive facade of tangy terracotta and bright white brick.
When it’s warm and dry, people love East London; but (a bit like its namesake) when it gets dreary people quickly go elsewhere. However, it can be a great opportunity to discover a secret side of the city. East London’s atmosphere is chilled and laid-back. A visit here is a great introduction to South Africa and will set you off on the right foot for the rest of your trip.
Plan your trip to East London today.