Eastern Cape Tourist AttractionsEast London Harbour
Also known as the Port of East London, the East London Harbour is significant for many reasons, not least of all its being the only commercial river port in South Africa. It is situated at the beautiful Buffalo River Mouth, which not only gives it an exquisite ‘address’, but also makes it an important link between the Eastern Cape Province and the rest of the world.
East London is an ever-growing city on the South African coastline, roughly between Nelson Mandela Bay and Durban. It is about 960 kilometres from Johannesburg, 950 kilometres from Cape Town, 460 kilometres from Durban, and 300 kilometres from Port Elizabeth. So, its port is centrally situated, giving it the prime position to service all of the major metropolises. This city is undoubtedly industrial, but is also popular amongst tourists that want to enjoy the pretty beaches, warm waters of the Indian Ocean, and quiet atmosphere.
The East London Harbour is proud of its reputation for good turnaround times, making it the port of choice for many. There are 12 commercial berths of various lengths, the longest of which is 250 metres. Modern and specialised equipment is available for the optimal handling of cargo in the best possible time frame. The entrance channel is between 11 and 14 metres deep. At the quayside, the depth ranges from 8.5 metres to 10.4 metres. A number of berths can accommodate cruise liners, welcoming visitors from around the world as they explore the Eastern Cape coastline before heading back on board to embark on their exciting journey once again. Thanks to the convenient locale of the port, these ones have quick, easy access to the city centre and all of its facilities and amenities, as well as to a number of other natural and historical attractions. These include the Amathole Museum, East London City Hall and the Kwelera National Botanical Garden.
One of the major features of the port is the new car terminal on the West Bank. Part of this is a parking facility for the Daimler (Mercedes Benz) factory that is next door to the harbour. This has been such a success that there is likely going to be some major up-scaling and increase in size in the coming years. In addition, the East London Harbour is home to the biggest grain elevator in the country, which can store up to 76 000 tonnes.
There are a number of consulates in East London. These include Belgium, Germany, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Italy and France, amongst others. The East London Airport is close by and services Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. Each of these big cities has an international airport.
Near the port are plenty of other things to see and do. The Nahoon Point Nature Reserve is a treasure trove of fossils and includes more than 2.5 kilometres of the gorgeous coastline for which East London is known and loved by many. The beaches near the harbour are also fabulous surfing and swimming spots, and are also frequented by paddlers, kite surfers and those who simply love spending a day in the warm South African sunshine.