Blend a beach and bush experience in East London

Tuesday, 22 June 2021 06:16 AM

East London’s idyllic location means that you can create a holiday which blends beach and bush, all within the same break. The city’s beach offering is nothing short of exceptional, and its variety has all your surfing, swimming, fishing and walking desires covered. The Eastern Cape also provides many premier safari experiences and is home to some of South Africa’s greatest game and deadliest predators. 

Nahoon Beach

The go-to beach for most East Londoners, Nahoon Beach is a paradise for surfers, swimmers and beach wanderers. Think uncrowded beaches, perfect waves, and great fishing. The river mouth is a popular spot for families, as this is where the warmer river waters begin to mix with the cooler ocean. Although the water does seem calmer here, the tide does influence how fast the river filters into the sea, so discretion is advised and be sure to swim within the designated areas. During the festive period, lifeguards are on hand to guide beach-goers.

Bonza Bay Beach

Just off Quinera Lagoon, Bonza Bay Beach has the best of both worlds, with swimming opportunities in the calm waters of the lagoon, and waves to catch in the surf. If you’re only keen to get your toes wet, then Bonza Bay Beach has some epic fishing to take part in. It’s long stretches are perfect for walking, and there are plenty of birds to spot and identify.

Morgan Bay Beach

A little outside East London, Morgan Bay Beach is the perfect family beach. Flat and wide, you can indulge in a variety of beach sport - cricket, rugby, touch rugby and volleyball to name a few. Generally quiet throughout the year, the beach fills up during the festive season, and the atmosphere is pure family fun. Expect several beach sports to take part in, including swimming, fishing, kite flying, bodyboarding, and surfing.

Horseshoe game reserve

A hidden gem to most South Africans, Horseshoe Game Reserve is a popular retreat for East London locals. Not even an hour’s drive from Buffalo City, this gorgeous game reserve boasts spectacular scenery and enviable game sightings. The best way to explore Horseshoe is on foot or by bicycle, where you have the chance of seeing giraffe, kudu, eland and caracal. The lodge has a handful of wooden cabins and tents, complete with decks which supply sweeping views. There is also a braai area which adds to the wild ambience.

East London Coast Nature Reserve

If you’re looking to combine the feeling of a nature reserve with vast stretches of coastline, then East London Coast Nature Reserve is for you, extending from Kei River Mouth to the Tuolumne River in the south-west. Between these two points, there are ten coastal reserves, as well as two inland state forests to collectively create one large reserve. The notable coastal reserves include the renowned Cintsa West and Kidd’s Beach Nature Reserve, while the inland forests, Umtiza Forest and Fort Pato Forest are located on the northern banks of the Buffalo River. Few tourists actually have the opportunity to immerse themselves in this environment, with Kidd’s Beach and Kayser’s Beach just a couple of spots for you to visit. Keep an eye out for leopard, blue duiker, giant golden mole, tree dassies, Cape parrots, crowned eagles, and the Knysna loerie.

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