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East London, South Africa

South Africa’s only river port situated on the mouth of the Buffalo River, so called by the Khoi San because of the large number of these animals roaming the area. It was eventually settled as a means of providing supplies to the garrisons, who were protecting the white settlers from the warring Xhosa tribe. In the late 1850’s the population of East London was boosted by the introduction of some German settlers, most of whom were bachelors. In 1857 the British Government took pity on them and a cargo of 157 Irish girls arrived to help lift morale. The unusual double Decker Bridge over the Buffalo River was completed in 1935 and to this day, is the only bridge of its type in South Africa. Modern day attractions include the East London Museum housing the coelacanth, a prehistoric fish thought to be extinct and numerous memorial statues.

Its interesting hinterland is rich in local culture and history. Several well-preserved examples of 19th century architecture enhance the charm of the city. When the sun goes down, there are theatres, cinemas and a selection of restaurants to sample. East London has something for everyone, whether you’re a sporting enthusiast, fisherman, historian, nature lover, or simply in need of a rejuvenating break away from it all.

Cruise Season – Oct – April
Currency – Rand (R)
Language – Xhosa, English and Afrikaans
Land Area – km²
Electricity – South African/Indian-style plug with two round metal pins above a large round grounding pin
Time – GMT plus two hours
International Country Telephone Code – + 27

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