East London Deals, Specials & Catalogues
East London is a large coastal city of South Africa, and forms a major population center for the country as well as a cultural and administrative hub.
As the country’s only river port (on the banks of the Buffalo River), the city also serves as an important point for a variety of logistical operations. East London is also of significant historical importance, being one of the oldest cities in the region and the location of several key developments in the history of South Africa.
East London was founded in the year 1836 by British Lieutenant John Bailie of the Royal Navy, who was conducted a survey of the region surrounding the Buffalo River mouth to determine a suitable site for a new settlement. As one of the 1820 Settlers, Bailie was among the first Europeans to inhabit this region of South Africa. The town he founded was originally called Port Rex, and grew around the central hub of the river port on the west bank of the river.
During much of the 19th century, East London was an important supply port for the British settlers during their wars against the indigenous Xhosa people. In particular, supplies were frequently transported to and from East London to nearby King William’s Town, which served as a military headquarters at the time. A number of forts were also built in and around the East London area during this time.
Towards the end of the 19th century, immigration and expansion had led to the growth and development of the city, which saw the improvement of the existing river port, a harbour, and railway lines connecting the city to Cape Town as well as other British settlements throughout the region. With the help of this infrastructure and development, by 1914 East London had officially achieved city status. Throughout the 20th century, the city continued to grow into what has become one of South Africa’s most thriving metropolises.
East London is located on the southeastern coast of South Africa, where the Buffalo River meets the Indian Ocean. It is roughly bordered by the Buffalo River itself on one side and the Nahoon River on the other, and forms a part of the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality within the Eastern Cape province.
East London is home to a significant number of notable landmarks, many of which are of historical importance. A few of the original forts still exist in some form, and can be visited as heritage sites. The East London town hall is a striking example of British colonial architecture, while the East London Museum houses many historical relics, including the coelacanth (an ancient fish once thought extinct) that was caught off the coast near the city. The double-decker bridge that runs over the Buffalo River is the only one of its kind in South Africa.
The East London city proper is home to approximately 267,007 people, at a population density of around 1600 square kilometers
The majority of the population is Black African, with Xhosa being the most commonly spoken first language.