East London at a glance
Fondly referred to as Buffalo City, East London is a perfect blend of old fashioned values with a relaxed charm. It’s most predominant appeal is the long stretches of unpolluted and uncrowded white sandy beaches, some of the best in the world, loved by surfers, swimmers and sun chasers.
East London is a true surfer’s paradise, particularly at the Nahoon Reef, where multiple international surf competitions are held. It is a paradise for the whole family, the people are refreshingly friendly and the weather is pleasant all year round.
There is always something to do, be it a visit to the aquarium, Queens Park Zoo and botanical gardens or a variety of different water sports. When the sun goes down there are cinemas, theatres and a wonderful selection of restaurants to satisfy any palate.
Situated in the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality of the Eastern Cape Province, the city lies on the Indian Ocean coast, largely between the Buffalo River and the Nahoon River, and hosts the country's only river port. Getting in and out of East London is easy, it is serviced by two national roads: the coastal N2 highway connects it to King William's Town, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town to the west and Mthatha and Durban to the east. It is at the southern end of the N6, which runs north via Queenstown and Aliwal North to Bloemfontein making accessing other areas like the Wild Coast easy and hassle free.
Rich with ancestry, against a beautiful African backdrop, German and English lineage can be found and several pieces of well-preserved architecture stand strong, enhancing the charm of the city.
A guaranteed wonderful time, East London is the home of smiling faces, a relaxed atmosphere and an easy-going, fun and sun-filled holiday destination to be enjoyed by everyone, whatever your preferential activities may entail.
For the last 25 years, Abbotsford has been a sought after ‘country' living area. The upper reaches of the Nahoon River run along its boundary and it is in this area where the river transitions from salt to fresh water. The suburb itself is nestled in a natural basin and there are spectacular views of the mountain from the riverside properties. The suburb has a distinct village atmosphere. The properties have easy access to the North East Expressway which transverses the city as well as the N2 highway which leads in and out of East London.
Owing to its beautiful setting, an Abbotsford property affords the bird watcher ample opportunity to feast their eyes on most forest and coastal bird species. It is common to see pairs of Fish Eagles flying over the upper reaches of the Nahoon River, or a group of white cormorants roosting in overhanging trees. The riverside properties, together with the leafy nature of the suburb with its attractive trees and large erven make this suburb a highly desirable real estate investment.
There is a Christian-based high school in the suburb and a short distance away, Merrifield Private School which offers an IEB curriculum as well as extra-curricular subjects and activities, such as Spanish, German, archery and horse riding. Other major schools in East London, such as Stirling High School and Hudson Park High School are also easily accessible. The suburb also boasts a tennis club.
As some properties have river access their values can be relatively high. There are also a good few older modest homes which speculators are buying up to upgrade and extend.
The homes in this area range from R1 million to R4.5 million, with vacant land selling from R800,000 to R1,650 000. Modest townhouses consisting of two to three bedrooms, garage and two bathrooms will sell for R900,000 to R1,150 million. During the past 10 years, some excellent townhouse complexes have been built as well as riverside cluster developments.
Abbotsford is primarily a residential suburb. The main road has a Spar and you can find excellent facilities such as a baker, butcher, veggie shop and even a veterinarian. There is a local liquor store, a small community pub, a coffee shop and video outlet all for convenience whilst bigger shopping centres are only a short drive away.
Hemingways Mall, the twelfth largest shopping centre in South Africa, is located in this area. The mall boasts some of the most exclusive and fashionable boutique stores, eateries and entertainment facilities. Abbotsford is also in close proximity to the Beacon Bay shopping precinct.
Amalinda properties are situated about four kilometres from the centre of East London. The properties are in close proximity to the Frere Hospital Complex and recreational and education facilities. The main road is lined with various types of businesses ranging from convenience stores, tyre fitment centres, consulting firms and used car outlets.
There are a number of recreational facilities such as soccer fields, a cycle track and of course the Amalinda Nature Conservation station which has a fish hatchery and research centre. The reserve, consisting mostly of coastal forest and thornveld, is home to species of birds and antelopes. The Amalinda nature reserve was estab-lished in 1968 and is a conservation area consisting of 134ha of land which surrounds the Amalinda reservoir. The reserve is situated nine kilometres from the East London city centre and is managed by the Eastern Cape Nature Conservation De-partment.
The nature reserve consists largely of coastal forest and thornveld which is charac-terised by grass-covered slopes with scattered clumps of shrubs and trees and dense forest along the valley floors. A large reservoir features in the centre of the reserve which is fed by several small streams.
Crewe Primary School is a well-known school which produces excellent academic results. There are various pre-primary schools in and around the suburb and most of them are feeder schools to Crewe Primary. The Amalinda Nursery is also very popular with over 1000 different plant species and garden accessories from which to choose. This nursery also boasts a lovely tea garden and facilities for children's parties with a mini zoo. Stock car racing is very popular in the area and is held at the Summerpride race track.
Amalinda offers affordable property which has spacious land sizes with subdivision potential and is in close proximity to all amenities. The average property price varies between R700,000 - R850,000.
First time property buyers should consider this area to get into the property market as this area is conveniently situated and affordable and has good value for money. Amongst the array of properties available is the Amalinda Socho Project, which was initiated with the support of the Flemish Government in 1997 and consists of 600 units in various configurations. The development has open spaces and recreational areas for adults and children.
The vibrant suburb provides easy access to the main N2 road and is an ideal sub-urb for first time home owners and those who commute to Bhiso each day due to its accessibility.
The suburb was first established along a ridge that overlooks the Nahoon River. It has a lovely, quiet feel to it and it's not uncommon to see children playing in the streets or riding their bicycles in the road of Bonnie Doon. Walkers, cyclists and joggers are seen out early in the mornings and after work.
Bonnie Doon is the home of the Oxford Striders Running Club which is a very active club with a large membership. Every Tuesday at 17h30 the runners set off for the weekly time trial. Early on Sunday mornings, the runners do their long distance run in preparation for the marathons.
The area is perfect for soaking up the tranquility of suburbia, with beautiful properties boasting large, lush gardens, some with spectacular views.
A property in this area will be close to facilities such as convenience stores, restaurants and a host of boutique type stores servicing most household and decor needs. Within a few kilometers, one can get beach access to the famous Nahoon Beach and the Vincent Park Shopping Centre is a short drive away. Some really good quality restaurants are situated in and around Bonnie Doon.
If Vincent Park shopping centre does not fulfill your shopping needs then Hemingways Mall and casino, the twelfth largest shopping centre in South Africa, is closely situated. The Mall boasts some of the most select and fashionable boutique stores, eateries and entertainment facilities. If you wish to immerse yourself in culture and entertainment then the Guild Theatre is not too far off. Selborne College War Memorial is also close by as well as Museums, the Anne Bryant Art Gallery, and further afield you can find the Aquarium and the East London Zoo.
Prices of homes in Bonnie Doon start at R 1,500 000 for an average three bedroom home to R 10,000 000 for an upmarket home with river frontage. Townhouses are expensive in Bonnie Doon a two bedroom townhouse would sell for R 1, 200 000 and a three bedroom townhouse would sell for R 1, 500 000
These properties are very sought after. The upmarket suburb boasts many homes which have beautiful river and sea views and are situated in tranquil surroundings.
A Braelyn property is one of the most sought after for the Indian and Muslim communities. A popular feature of this suburb is the location of East London's Mosques and there is a significant temple which is situated in the central area of the suburb.
The properties are in close proximity to the Oriental Plaza in North End where selections of spices and Halaal products are available. The suburb is situated approximately four kilometers from the centre of East London. Some of the properties are within walking distance to the Frere Hospital Complex as well as recreational and education facilities. The East London High School, in Maple Leaf Road, is in this area and therefore property owners have easy access to schools, a police station and shopping centres. Clarendon primary and high schools; East London's premier girls' schools, for instance are a short drive away.
Living in East London's temperate climate, one is never far from beaches, shopping centres and all that life at the coast has to offer. An abundance of attractions are found in the area, reflecting its rich natural, cultural and historical heritage. A short drive away is the Amalinda Nature reserve, East London's Dassie Trail, as well as the white sandy beaches, perfect for walks. There is also a variety of watersports and fishing available.
A lot of Braelyn properties are spacious homes, built with the intention for the extended Indian family to live together. There are also areas where the homes were typical plot and plan starter homes, many of which have been renovated and expanded. Some of the master craftsmen who have lived in the area over the years have contributed to some exquisite or interesting property features.
Residential property ranges from R750, 000-R1,1 000 000. This is very good value for money. If staying in a suburb with strong Indian cultural links is important to you, then Braelyn is a great choice.
A small suburb within East London, Bunkers Hill is an up market area with lush surrounds and a welcoming atmosphere. A quiet suburb, perfect for both business and leisure, it has all the makings for an idyllic family home. With extravagant houses and expansive properties it is a great place to enjoy the sun while taking a dip in your shimmering pool. Enjoy the green trees scattering their shade across the lawn while you breathe in some fresh air.
Close to the East London Golf Course, holding views over the valley and ocean, this dune and bush set course is a great place for those who enjoy taking a day out on the green or a relaxing with a drink at the club house. Also within close proximity are a number of awesome wildlife experiences in the form of reserves, including Mpongo Park Game Reserve and the Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserve- where the wild world is at your feet. See the sights on a daring safari or take a walk through the bush, all just a short drive from the extraordinary homes. The Hemmingways Casino, Hotel and Shopping Mall is also just a stone’s throw away, making this area a hub for those who like to get out and about in their free time, whether for fresh air or retail therapy.
With fairly close proximity to the ocean itself, this area is perfect for beach lovers who enjoy the essence of nature – something which seems to be celebrated within this charming community.
Cambridge is one of the oldest suburbs of East London, being proclaimed in March 1857 and becoming part of East London in 1942.
The area has an interesting hinterland which is rich in local culture and history. Several well-preserved examples of 19th century architecture enhance the charm of the suburb. When the sun goes down, there are theaters, cinemas and a selection of restaurants to choose from. Cambridge is also situated close to the Vincent Park Shopping Mall and the Hemingways Mall and Casino.
The suburb also boasts a high school, primary school as well as an educare Centre. There are currently over 1 000 pupils from Grade 8 to 12 with a teacher complement of almost 60 teachers.
Their are centrally-located amenities such as: OK, Spar, bottle store, ATM, video shop, pharmacy and a fruit and vegetable market. There is also a small industrial area.
There is a small light industrial area.
Cambridge also has a sports club with the following facilities: bowling range, tennis court, squash court, rugby field and it hosts the Nicole Windell Dance school. There are also many churches including the following denominations: Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Baptist, Methodist and the Church of Latter Day Saints.
The available properties include older homes in quiet street settings with some townhouse complexes. There are also some apartments blocks. The suburb offers a wide variety of property ranging from entry level homes to large colonial style gracious homes. Selling prices range from about R550 000 to R1 200 000.
Cambridge is an ideal family suburb as it is quiet and close to schools and the major shopping centers.
Properties in Dorchester Heights are nestled within a lush green valley and its associated ridges and spurs. The upper reaches of the Nahoon River flow through this valley. It has been described by many as one of East London's most beautiful areas. Dorchester Heights is one of the province's crime free and low traffic suburbs. There are no shops or industry within the suburb and it is not a thoroughfare either. You can experience the call of the fish eagle, awake to the songs of tropical birds and spot some wildlife on your way to work or town.
Living in Dorchester Heights, affords you the luxury, via Two Rivers Drive, direct access to Hemingways Mall (the twelfth largest shopping centre in South Africa). This mall boasts the most exclusive and fashionable boutique stores, eateries and entertainment facilities. Dorchester Heights is also in close proximity by road to the Beacon Bay shopping precinct, as well as being close by to the village atmosphere of Abbotsford where many convenience stores can be found.
Dorchester Heights is surrounded by rolling hills and farmland. Many properties, because of their unique locations, will have their natural views preserved for years. Other properties overlook the leafy suburb from their eagle type view points.
The suburb has a distinct rural atmosphere, with easy access to the north east expressway, which transverses the city as well as the main N2 highway which leads in and out of East London. The riverside properties, together with the suburb's attractive trees and large erven make this a highly desirable investment.
Although situated on the northern side of the city, the suburb has good access to all parts of the city via the abovementioned expressway and the N2. It is a great place for jogging, cycling and other outdoor activities.
Dorchester heights offer family homes in quiet street settings. There are a few townhouse complexes. The suburb offers entry level homes to beautifully renovated homes; prices range from R800, 000 to R1, 6 million. It is an ideal family suburb and properties are highly sought after in this safe area.
This small coastal town is 15 kilometers north of East London and is situated on the Gonubie River with an array of attractions and wonderful beaches. Originally favoured by holiday makers and retirees, this vibrant suburb is highly sought after.
The name Gonubie originated from the Xhosa name Qunube - the name of a berry growing along the banks of the Gonubie River. Along the main beach stretches the board walk and the coastline is often visited by passing whales and dolphins. A bird sanctuary is the migration home of the beautiful crown crested crane.
Hear the cries of the fish eagle and enjoy the beautiful fishing and braai spots along the Gonubie River. The river also boasts a slipway to launch boats with access directly into the sea. A holiday experience is felt as you enter the friendly village. The ocean and river surround properties, with beautiful views and a holiday vibe.
The popular beaches offer breathtaking sunsets from its boardwalk. They are ideal for water sports such as sailing, surfing, kite surfing and fishing. The lagoons and river mouths are also perfect for fishing.
Gonubie Junior School is one of the cornerstones of the area that was established over 70 years ago. The high school is a new addition to the suburb. Recent development has seen a number of new townhouse complexes and a shopping mall with shops to cater for your every need. There is also a new medical centre. The city caters for social needs with its sports club, library and highly recommended B&Bs.
The properties are attracting more and more folk who are leaving the big city life behind and making Gonubie their home. It is a wonderful, safe place for bringing up a family, retiring or buying a holiday home.
One of the highlights is the annual Gonubie festival hosted by Round Table to aid the funding of projects in the area. A very well manicured golf course with sea views and a club house that attracts the locals to come and play and unwind after the stresses of work.
From beautiful sea and river view mansions to middle and lower-range properties all very well priced is one of East London's hidden secrets - the gem of the Eastern Cape!.
Prices of properties range from R650,000 to R4,000 000.
Haven Hills is really an extension of Amalinda. It forms the link between Amalinda and Wilsonia. It therefore has become a favourite place for people to stay who are employed in the Wilsonia Industrial area. Originally, some of the houses were plot and plan and in the new areas, many RDP type houses have been built. The suburb is however leafy and in reasonable proximity to public transport routes.
The area is situated about 4 kilometres from the centre of East London and adjacent to transport routes servicing the industrial areas and offers easy access to grocery and convenient stores.
Luella's B&B is a charming and cozy "home away from home", situated in the heart of Haven Hills. The B&B is able to cater for physically challenged individuals with showers and ablutions that are especially tailored to assist the guests. Haven Hills offers affordable property, spacious land, which has subdivision poten-tial. The average property prices for Haven Hills are between R650, 000 - R850, 000.
First-time buyers should consider Haven Hills to get into the property market as this area is conveniently situated and affordable and the East London Airport is situated only 10km away.
Property in Nahoon and Nahoon Mouth are very sought-after because of their proximity to the world famous Nahoon Beach which has beautiful natural surroundings. Nahoon Beach is a firm favourite with holiday makers and locals alike.
Much of the city's youth culture revolves around surfing. Nahoon Reef is the most popular spot for local surfers in search of good waves. Nahoon Beach is a surfer's and swimmer's paradise. The water is warm and the beach is tidy. Early morning walks along the shore are a fantastic way to revitalise yourself and start the day; you will also find children playing in the streets and walking to the shops.
The warm Indian Ocean waters and the sub-tropical weather allow visitors and locals to enjoy the climate all year round. The Nahoon River Estuary is a popular fishing and recreation spot. Along the Nahoon River, skiing, paddle skiing and fishing is enjoyed by many. Strelizias, cycads and mangrove trees are found along the river banks.
The Dassie Trail in Nahoon offers a popular birding destination and the Mangrove forest provides a safe habitat for many species of birds. Nahoon is adjacent to one of the finest golf clubs in East London, The East London Golf Club which has hosted many golfing championship tournaments.
Nahoon boasts a number of eateries and convenience stores all designed to satisfy residents. Nahoon is conveniently situated close by to a number of major schools.
Nahoon also has easy access to areas such as the Amatola Mountains and the Wild Coast which are both popular destinations.
Prices of property in Nahoon and Nahoon Mouth start at approximately R1, 5 million and can reach R7, 5 million. There is no price tag for property offering such spectacular views and a lifestyle so close to the beach or river. If a quality and safe lifestyle is important to you then Nahoon is the logical choice.
East London is one of the first recorded settlements in the Eastern Cape. This settlement, which originally housed settlers as well as ships and traders, commenced on the west bank of the Buffalo River. The city was considered a very advantageous port or settlement in which to live. The wool trade in South Africa was centred in this historical city. In this day and age, you can barely turn a corner in this sunny suburb without coming across a historically declared house or building.
The beach front, which is known as the Esplanade has seen many ship wrecks. There are many brass plaques embedded into the Esplanade paving commemorating their demise.
Quigney, which is one of the oldest suburbs, enjoys close proximity to the city centre, the three local universities and many colleges and schools. Quigney is the summer hub of East London, with five-star dining and hotels available. The student population is both eclectic and vibrant.
The Quigney hosts an annual beach festival as well as New Year's Eve street parties and is fortunate to boast a very well-equipped aquarium. One can also indulge in wonderful nature walks on both the Eastern and Orient Beach; what better way to spend a family Sunday morning by exploring the many tidal pools on these beaches. One is spoilt for choice when dining out, whether it is a modest burger and chips, an unbelievable pizza or a five-course gourmet dinner.
Quigney offers you property to suit your needs, whether you are looking for an investment block of flats or a modest townhouse or apartment. The majority of the suburb enjoys panoramic sea and harbour views. On a good day you might be lucky to spot a school of dolphins or a few Southern White Whales. Guest houses are springing up overnight with the suburb being a natural choice for a single person or a couple seeking a holiday destination.
With this well-developed suburb, there is not too much open ground for development. Victorian and Edwardian architecture is abundant in the area. Fortunately, many of these beautiful homes have been protected by the Heritage organisation. Quigney is the epitome of suburban life.
Selborne is a suburb nestled in the heart of East London. It is a mere five minute drive to almost all the commercial facilities that the city has to offer. Top Eastern Cape schools, Clarendon and Selborne, are within walking distance from most of the homes in the area. Selborne College was named after the Second Earl of Selborne in 1872.
The suburb is ideal for the young family who want a suburban lifestyle but also suitable for the retired business executive. Here you don't pay the premium required by the similar areas in the bigger cities. Well built, well priced property together with this sought after area, attract buyers to this suburb.
A number of sporting clubs are in this suburb and it boasts the very best medical facilities that East London can offer.
On the entertainment side The Guild Theatre in Dawson Road hosts many events from ballet concerts, school plays and various theatrical productions. The East London Museum is located here and was officially recognised as a provincial museum in 1924. The museum has many fascinating exhibits such as the world's only Dodo egg and a model of the ancient dinosaur fish called the Coelacanth which was caught alive in the deep waters off East London. The Joan Harrison Swimming Pool Complex hosts many national swimming galas, waterpolo events, underwater hockey and diving competitions.
Selborne is also closely situated to the East London Zoo where a wide range of animals may be viewed. The Ann Bryant Art Gallery also boasts some fine art and regularly holds art exhibitions for the public to view.
The prices of property in this area range from R700, 000 apartments to stately homes costing R3, 000,000 and up. Townhouses have been sold for R1, 400,000. The average price of property is R1, 600,000. The homes are generally older but very well built. Architecture differs but overall there is a definite colonial feel.
The suburb of Stirling was a farmland bought by a business man who named it Stirling Estate after the passenger liner, the Stirling Castle which was built in Scotland in 1936 and called on the port of East London on its maiden voyage.
After World War II, returning soldiers were given land all over South Africa and in East London, the land was Stirling Estate. As the suburb grew, streets were named after other ships of the Union Castle Line such as Galway, Kenilworth, Arunde, Roslin, Carisbrook, Sandown and Dunbar.
Stirling is home to Stirling Co-Educational School which consists of a high school and primary school. Many families chose to buy property in this area for the convenience of being close to the schools. There are superb sporting facilities, which include an astro turf, soccer and hockey fields and a badminton hall.
The prestigious school, Hudson Park is only a short drive away. The largest sporting club in the city, the Old Selbornians, is found here.
James Pearce Park is situated in Stirling. It is a recreational park offering tennis courts and wide open spaces for families to picnic, ride bicycles and walk their dogs. A short walk from the park will lead you to a superb driving range and the Nahoon Point Nature Reserve, which hosts a small cafe and museum. This museum commemorates the fossilised footprints found in the area, which are the earliest known traces of man.
Stirling is also centrally located to a few convenient stores, such as Checkers, delis, hair dressers, dance schools and service stations. Stirling is also closely located to the Xerox Hockey astro turf where many matches are played by our local, regional and national teams. The suburb is known for its peaceful surroundings and stillness and definitely a very popular place to buy property.
The average price of property in the Stirling area is R2 million. Apartments range from R1, 2 million and townhouses from R1, 5 million.
The Suburb of Vincent was named after Amelius Vincent, a town councillor and Mayor of East London. The area that is known as Vincent first came under settler development in 1857, with the arrival of the British-German Legion.
Vincent is known for its peaceful and tranquil atmosphere and is surrounded with magnificent looking aged trees. Vincent is within walking distance to the well-known Hudson Park Primary and High School. The suburb is sought after due to its proximity to schools and amenities. As East London has expanded, some parts of Vincent have been transformed into business precincts, but the municipality has curbed this trend due to fears that the road network cannot support further commercial development. The net result is that you have areas that have high concentrations of residents and other areas where there are numerous small businesses. It's an eclectic mix that works well. It is truly a suburb that has transformed into a place where you can work and play.
The Vincent Park Shopping Centre is probably the epicentre of business within this suburb, which has many restaurants such as Ocean Basket, Mugg & Bean and Cafe Avanti. There are offices. B&Bs, banks, butcheries and hairdressers that are in close proximity. There are a number of specialist boutique shops which sell a wide variety of goods and services.
Vincent will offer you property to suit all your needs, be it homes, apartments or town houses. Your residential property will always be conveniently situated to schools, shops and office parks. Property in this area is highly sought after. Townhouses in the suburb sell from R1,300,000 upwards and homes are selling from R1,800,000.