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LOCAL TIME: 05:49 am | Wednesday, 24 July
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East London – ‘Four’ Rivers run through it!

East London - 'Four' Rivers run through it!

East London – ‘Four’ Rivers run through it!

East London may not be widely known for it, but has some of the best beaches in South Africa.

How can we say that?  Well for one thing, East London is the only city in South Africa built on the banks for four rivers.

The Buffalo River

Visitors flying into the city will cross the Buffalo River on their trip into the city from the East London Airport.  Home to the Buffalo Harbour and Port of East London, the Buffalo River is the largest of the four rivers and is home to South Africa’s only river port.  This river is also the playground for everyone who loves water-sports and is home to no less than 4 clubs, being the The Buffalo River Yacht Club (BRYC), the East London Ski Boat Club, The East London Yacht Club and the Leander Rowing Club and is also home to the oldest national sporting event in South Africa, the Buffalo Regatta as well as the Selborne Sprints.

Visitors wishing to explore the river and test their sea legs have the option of booking dolphin & whale watching cruises as well as both ocean and river cruises with Southern Cross Ocean and River Cruises. Understandably given the amount of boating that takes place there, it is also home to the NSRI (National Sea Rescue Institute).

The Buffalo River also provides food and entertainment for those who visit her banks.  The Sea Spirit offers visitors some of the best ‘fish and slap chips’ in town and is very much a laid-back fisherman-style fishmarket offering you great food in an authentic fisherman’s setting.

Buffalo River - Home to the East London Harbour, the Port of East London and the many water sporting clubs in East London.

Buffalo River – Home to the East London Harbour, the Port of East London and the many water sporting clubs in East London.

The Nahoon River

If you follow the sea from the Buffalo River, you will soon find the Nahoon River.  This is where the people of East London Live, Relax and Play.  The banks of the Nahoon River as well as the cliffs overlooking the river are filled with beautiful hotels, guest houses and majestic upmarket homes, and those lucky enough to live on the waters edge enjoy a lifestyle to beat all lifestyles.  Houseboats, canoes, motorboats and jetski’s are just some of the toys that can be seen on the river on any given day.

For those who do not have all the toys but who enjoy the great outdoors, the extremely popular public riverside picnic and braai facilities offer families and visitors the opportunity to join in the fun.  Private river cruises can be booked and depart and return from the slipway at this spot.

The Nahoon River is also home to the Border Rowing Club, and the river is busy after work on weekdays and on weekends with rowers enjoying this quiet paradise.  Home to the Nahoon Estuary Reserve, the river also boasts the southern most mangrove plantations in Africa.  The Dassie Trail winds it’s way on a boardwalk through the estuary and is a great nature trail for old and young alike.  If it is extreme adventure you are looking for never fear, try some rock climbing on the majestic cliffs overlooking the river.

Perched at the mouth of the Nahoon River, you will find the Blue Lagoon Hotel, with breathtaking views of the river and the lagoon.  The Highlander Pub is perched on an outdoor deck overlooking the river and sundowners here is a must for all visitors to this area.  On the opposite side of the river at the Nahoon Mouth, tucked away beneath the majestic trees, you will find the Beach Break Café.  Go on a good day so that you can sit outside under the canopy of trees and enjoy your meal in the dappled shade, surrounded by the sounds of the ocean, with your feet on the sea sand.

The Nahoon River joins the Indian Ocean at what must be East London’s biggest playground.  With beautiful white beaches it is not surprising to see couples strolling along the beach, dogs chasing balls, owners chasing dogs, children building sandcastles and of course the young and the beautiful  catching a tan.

The waters are no less busy as this is surfers territory, with surfers coming from around the world to surf this very spot.  Underwater sports are also very popular with spear fishing and scuba diving being two popular activities on the Nahoon Reef.

The Nahoon River - where East Londoner's LIVE - RELAX - PLAY!

The Nahoon River – where East Londoner’s LIVE – RELAX – PLAY!

Bonza Bay River (Quenera River)

If you prefer a quieter beach experience, then off to the next River that runs through the heart of Beacon Bay.  The Quenera River, commonly known as the Bonza Bay River to the locals, shares it’s banks with the Quenera Local Authority Nature Reserve.  During the non-rainy season the mouth of the Quenera River silts up forming a wonderful ‘dam’ at the Quenera River mouth.  Popular with Beacon Bay and Bonza Bay residents, this river is for the most part untouched with beautiful wide open beaches which are wonderful for taking long walks.  As this is a quiet beach it is recommended that people walk in groups, not alone.

Bonza Bay (Quenera River) - East London's unspoilt treasure.

Bonza Bay (Quenera River) – East London’s unspoilt treasure.

The Gonubie River (Gqunube River)

Gonubie is one of East London’s most popular suburbs (holiday village) catering heavily for tourists escaping on a seaside holiday.  The Gqunube River, like the holiday village, does not disappoint.  On it’s route it passes through the Lomardy Private Nature Reserve and winds it’s way, flanked by the Gonubie Estuary, to the Gonubie River Mouth.   This beautiful beach has hosted many popular events such as rubber duck championships and surfing championships and over and above the beach walkers and swimmers, is always filled with surfers, people snorkeling and fisherman.

A short stroll along the boardwalk will take you onto Deary Drive, the coast road running along the ocean, offering pubs, restaurants and coffee shops for those wishing to indulge.

The Gonubie River - A perfect seaside holiday destination with plenty of fun for the whole family.

The Gonubie River – A perfect seaside holiday destination with plenty of fun for the whole family.

East London – South Africa’s best kept secret!

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