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IIt’s without question that the Eastern Cape is one of South Africa’s most beautiful provinces, an incredible stretch of coastline that has so much to offer. From rich cultural experiences, a warm welcome from humble locals and exhilarating adventure activities to insightful township tours, the Eastern Cape, specifically East London, guarantees its visitors an amazing experience one simply can’t forget.
To add to the existing tourism offerings East London is very well known for, there’s a new tourism route that’s sure to bring out the inner explorer in you – the East London Urban Cultural Experience. This route was launched by the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency (ECPTA) including several other businesses. Which begs the question – with so much to see and do, where does one even start?
Follow our guide to discover the very best of this exciting, adventurous and insightful tourism route:
Driftaz Raceway Theme Park
WWhether you’re looking for full throttle adventure with the family, friends or even colleagues over team buildings, consider Driftaz Raceway Theme Park the perfect spot to unleash your need for speed. The theme park, which is a winner of Lilizela Awards at Provincial level and 2nd runner-up and the National level, offers a variety of activities including go-kart racing, paintballing, quad biking and more. Luvuyo Mpambani, owner of the Eastern Cape’s only outdoor go-kart track, says: “The team of Eastern Cape Tourism really helped us because through them I’ve been to Africa’s Travel Indaba in Durban and Meetings Africa in Johannesburg promoting Driftaz. They’re doing their best to put us on the map, and it’s up to us to have that staying power and making sure our business improves.”
Art Versatile – Art gallery
SSpear-headed by Litha Ncokazi, a visual artist, founder and entrepreneur, Art Versatile is a space whereby creativity and imagination thrives. As you enter the creative hub, expect to be wowed by incredible art pieces that’s “authentic and evocative African-art-experience”.
YYou can’t help but feel a sense of African pride as you walk through the corridors of this amazing establishment and art gallery, which comprises of paintings, sculptures and fine art you won’t find anywhere else.
MMr Ncokazi says that his “work is inspired by the essence and the intrinsic quality of life” and that “art is such an amazing thing so much that without it life could never be such a joyful experience”.
AArt Versatile – Ceramic studio
AAnother offering from Mr Ncokazi’s art and design establishment is teaching aspiring creatives how to make unique pottery and one-of-a-kind ceramics through workshops and classes. It’s incredible to see how something so simple as clay is moulded and shaped into what can be considered a work of art.
TThe inspiring and creative work Ms Qabaka does at Xhobani Projects is nothing short of incredible. Imagine making necklaces, traditional garments, bracelets, rings and more from recycled beer bottles – this is the type of products Ms Qabaka and her team produces.
BBe sure to visit and watch in wonder how these women blast glass beads with hand-held gas torches with incredible precision. It’s a sight to see!
MMthombo's Palace: The Restro Lounge
OOf course no trip to East London will be complete without visiting Mthombo’s Palace: The Restro Lounge in Mdantsane. This vibrant establishment is just the venue to unwind after an eventful day, dance to the beat from local DJs or be serenaded by talented singers who reside within the area of Mdantsane and surrounds.
TThere’s no excuse not to take advantage of East London’s latest tourist offering (the East London Urban Cultural Experience) and explore the beauty of the Eastern Cape. Locals are ready to welcome you with the warmest hearts and show you what they have to offer.