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East London in South Africa: A Photo Essay

Updated on August 31, 2011

Gonubie in East London, South Africa

The Gonubie Boardwalk

The Gonubie Boardwalk. Photo by Teresa Schultz.
The Gonubie Boardwalk. Photo by Teresa Schultz.

Gonubie River Mouth

Gonubie

Gonubie is just on the outskirts of East London, in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Gonubie has a beautiful main beach, next to the mouth of the Gonubie River.

The Gonubie Boardwalk next to the main beach is enjoyed by many. The river mouth is at one end, and a parking area near the Gonubie Hotel is at the other end.

Although Gonubie is a residential area, there are many small b&b's and self-catering accommodation options for vistors. There seems to be a "holiday atmosphere" in Gonubie, enjoyed by even those who already stay there all year round.

The little coastal village marks the end of the first third of the annual Surfers Marathon Challenge. The Surfers Marathon is a 16 km race for runners and walkers along the coast of East London, held in February of each year. Yours Truly, here, has done 13 of them.

After swimming across the Gonubie River, runners head across the beach, below the boardwalk, and past the hotel, unfortunately not stopping for refreshments at the hotel, but having to make do with water and cooldrink in front of the hotel instead. Then they run along the Gonubie coastal road for the next third of the race, before heading back down to the sand for the last third.

Running in the shallows of the Gonubie River

Zooty and Basti running in the Gonubie River in East London in 2008 - first prize in an East London Tourism Buffalo City photo competition in 2009. Photo by Teresa Schultz.
Zooty and Basti running in the Gonubie River in East London in 2008 - first prize in an East London Tourism Buffalo City photo competition in 2009. Photo by Teresa Schultz.

Bonza Bay Beach

Bonza Bay beach. Photo by Teresa Schultz.
Bonza Bay beach. Photo by Teresa Schultz.

Bonza Bay beach

Once runners and walkers of the Surfers Marathon leave Gonubie behind and return to the sand, they make their way towards Bonza Bay beach. If travelling by car to Bonza Bay - and not along the coast by foot - one would drive through the East London suburb of Beacon Bay, then through the suburb of Bonza Bay, to get to Bonza Bay beach. 

Mermaid's Pool

Mermaid's Pool, near Nahoon Beach, East London, South Africa. Photo and editing by Teresa Schultz.
Mermaid's Pool, near Nahoon Beach, East London, South Africa. Photo and editing by Teresa Schultz.

Mermaid's Pool and FootPrints Cafe

From Bonza Bay beach, Surfers Marathon runners have just 2 km (just over a mile) to the finish of the race, at Nahoon Beach, after crossing the Nahoon River mouth. If one has enough energy over after the race, one can take a walk along the Nahoon beach, up over the cliffs, and down to Mermaid's Pool.

Not far from Mermaid's Pool is Footprints Cafe where one can enjoy a light meal, coffee, or drink.

On the beach near Footprints Cafe

On the beach near Footprints Cafe, East London - not far from Nahoon beach and Mermaid's Pool. Photo by Teresa Schultz.
On the beach near Footprints Cafe, East London - not far from Nahoon beach and Mermaid's Pool. Photo by Teresa Schultz.

Brakfontein

The Brakfontein countryside in the evening. Photo by Teresa Schultz.
The Brakfontein countryside in the evening. Photo by Teresa Schultz.

What if you have to go back to the start of the Surfer's Marathon to fetch your car?

If you were'nt dropped off at the start of the Surfers Marathon, at Kwelera River Mouth, near Kwelera Village in the East Coast Resorts area, and if you didn't catch the bus from Nahoon to the start, somebody will be giving you a lift back to the start of the race to fetch your car. If there's time before dark, take a slight detour on your way back, past Brakfontein. The countryside in this area is often overlooked by visitors to East London, and perhaps East Londoners themselves aren't fully aware of the beauty of the area. 

A giraffe at Areena

My boyfriend Tony chats to a young giraffe at Areena Riverside Resort.  Photo by Teresa Schultz.
My boyfriend Tony chats to a young giraffe at Areena Riverside Resort. Photo by Teresa Schultz.

Upriver from Kwelera Mouth

The Surfers Marathon starts at the mouth of the Kwelera River, just outside East London. Now, upriver from the mouth, you will find a delightful riverside holiday resort called Areena.

Areena has various kinds of accommodation options available, and there's plenty of family fun to be had at Areena. Go abseling or quad biking. Do some shooting or game watching (not both at the same time ha ha!) - or just relax at the river's edge.  Do some fishing, swimming, or go paddling in a canoe. Don't forget to get up close with a young giraffe or two, but avoid the ostriches during mating season.

East London harbour on the Buffalo River photo by Teresa Schultz.
East London harbour on the Buffalo River photo by Teresa Schultz.
Yachts on the Buffalo River photo by Teresa Schultz.
Yachts on the Buffalo River photo by Teresa Schultz.

What to see the next day to walk out those stiff muscles

The day after the Surfers Marathon be sure to walk around a bit to avoid feeling stiff for days on end.

Visit the Hemingways mall and casino.

Visit the East London harbour - it's the only river port in South Africa.

The Queens Park Zoo is great fun for the whole family.

Pop in at the East London Museum and the Ann Bryant Art Gallery.

The East London Aquarium is the oldest aquarium in South Africa.

Try some Guido's Pizza, and do not leave East London without trying a Friesland milkshake!

So, when are you coming to East London to run the Surfers Marathon and explore my lovely little hometown? 

An educated penguin at the East London aquarium reads about itself. Photo by Teresa Schultz.
An educated penguin at the East London aquarium reads about itself. Photo by Teresa Schultz.

Comments

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    • Teresa Schultz profile imageAUTHOR

      Teresa Schultz 

      5 years ago from East London, in South Africa

      Thanks, Mike - I find I quite enjoy adding quite a bit of text to pages with my photos on them - handy when I enjoy both photography and SEO.

    • Mike Robbers profile image

      Mike Robbers 

      5 years ago from London

      Beautiful photo essay, Teresa. The video is great as it is your photography. Voted up and shared.

    • Teresa Schultz profile imageAUTHOR

      Teresa Schultz 

      6 years ago from East London, in South Africa

      See what I mean about all comes right (see previous comment of mine) - I even got another comment - thanks Mr Smulders! Good to see that you still have the HubPages bug as well - thanks for the comment, and yeah, good old Slummies will always be my favorite place.

    • Teresa Schultz profile imageAUTHOR

      Teresa Schultz 

      6 years ago from East London, in South Africa

      @Doodlehead - goody! my comment (reply to you) worked now - it wouldn't post earlier and I wasn't sure if it was due to a bad Internet connection or what - so I went to check out if I could at least comment on somebody else's hub - so of course I went to one of your hubs first, and I could comment! So I cam back here and tried again, and it worked! Just goes to show, do for others what you want done for yourself, and all comes right! :)

    • Johan Smulders profile image

      Johan Smulders 

      6 years ago from East London, South Africa

      Great photos and an excellent article on 'Slummies'.

    • Teresa Schultz profile imageAUTHOR

      Teresa Schultz 

      6 years ago from East London, in South Africa

      Thanks, Doodlehead, we enjoyed making the videos and taking the photos in East London. We love East London. I've lived in East London all my life.

    • Doodlehead profile image

      Doodlehead 

      6 years ago from Northern California

      Your video is really nice and the beach photos are amazing, and I especially like the one with the big waves.

    • Teresa Schultz profile imageAUTHOR

      Teresa Schultz 

      6 years ago from East London, in South Africa

      Thanks for the comment Mr Smulders! Mr Smulders, both you and Gill already blog better than I do :) You both write beautifully and both have so much more to say than I do.

    • Johan Smulders profile image

      Johan Smulders 

      6 years ago from East London, South Africa

      Interresting article and beautiful photos from another East Londoner. One day I will be able to blog like You!

    • Teresa Schultz profile imageAUTHOR

      Teresa Schultz 

      8 years ago from East London, in South Africa

      Thanks for the visit Eiddwen :) I'll try get some more writing done for all to read, soon!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 

      8 years ago from Wales

      Brilliant hub and pics. Thank you so much for sharing Have only just come accross you on here and I am looking forward to reading more of your work. Take care Teresa.

    • Teresa Schultz profile imageAUTHOR

      Teresa Schultz 

      8 years ago from East London, in South Africa

      @ Tonymac I'm sorry you miss East London. Glad you like my pix! Thanks for having a look.

    • Teresa Schultz profile imageAUTHOR

      Teresa Schultz 

      8 years ago from East London, in South Africa

      @ Tony ja ja, I'm not saying it because I'm not proud I'm so unfit right now! :)

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 

      8 years ago from South Africa

      BEautiful pix! Make me quite miss good old EL! My folks retired to Gonubie but came to live with us in Gauteng in 1985.

      Love and peace

      Tony

    • Tony Flanigan profile image

      Tony Flanigan 

      8 years ago from East London, South Africa

      And what the writer is not saying is that she has won the Ladies' Walk of the Surfers Marathon twice! Great hub Terry!

    • Teresa Schultz profile imageAUTHOR

      Teresa Schultz 

      8 years ago from East London, in South Africa

      @equealla - thanks for commenting and I'm glad you liked the photos - I'm quite proud of them. As for the running, lol, although I've done 13 Surfers Marathons, the last one I did was in 2008, and since then, well, I think I can barely manage half a kilometre let alone 16km, so, a little stroll on the beach sounds just fine! :)

    • equealla profile image

      equealla 

      8 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      Theresa, you did add very nice photographs, I must say. Thank you for showing us more of your hometown. Perhaps I will come and visit, but the running part, well I think I will skip that one. Sounds too much like hard work. Would join you for a stroll on the beach, though.

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