#ItsMySouthAfrica: Weave your way through East London's new tourism route

2018-09-18 16:30 - Saara Mowlana
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Weave your way through East London's new Urban and Cultural experience route. (Photo: Saara Mowlana / Traveller24)

Celebrate SA Heritage's long weekend in style by playing tourist in the Eastern Cape with this new East London offering.

The East London Urban Cultural Experience (ELUCE) initiative has been launched by the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency (ECPTA), along with a range of local entrepreneurs and businesses. 

There are nine local organisations in total who have banded together to give birth to the new route and package that is set to run until 2 November 2018:

The ELUCE package includes a range of activities and services hosted by these nine, mostly black-owned businesses, fostering and boosting the city's tourism industry as well as its local businesses and entrepreneurs.

WATCH: The pure beauty of East London 

So what is the price and route itinerary?

Package Price: R3 499 per couple, which includes a two-night stay at one of the partnered accommodation offerings. (A 50% cancellation fee will be charged if cancelled withing 24 hours)

How to Book: To book the package - contact the organisers via:

Package Route

**The package is flexible: you are able to tailor your offer by either opting out of the accommodation offer if you stay in East London or even choosing to split your activities over two days rather than one. The price point includes the accommodation offer, but can also be tailored depending on what you want out of the package.

  • Be an early bird to catch this worm as the route kicks off promptly at 09:30 with a shuttle picking you up from one of the lodges and taking you to activity one of the day.
  • The route starts out by getting you familiar with some of the best local art produced in the city over at Art Versatile's gallery in Vincent. You'll be taken on a guided walk as you learn about the gallery's beginnings, its dedication to promoting local artwork and making it accessible to the greater public.

East London Urban Cultural Experience Route

Art Versatile Gallery. (Photo: Saara Mowlana / Traveller24)

East London Urban Cultural Experience Route

Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism MEC, Oscar Mabuyane, and Art Versatile founder, Litha Ncokazi, examine some art work in the gallery. (Photo: Saara Mowlana / Traveller24) 

  • On the heels of this, you're taken through to Art Versatile's Ceramics Studio in Town where you get to actively participate in moulding your own clay creation following a demonstration by Art Versatile's founder, Litha Ncokazi. 

East London Urban Cultural Experience Route

Art Versatile Ceramics Studio. (Photo: Saara Mowlana / Traveller24)  

East London Urban Cultural Experience Route

Art Versatile Ceramics Studio demonstration. (Photo: Saara Mowlana / Traveller24)  

SEE: #LoveSA: Plan your next weekend coastal escape at these Eastern Cape port towns 

  • You're then taken on a quick, city tour around East London.

East London Urban Cultural Experience Route

(Photo: Saara Mowlana / Traveller24)  

East London Urban Cultural Experience Route

(Photo: Saara Mowlana / Traveller24)  

  • Following the city tour, you get to take charge of the wheel over at Drifters Raceway Theme Park by enjoying a round of Go Karts or paintball. You'll also get the chance to enjoy some delicious Xhosa cuisine for lunch at Drifters along with music and traditional dance performances as well. 

East London Urban Cultural Experience Route

Drifters Raceway Theme Park. (Photo: Saara Mowlana / Traveller24)

East London Urban Cultural Experience Route

Drifters Raceway Theme Park. (Photo: Saara Mowlana / Traveller24) 

East London Urban Cultural Experience Route

Drifters Raceway Theme Park. (Photo: Saara Mowlana / Traveller24) 

  • After getting your lunch and adrenaline fix, the route then takes you over to Mdantsane Township for a tour. This township tourism marks a fairly new endeavour and market for East London tourism.
  • Once you've been fully acquainted with the township, you're guided on over to Xhobani Projects studio in the township. The owner, Nomaci Qabaka, was recently dubbed as Business Woman of the Year by BCM Local Economic Development unit and it's no wonder why. Qabaka and her team create intricate bead works and creations from recycled glass - a vast majority of which comes from recycled beer bottles they collect. Learn about their process and witness the team hard at work as they blast glass beads with hand-held gas torches in complete bad-ass nonchalance. 

East London Urban Cultural Experience Route

Xhobani Projects. (Photo: Saara Mowlana / Traveller24) 

East London Urban Cultural Experience Route

The woman of Xhobani Projects and its owner, Nomaci Qabaka (pictured second from the left). (Photo: Saara Mowlana / Traveller24) 

READ: Exciting East London: 8 Activities to get your heart racing

  • After all of the exhilarating activities, you're set to wind down at Mthombo's Palace: The Restro Lounge in Mdantsane where you can indulge in some more tasty traditional dishes and some refreshing beverages while swaying along to some of the incredible local talent who take the stage. 

East London Urban Cultural Experience Route

Mthombo's Palace. (Photo: Saara Mowlana / Traveller24) 

  • The final stop on the route includes popping over to East London Beach to soak up a last bit of sun and maybe catch a stunning sunset over the horizon - who knows, you might just spot a cheeky whale or two.

East London Urban Cultural Experience Route

Nahoon Beach. (Photo: Saara Mowlana / Traveller24)  

East London Urban Cultural Experience Route

Nahoon Beach. (Photo: Saara Mowlana / Traveller24)  

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