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À La Carte Excursions | General Information

: East London  Go
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East London


Excursion 5: Natural History Tour
Tour Code: EAS-007
Tour Length: Half-Day (Approximately 4 hours)

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Tour Price: $185
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Depart the pier and proceed to East London's city centre. Drive along Oxford Street, passing the City Hall, built in 1897, in the 60th year of Queen Victoria's reign. Today, the City Hall is graced with a statue of the martyred activist, Stephen Biko.

In 1836, the British established East London as a military post, which they used as a base during the Xhosa wars. The arrival of German settlers, who had been serving as mercenaries in the British-German Legion, gave the place at the mouth of the Buffalo River an economic boost - and in 1873 East London was given town rights.

Continue to the East London Museum, which was established in 1921. It is home to a number of fine exhibits, including the type specimen of the coelacanth, a fish previously believed to have become extinct some 80 million years ago. Other notable exhibits include a reconstruction of the extinct dodo of Mauritius along with the only known dodo egg in the world, as well as an extensive collection of beadwork relating to the Xhosa-speaking people, and the Nahoon Footprints.

In 1964, some construction workers at Bats Cave on the Nahoon Bluff corner noticed some strange shapes in the bedrock and on further investigation recognized them to be the fossilized footprints of a child, belonging to the archaic hominid period. 200 000 years ago, the conditions would have been perfect for the child to have been able to create these tracks and they then lay undisturbed for eons, fossilizing over time. Large slabs of sandstone that contained the tracks have been removed and can now be seen at the Museum.

Following this visit, proceed via the national highway through rural countryside en-route to the Nahoon Point Nature Reserve.

Enjoy refreshments at the Footprints Café, which is situated in a building which also houses the Mercedes-Benz Coastal Education & Visitor Centre. The centre provides an informative eco-tourism facility to educate visitors to the area, with boards, photographs and touchscreens mounted on the walls, explaining the unique aspects of East London's coastal environment, the archaeological wealth of Nahoon including the Nahoon Footprints, the history of surfing at the Nahoon Reef, and the importance of environmental stewardship.

Take a short stroll along the wooden boardwalk that skirts the edge of the coastal dunes, to the site where the Fossil Footprints were found.

Afterwards, return to East London, passing by some of the residential suburbs, as well as Orient & Eastern beaches en-route. Stop to view the German Settlers Memorial, before continuing to the pier.

NOTICE: All Oceania Cruises shore excursion fares are listed per person, and are subject to change and availability. Some tours are capacity controlled and may be withdrawn at any time without prior notice. Tour departure times are subject to change so please reference your actual tour ticket for the correct departure time. Minor children under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a an adult parent or guardian on all shore excursions. While Oceania Cruises makes every effort to adhere to the specifics mentioned in each shore excursion description, circumstances may require otherwise. All shore excursion information contained on this website is subject to change without notice at Oceania Cruises’ discretion. Oceania Cruises is not responsible or liable for typographical error, omissions or misprints.

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