Car Hire from East London Airport
The Eastern Cape of South Africa is something of an undiscovered gem. It enjoys sub-tropical beaches, sweeping national parks and some traditional African villages but very few tourists. Public transport links across the region are minimal so hiring a car from East London Airport is your best option for getting around.
Where to hire a car at East London Airport
A number of car hire companies operate from East London Airport. Bidvest, Europcar, Thrifty, Budget, Keddy, Avis and Tempest Car Hire all have offices inside the terminal building.
Petrol Stations near East London Airport
If you need to return your hire car with a full tank of petrol, there’s a petrol station located between the airport and East London city. It’s called Engen Settlers Way 1 Stop and it can be found on the R72, five minutes’ drive from the airport.
Driving around East London Airport
East London Airport is small with just one terminal and, as a result, traffic to and from the airport is rarely busy. The main road from the airport is the R72, a coastal road which runs up the coast to East London and down, all the way to Port Elizabeth. After you pass through East London, the R72 connects to the N2, a major highway travelling southwest to Port Elizabeth and on to Cape Town and northeast towards Durban and Richards Bay.
You can drive in South Africa using a UK Driving License for up to 12 months. Road conditions in towns and cities and usually very good but you may find more pot holes and poorer road surfaces in rural areas. The standard of driving varies considerably and you’ll need to keep you wits about you on highways where overtaking can occur in any lane, including the hard shoulder. At quiet intersections, the first vehicle to arrive has priority and on roundabouts you give way to the right.
Getting to your destination
Hiring a car from East London Airport is a great way to get around. Here are a few destinations within easy reach:
East London sits close to the coast and enjoys easy access to some beautiful beaches. In the city, visitors can wander around the harbour and eat in waterfront restaurants, visit the city museum, play at Hemingways Casino or visit the Botanical Gardens.
East London doesn’t have much of a public transport system so a car is pretty essential for getting around. It takes just over five minutes to drive from the airport to East London city centre, taking the R72 northeast. The R72 and the N2 provide a partial ring road around the city, useful for navigation.
Located on the Sunshine Coast, Port Alfred is blessed with spectacular beaches, which can be found in both directions from the town centre. You can visit the Kowie Museum, the Great Fish Point Lighthouse and the Kap River Nature Reserve. There is also a range of activities on offer including fishing, scuba diving, horse riding and golf.
It takes around 75 minutes to drive from East London Airport to Port Alfred, taking the scenic R72 coastal road. The town is compact, so it’s best to park up as soon as you can and do your exploring on foot.
Morgan’s Bay is a seaside village located on the Wild Coast of the Eastern Cape. The village is home to some spectacular cliffs, a mile-long sandy beach and the Cape Morgan Nature Reserve. There are lots of adventure activities here too with horse riding, surfing, mountain biking, fishing and dolphin watching excursions all available.
It takes just over an hour to drive from East London Airport to Morgan’s Bay, taking the R72, the N2 northeast and then the R349. The village is small and easy to navigate with plenty of parking available.