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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Donkin Reserve, Port Elizabeth

Afrikaans name: Donkin-reservaat

The lighthouse and pyramid at Donkin Reserve, Port Elizabeth

Donkin Reserve, Port Elizabeth

Photo © Joyce van Stan -

Eastern Cape

Although the area around Port Elizabeth had been populated for hundreds of years it was Sir Rufane Shaw Donkin, who was the acting governor of the Cape Colony, who founded the town and named it after his wife Elizabeth. Donkin requested that the pyramid, that forms part of the Donkin Reserve, be built in honour of Elizabeth, who passed away before Donkins appointment in South Africa.

The lighthouse, in the Donkin Reserve, was constructed in 1861. It is now home to the Nelson Mandela Bay Tourist Information Centre. It is here where you may purchase a map the 5 km Donkin Heritage Trail which takes you to 51 places of historical interest.

The Donkin Reserve today houses other artworks, a restaurant and an information centre. There is also a flagpole which flies the largest South African flag in South Africa. The reserve also features a tribute to Nelson Mandela and one can also enjoy scenic views of Algoa Bay. Tours of the Reserve are available and may include a climb to the top of the lighthouse.


References and further reading

Conolly's Guide to Southern Africa - Author: Denis Conolly - Year Published: 1982 - Page: 131

Getaway - Vol 30 No 06 - Author: - Year Published: 2018 - Page: 84

Southern Africa from the Highway - Author: AA RSA - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 196

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