The Donkin Reserve is a well-known historical attraction in Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth). It documents the discovery and development of the ‘Friendly City’. Sir Rufane Donkin named the town after his late wife Lady Elizabeth Donkin, and it was he that constructed the stone pyramid on a hill that overlooks the bay and grassy reserve around it.
The Donkin Lighthouse towers over the pyramid, built in 1861. Visitors are able to climb to the top of the lighthouse and savour views of the city and harbour. The lighthouse houses Nelson Mandela Bay’s official Tourist Information Centre.
The pyramid was declared a National Monument in 1938. It is approximately 10 meters high and the sides at the base measure about 8 meters each.
In preparation for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the Donkin Reserve was completely revamped. Today, it boasts mosaics, metal artwork, modern benches that reflect contemporary graffiti art, a chrome statue of a woman, and abstract art. It also features the Great Flag, which measures 12m x 8m, and flies from the highest flagpole in the country.
Formal tours of the Donkin Reserve are conducted. It forms part of Route 67 and the Donkin Heritage Trail.