The Donkin Reserve
The Donkin Reserve
3.5

Top ways to experience The Donkin Reserve and nearby attractions

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

3.5
3.5 of 5 bubbles185 reviews
Excellent
49
Very good
77
Average
33
Poor
6
Terrible
20

Jo K
Worcester, UK6,691 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
We went with a tour guide so avoided the parking scam. What a shame as this is a must see in port Elizabeth. Beautiful mosaics and a lot of African history
Written 10 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Andy P
36 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Couples
Not knowing if there was a fee to park we were approached (like many others said before me) but a well dressed man who appeared to have a real looking security badge and said because we drove in and stopped our car (no more than 2 min) we were captured on camera and needed to go to a parking meter and buy a ticket. He said there was another man going this way and we could follow him. We proceeded to but "it just felt wrong"- no other than gut instinct told us it was fake. When we tried to turn around- another car started beeping and swerving wildly at us and flagging us down to "pay the man". We kept on driving away. Later on I read reviews that said either the machine eats your card, swipes your data (pin, etc), or possible muggings.....PLEASE DO NOT fall for it!! I spoke with a local later on down the coast and they said yes, we were lucky we weren't jumped or accosted.
Written 26 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

HenryandWanda
Seattle, WA25 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Friends
We unfortunately didn’t see the lighthouse as we left due to scammers that were intimidating. Someone reported the exact same encounter in July 2019 so it seems nothing has changed.

A man approached us in a suit with a badge that said city security. He said we had to pay to park. I told him there were no signs and argued. But he was persistent and very well spoken.

We decided to avoid him and went back to our car. As we approached it, another guy drove up and the first guy told the second guy he needed a ticket. They went through a charade of discussing where to go to get one, and then the second guy said he knew what to do and that he’d show us where the machine was and we could follow him.

We got in our cars and left. I’m not sure if the scam results in them mugging you or getting you to use your card at an ATM but glad we didn’t find out. Since this has now been going on for four years (that’s when the fist report was), it sounds like the city isn’t addressing it.
Written 24 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Respectnatureall
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023 • Couples
Parking scam beware. Spoiled our experience. Do NOT follow a car to buy a ticket! We left without seeing anything. What a pity the PE municipality does nothing about these scammers. Lucky our BS sensor was on high alert. Do not waste your time to go there!
Written 8 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Robert U
3 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023 • Couples
Firstly the Donkin area is totally underwhelming-a grotty part of town, strewn with graffiti and next to nothing to see. More importantly, we fell for a very convincing “parking scam” which ended up with my wife having her credit card stolen. It was a thoroughly unpleasant and potentially dangerous experience for us both. Steer clear of this area like the plague is my recommendation and on no account engage with anyone who professes to be an official security man!!
Written 27 February 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Catherine G
Nice, France1,247 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023 • Couples
We are 4 people and when we just arrived in P-E we drove to see that place which is maybe the only one thing to see here. We made some photos but we saw it was 3 p-m and we saw drunk people near us. We parked our rental car on the road and 4 people came in our direction and also 4 other people came to tell us something from the opposite direction. We were afraid…we didn’t feel safe.
You must pay attention. We were the only tourists here. All the old hotels are closed with destroyed windows. The roads are very dirty with glass, papers, cans…
Written 7 February 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

goedeled2107
Aalst, Belgium55 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2023 • Family
Beautiful mosaics and spot but I want to report the scammers at the parking lot... Luckily, I read a report here from someone in 2019 with the same terrifying experience. I want to warn others that it is still going on, now in 2023! Returning to the car a friendly "official" told us that we needed a parking ticket because the camera's record every car that enters and send fines... although there are free parking signs everywhere. A second driver comes and we were asked to follow to the bureau to buy a ticket. When we drove away, we were followed by other cars to keep us following the first driver, they were yelling at us at the traffic lights. We succeeded to escape and reached our hotel within the next 10 minutes.
Written 3 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Vadim
Murmansk, Russia26,771 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2021
The dominant feature of the Donkin Reserve is a lighthouse and a pyramid. We have been accustomed since the time of Egypt that these structures are built in different places. The Pyramids of Giza. and the lighthouses in Alexandria. But the British colonialists decided to combine it in Port Elizabeth. The name of the city itself is not named after the late queen, but in honor of the wife of Governor Donkin. In her honor, and not Cheops or Chephren, a 10-meter pyramid with a base of 8 meters each was erected. The lighthouse was built later. It became white in 1907, and a red stripe was added 14 years later. Intensive construction of the city and the port led to the fact that the environment began to reflect and the lighthouse became less distinguishable on ships, so the new lighthouse was built in 1929. However, this one in the Donkin Nature Reserve remained the symbol of the city. After the abolition of apartheid, a bright mosaic made by local craftsmen was laid near the pyramid and the lighthouse. This further increased the dissonance with the pyramid and the lighthouse, although against the background of the neglected center around it, this is probably not so important anymore...
Written 6 November 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Robert O
Rotterdam, The Netherlands3,924 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2021
The reserve is a relatively open space on a hill overlooking Port Elizabeth. It is named after Rufane Donkin who was governor of the Cape Colony for just two years in the early 1820s. The man was grief-stricken after his young wife Elizabeth died. He had a small pyramid built in her honour and named the city after her. Donkin eventually committed suicide.

The lighthouse was built in 1861 and now houses the Mandela Bay Tourist Information.
There are many other historic buildings in the vicinity such as the King Edward hotel and the Opera House. The Drill Hall is also not far away.

Maintenance of park areas is not the strongest point of the city authorities.
Written 22 December 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Robert C
27 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2021 • Couples
A car parking scam is in operation round the area. Do not follow the ‘city official’, do not put your card into the ATM if asked and do not provide them your pin. I luckily avoided losing anything but a very intimidating and unpleasant experience
Written 21 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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The Donkin Reserve (Port Elizabeth) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos) - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about The Donkin Reserve

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