Donkin Trail - Easterncape
Are you a business owner in Eastern Cape?
Promote your business 365 days a year with the #1 Guide to Eastern Cape.
- Gain MAXIMUM EXPOSURE with a 'Dedicated Business Profile'
For visitors to Port Elizabeth who have a passion for history, the Donkin Heritage Trail is a must. At 5 kilometres long this interesting and historical trail offers you the chance to follow in the footsteps of the 1820 Settlers, taking you to over 40 historical sites in central Port Elizabeth.
In 1820 the British and South African Cape authorities selected a group of approximately 4,000 British colonists to be shipped to settle in South Africa’s Eastern Cape region. This settlement was an attempt to defend the eastern frontier against the neighbouring Xhosa peoples, and to provide a boost to the English-speaking population. The 1820 Settlers movement was one of the largest stages of British settlement in Africa and played a pivotal role in the development of an Anglo-African culture in South Africa.
The Donkin Heritage Trail, which is named after the then Acting Governor of the Cape Colony , Sir Rufane Donkin, gives visitors a chance to walk the path many of these settlers once trod.
The trail starts with a walk around the city’s Market Square with its historical City Hall, dating back to 1858. In the Market Square you will also find a replica of the Dias Cross, which commemorates the first European to sail into Algoa Bay in 1488, the Portuguese explorer, Bartholomeu Dias.
The Donkin Heritage Trail also includes a walk around the Donkin Reserve – a picturesque park created by Donkin himself and a visit to the Donkin Street Houses that run alongside the Reserve and provide a beautiful example of Victorian colonial architecture. The Donkin library building, also a gorgeous example of Victorian Gothic architecture, is on the corner of Market Square and well worth a visit. No amble along the Donkin Trail would be complete without a stop at Number 7 Castle Hill, which claims to be the oldest surviving settler cottage in the city.
If you are feeling energetic, a climb up the 200+ steps of the 52m high Campanile erected in 1923 in honor of the first settlers, is well worth it for unsurpassed views over Algoa Bay. Other buildings and monuments of interest include the1861 Lighthouse, now home to the Tourist Information Office, the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum, the Mannville open air theatre, several churches and the PE opera house - all within easy walking distance of the Donkin houses.
Visitors to Port Elizabeth do not need a tour guide to walk the Donkin Trail as the route is very well sign posted, making self-guided tours possible. A map of this trail may be purchased from the tourist office located in the lighthouse at the Donkin Reserve. However, if you wish to experience the true history and gain a little more in-depth knowledge, why not try one of our recommended guided tours to truly bring this era to life.
You may also like
Cape Town: Woodstock Cave Hike
Climb above Rhodes Memorial for a watchman’s view of glimmering water on Table Bay and a snack in a historical cave.
- Best Seller
Ayia Napa and Protaras: Full Day Catamaran Cruise
Set the sails and relax on the catamaran. Enjoy the great view, refreshing swim stops, delicious lunch and treat yourself at the open bar.
4-Day Northern Italy Lakes Tour from Milan
Enjoy a 4-day escorted tour through Northern Italy from Milan. Visit Stresa, Bellagio, Bergamo, Sirmione, and more. Admire the region’s lakes and spend your nights in c
Port Elizabeth City Walking Tour
Enjoy a two-hour walking tour of Port Elizabeth. Explore one of South Africa's oldest cities with a local guide and learn about local history.7 Reviews
Ayia Napa/Protaras: Full-Day San Antonio Cruise
Set the sails and enjoy a relaxing cruise onboard the San Antonio Schooner. You can learn more about your holiday destination, by enjoying the breathtaking views of the c
Tour of Eastern Madeira
Explore the eastern side of the island and take in the high majestic mountains, the green valleys, the waterfalls and countryside with its amazing fruit and vegetable ter15 Reviews
Knysna GONOW Electric Bike Hire
Explore the coastal town of Knysna on these amazing electric bikes with ease.
From Cape Town: Garden Route, Addo and Winelands 7-Day Tour
Indulge your sense of adventure on a 7-day tour of the Cape Winelands, Addo National Park and southeast coast of South Africa. Look for wild animals in their natural envi8 Reviews
Zadar: Full-Day Sailing Trip to Kornati
Sail to Telašćica Nature Park on a day trip from Zadar and marvel at the landscapes of the Kornati archipelago. Get some free time to swim and snorkel, see the best-pro72 Reviews
From Adelaide: 2-Day Kangaroo Island Tour by Ferry & Coach
Finally, a tour that combines the two reasons you need to visit Kangaroo Island - to see its natural beauty and to taste the amazing produce grown and made there.1 Reviews