- The stone pyramid in the centre of a PE suburb is set in the park-like surrounds of the Donkin Reserve, affectionately known as “The Donkin” to PE residents. This open park was inaugurated by Sir Rufane Donkin and, to this day, PE residents enjoy the tranquil surrounds and spectacular views of the ocean. Wide open, grassy areas allow for the ideal picnic spots, right in the centre of the Nelson Mandela Bay. Directly opposite the Donkin Reserve is the traditional old Edward Hotel. Here, comfortable rooms are complimented by superior buffets. This is also the venue for many large events or wedding receptions. St George’s Park
is the oldest park in PE, and a popular venue for couples on their wedding day. This is largely because of its lush, abundant vegetation, but the park also boasts quaint wooden bridges and a gazebo, as well as an old-world greenhouse. The gardens are peppered with fishponds, home to a number of brightly-coloured fish and water-dependent reeds and lilies. St George’s Park is also famous for the cricket grounds, where local and international games frequent the arena and get the PE crowds leaping out of their seats. Another feature of the park is the monthly “Art in the Park”, a convergence of arts and crafts stalls where folk can buy antiques, food, second-hand books, furniture, and even clothes, all set within the beautiful surrounds of the park. The children’s play area consists of swings, a life-size wooden ox wagon, and several other innovative activities. An Olympic-sized swimming pool with three diving boards is also available inside the park, adjacent to a warm kiddies’ pool. A tea garden is a welcome retreat during the warm South African summers.
Settler’s Valley runs through many Port Elizabeth suburbs, and is home to a diversity of small animals (such as meerkats, rock rabbits, tortoises and many birds) and plants. Pathways have been etched into the tall grasses, and these are perfect for a refreshing walk or cycle through the valley.
The natural beauty of Port Elizabeth is apparent, whether on the gorgeous coastline or in the lush suburbs. Parks and gardens are set amidst these idyllic conditions, and act as testimony to the rich environmental value of the area.