Custom Tours : South Africa : KwaZulu-Natal – Battlefields

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Zulu wars, Shaka, Isandlwana, Rorke’s Drift, Colenso, Spioenkop, Ladysmith, Dundee, Churchill, Blood River, Cetshwayo, Boers … these are some of the terms which are associated with the internationally renowned KwaZulu-Natal Battlefields area of South Africa.

Walk in the footsteps of famous military strategists – Shaka, Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi and General Louis Botha – they were all part of the KwaZulu-Natal Battlefields. The wind sighs and whispers the secrets and sorrows of great battles, made visible by lone forts and small graveyards on these undulating landscapes ringed with rocky outcrops.

The legacy of our Zulu Kingdom’s critical, blood-soaked conflicts today lives peacefully – reconciled in this fascinating region’s myriad Battlefield sites, historic towns, national monuments and museums – and in HQs of the British regiments who make a ‘pilgrimage’ to these fields of bravery and supreme sacrifice.

Why leave all of this to the imagination? Knowledgeable guides will accompany you on tours of the Battlefields, talking you through each battle, debating the strategies used, the numbers who perished and the medals and rewards won by the brave.

Talana Museum is situated on the site of the first battle of the Anglo-Boer war from 1899-1902, a large varied museum covering a number of different things. It includes a magnificent glass museum, stunning African bead gallery, national coal mining exhibits and military museums, with exhibits on the battles of Rorke’s Drift, Isandlwana, Talana, Elandslaagte, Helpmekaar and Peter Smith Cottage, transport displays, military and settler cemetery, Gandhi memorial and an African craft production centre.

Bloodriver Monument A famous battle was fought on 16 December 1838, in which the Boers under Andries Pretorius defeated Dingane’s Zulu army.

The Battle of Isandlwana The Central (no 3) Column under Lord Chelmsford was almost entirely annihilated here on 22 January 1879 by the Zulu army dispatched by Cetshwayo during the opening phase of the Anglo-Zulu war of 1879. The site, under the brooding Isandlwana Hill, is a proclaimed battlefield.

Rorke’s Drift Site of the battle is where 100 British soldiers fought off twelve hours of repeated attacks by 4000 Zulus, earning no less than 11 Victoria Crosses, the largest number ever awarded for a single engagement.