Battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal 3 day tour – Rorkes

Drift, Isandlwana and Blood River.

 

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Over the years their have been many battles for control over land and people. These Wars in KwaZulu-Natal took place between the British, Boers and Zulus just a few hours outside of Durban. Two of the most famous battles being the Battle of Isandlwana (between the British and the Zulu’s) the Zulu’s annihilating the British and the (between the British and the Zulu’s) the British annihilating the Zulu Warriors. Both these Battles took place on the same day the 22nd January 1879.
On this Battlefields tour you will be transported back in time to experience these great Battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal.

You can feel the spirits on the Battlefields and you know that something major happened on the sacred ground you stand upon!
On a 3 day tour of the Battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal we visit three major battle sights which are of huge interest namely Isandlwana and Rorkes Drift and Blood River.

 

We also visit the King Shaka memorial site, Fort Eshowe, Shakaland, Odini, Emakhosini, Piet Retief’s grave and Fugitives Drift. 

This makes the tour a comprehensive tour of the Anglo-Zulu battlefields as well as Blood River an Anglo-Boer battle which wets the taste buds for your next trip to Zululand!

 

The Battle of Isandlwana

The name Isandlwana comes from the Zulu word “Isandla” which means hand and refers to the shape of the “koppie” or Hill which the Battle was fought upon.

 

 

 

Isandlwana koppie and Graves

Isandlwana koppie

Isandlwana koppie

 

At Isandlwana approximately 22 000 Zulu Imips(warriors) killed 1350 British Soldiers who were supposedly unarmed as there firearms and ammunition had not yet arrived from Rorkes drift due to the Zulus cutting it off! This particular Battle is world renowned as the worst defeat the British army had ever suffered at the hands of a native force.

 

 

Isandlwana Depiction of the Battle

Isandlwana Depiction of the Battle

Isandlwana Depiction of the Battle

 

 

 

 

 

There now is a monument commemorating the battle of Isandlwana as you enter the battlefield.

 

 

Isandlwana Memorial monument

 

Isandlwana Memorial monument

Isandlwana Memorial monument

 

 

 

 

The Battle of Rorkes Drift

 

The battle of Rorkes Drift took place 30 km away from Isandlwana. It was at this battle that the British are famous for because they won it with just approximately 150 soldiers against 3000 – 4000 Zulu Impis(warriors). This battle became so well known due to the fact that the British Queen handed out 11 Victorian crosses the most at any battle fought against a Native army.

 

 

Rorkes drift Mission Station

Rorkes drift Mission Station

Rorkes drift Mission Station

 

 

 

Next to this little Mission Station was a Small hospital and the British Soldiers used Biscuit boxes to create a barrier between the two. It was this idea and the weapons which won them this battle.

 

 

Rorkes drift map

Rorkes drift map

Rorkes drift map

 

The Battle of Blood River.

 

 

The Battle of Blood River was fought between the Boers(Voortrekkers) who were led by Andries Pretorius against the Zulus on the bank of the Ncome River on the 16th Decemeber 1838.

This battle was fought by approximately 470 Boers and 15000 – 21000 Zulus!

Casualties were high as approximately 3000 of King Dingane’s Zulus were killed including two Zulu Princes competing with Prince Mpande for the Zulu Throne. Only Three Boers were slightly injured including there leader Pretorius.

 

 

Battle of Blood River

 

Battle of Blood River

Battle of Blood River

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 1: Battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal Tour (Anglo-Zulu)

 

 

We collect our clients from their accommodation at 8:30am (this pickup time depends on where clients accommodation is and will be confirmed). We’ll travel directly to our first stop, the Shaka Memorial in KwaDukuza. This is a 45min drive during which your guide will go over the itinerary for the upcoming tour, and give some detail into the history of South Africa, the Zulu’s and English as well as the Boers.

 

On arrival at the memorial we’ll enjoy a tour around the site with a local site guide. King Shaka’s story is a fascinating one and is relevant not only to the Anglo-Zulu war but also to South Africa today.

 

After our tour we’ll depart for our next stop, Fort Eshowe in the the oldest European town in Zululand, Eshowe. Here the British were besieged by the Zulu warriors for a period of 2 months. On route to this site we’ll also stop to explore a smaller but very important battle site at Gingindlovu.

 

We’ll spend approximately 60min at Fort Eshowe and thereafter depart for Isandlwana where we will have lunch. Feel free to bring a sandwich with you as it is a long day. 

On route to Isandlwana you guide will point out Mtonjaneni and uMgungundlovu.

Once settled in at the Rorkes Drift hotel it will be time for dinner. 

 

 

Day 2: Battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal Tour (Anglo-Zulu)

 

 

After breakfast (8am) we’ll depart for the first of today’s stop Isandlwana where this amazing Anglo-Zulu Battle will be explained to you in detail. After lunch we will head to Rorkes Drift to cover this great battle and this will cover our time for the day.

 

After our visit to Isandlwana and Rorkes Drift we’ll  depart for our overnight accommodation at Rorkes Drift Hotel.

 

 

Day 3: Battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal Tour (Anglo-Zulu)

 

 

After breakfast (8:30am) we’ll depart for Fugitive Drift. The story of Coghill and Melville’s dalant and ultimately futile dash to escape the battlefield of Isandlawana to safeguard the Queen’s Colours is a fascinating and tragic one. We’ll learn more about these men and their dash at the very spot they met their fates.

After the visit at Fugitives Drift we’ll travel to the Battle of Blood River and learn more about what happened here. 

After our tour, we’ll enjoy lunch at the site and then depart back for Durban.

We should arrive by 5pm.

 

Basic Itinerary:

  Day 1

 

  • Pick up at 8:30am.
  • First stop at the King Shaka Zulu memorial center for an opportunity to learn more about the Zulu people.
  • After this we will head to the Battlefield site of Gingindlovu.
  • Our next stop is the remain of Fort Eshowe where the British garrisoned their forces after the battle of isandlwana.
  • After Fort Eshowe we travel directly on towards Isandlwana, with your guide point out Mtonjaneni and uMgungundlovu.

Day 2

  • Full day spent exploring the battlefields of Isandlwana and Rorkes Drift.

Day 3

  • After breakfast and check out we head to Fugitives Drift some 20 min away and learn about the heroic ride of Lt Melville and Coghill.
  • We were travel on to the Battle of Blood River site and learn more about the happenings here.
  • Finally we return to Durban stopping along the route for lunch.
  • Arrival back in Durban at approx. 5pm.

 

 

3 Day – Battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal Overnight Tour with a Specialist Battlefield guide

Price – Based on a  minimum of 2 Clients R9000 per person sharing, Group Rates are available on request.

Solo Traveler rate: R13500

Included: Pick up and drop off at tour hotel in Durban and surrounding areas, Guide from start to finish, 2 nights accommodation, Dinners and breakfasts, entrances fees, Battlefield tours as described.

Please note: Lunch is not included in the price quoted. We do provide bottled mineral water.

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