The KwaZulu-Natal Battlefields Tour is very popular amongst visitors captivated by South Africa's turbulent military history.
Guests are met at any location of their choice in Johannesburg or Pretoria from where the tour travels to northern KwaZulu-Natal. Numerous battles were fought in this area during the 18th and 19th centuries, primarily between the Boers, Zulus and Brits. Upon reaching the overnight destination of Dundee, some time is allowed for freshening up before we visit the Talana Museum. The museum is set at the foot of a hill that bears the same name and is home to thousands of documents and artifacts relating to the Anglo-Zulu and Anglo-Boer wars.
On this day of the KwaZulu-Natal Battlefields Tour, we visit the battlefields of Talana and Blood River. The Battle of Talana was fought during the Anglo-Boer War between British and Boer forces. It is the first major conflict in modern warfare supported by long range artillery. A visit to Talana is followed by lunch, after which the tour makes its way to Blood River.The Blood River Monument is a tribute to the battle of Blood River in 1838. The granite Jaw-bone Monument and bronze wagon laager were built on the site of the original clash. It consists of 64 replica Voortrekker wagons cast in bronze, which commemorate the most famous battle fought between Boer and Zulu forces. We also visit the Ncome Museum, built in the shape of a Zulu war horn formation. The museum offers a re-interpretation of the 1838 battle and the Zulu culture in general.
The two most famous battles of the Anglo-Zulu war are the focus of this day as we visit Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift. On 22 January 1879, some 22 000 Zulu warriors defeated a contingent of approximately 1 350 British and native troops at Isandlwana. The force was largely wiped out by the Zulus under Cetshwayo and the battle remains the single greatest defeat for the British Army at the hands of a native force. Rorke's Drift is the site where 139 British soldiers successfully defended their garrison against an intense assault by four to five thousand Zulu warriors. Rorke's Drift goes down in the annals of warfare as one of the finest battle defenses in history.
From Dundee, we make our way to Ladysmith, where a stop is made at the Siege Museum, considered to be one of the most comprehensive Anglo-Boer War museums in the country. It had its humble beginning as a vegetable market store in 1884, and today it houses one of the greatest collections of artifacts from the Siege of Ladysmith and the Anglo-Boer War of 1899 - 1902. From Ladysmith, the tour makes its way to the Drakensberg mountain range, named by the early Dutch Settlers for its resemblance to the ridges of a dragon's back. The steep ridges of the mountains were formed by headwater erosion of rivers, which separate South Africa's highveld plateau from the coastal lowlands.
A morning spent at leisure enjoying the mountain scenery is followed by the return journey to Johannesburg, where guests are assisted with check in at the airport. Alternatively, guests can be transferred to any location of their choice in either Johannesburg or Pretoria after a memorable tour of KwaZulu-Natal's battlefields.
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