Kwazulu Natal

About the Battlefields

Battlefields, Kwazulu Natal

Battlefields is a highlight visit for all the historians touring South Africa as it is the site of famous British, Boer and Zulu skirmishes that happened over 120 years ago. A guided tour is highly recommended to experience the full history of the area, however you also have the option to drive yourself with a good guidebook so you can slow down and admire the views of the area. For an even greater experience, there are horseback tours available in certain regions.

Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift are the two most famous battlefields in South Africa. At these sites the native Zulu forces armed only with traditional weapons attacked the British Colonial Empire forces in a battle that lasted over two-hours. This was one of the few times that the British forces were routed by an indigenous army.

The Spioenkop battlefield saw three world-known men at the time of the battle, namely Winston Churchill (war correspondent at the time), Mahatma Gandhi (stretcher bearer) and Louis Botha (first prime minister of the Union of South Africa).

If you visit at the right time of the year, you may be able to watch a re-enactment of some of the famous battles, which can be compared to American Civil War re-enactments of the New World. Local food, music and other activities are often available at these re-enactment events.

There were multiple forts established by the British, however many of these have disappeared over the years. A few remain as museums, such as Fort Durnford near Estcourt. Other worthwhile historical sites include Elandslaagte, the Blood River Monument and Talana Museum.

If historic events are not quite your cup of tea, why not visit the Ntingwe Tea Estate that sells its teas to the famous London Store, Harrods. Tours of the estate allow you to see the mountain top tea plantation, factory and you can meet some of the tea pickers. Or visit some of the excellent game reserves with their luxury lodges to have your fill of game viewing and bird watching.

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