Battlefield Tours have become rooted in Northern KZN due to railroads, coal and lust for land, amongst other reasons. Ironically, the evils of the past have built a vibrant tourism economy. This lush, green Natal belt spread a table for kings and presidents only to become the flashpoint of conflict between Brit, Boer and Zulu. Once divided into Zululand and Natal by the Buffalo River and the curse of war, the blend of all races took renewed aim at reconciliation and concluded with KwaZulu-Natal.
25 000 Zulu impi is enough to shock the living daylights out of anyone whether in red coat, khaki or without uniform. It so happened that this battle proved to be both sensational and prophetic. Those red soldiers fell like stones - now white stones mark their fall - King Cetswayo informed Queen Victoria, "Our army is as numerous as the ants of the earth and we will eat up your red coats." Daylight vacated the battlefield as the sun turned black during a 90% eclipse of the sun. With the sphinx badge on their heads and with their backs to the sphinx mountain, the hill in front turned black with Zulus, and moments later, just after the top of the hour, the British had their worst hour, having experienced the worst military defeat on African soil or for all time?
Come and see a re-enactment of Isandlwana
Defense of Rorke's Drift
Despite a huge effort by a red coat remnant against a much larger Zulu force, the aftermath still spells a cover-up for the Isandlwana disaster. Regardless of our persuasions the events of 1879 have perplexed military minds and have inspired the writing of many books. With heroes like Williams and Hook amongst the 11 V.C.'s we tourists can discover and absorb how bravery is earned and learned - only in the school of hard knocks - going through the fire - and for hours without water - behind the shield of 'destitute and done' - if the Zulus had known what the red coats knew concerning their diminishing ammunition behind a 45 min. preparation of a mealie bag and biscuit box defense - well the Zulus would not have retired, but would have fired and even destroyed the mealie bag redoubt. What if… The fact remains that the Zulus met Chelmsford on their return to Ulundi and greeted one another a 100 yards away. If we make friends in the end, why do we fight in the first place? After a day in the field of action we encourage you to reach your own conclusion.
Hear the horrors of the rapids and brave escapades of those who got to the other side and of those who did not quite make it. Wassle gets the only V.C., the Queen's Colours get found, but the bodies of Melville and Coghill also get found - it is an extraordinary affair for men like Smith-Dorien and Henry Harford. Hear the rest at the river.
When those 'white houses' walked down the mountain, Dingaan remembered the dieing words of Shaka, the brother who he had killed. Hear how a handful of fearless Voortrekkers in a wagon laager defend themselves against impossible odds. Was it luck or favour or fate on the Boer side. Make up your own mind after you have heard the Boer story and then the Zulu story. We warn you that depending on the day the Zulu account could differ.
Discover how hidden treasure in the mountain caused a fight that could never be won. Thus began the first battle of the Anglo-Boer War.