KwaZulu Natal province has the largest concentration of battlefields and some of the most fascinating are the Isandlwana Battlefields. In 1870 the Battle of Isandlwana took place between Zulu and British armies, and here the British Army suffered their biggest defeat in the Victorian era.
In sight of the majestic Drakensburg Mountains, this battle was part of the Anglo-Zulu war over territory between the British and the Zulus. The battle took place in the shadow of Isandlwana Mountain, and occurred when an army of 25,000 Zulu warriors attacked a camp of Europeans and Africans in British service, and 1,300 people on the British side died, whilst 1,000 Zulus died.
Today, the battlefield looks like an ordinary area of plains, but with a guide and some careful trekking, the battle can be followed step by step as it occurred, and the history of the place will seem to come alive before your eyes as you find out about the historic events that led to the loss of Zulu independence.
Other battles that famously took place in the area around this specific battlefield were part of the First Anglo-Boer War and the Anglo Boer War, and these can be learnt about as well.
With the striking views around you and some first class accommodation, this is an exciting and educational way to learn more about the country’s history, and to discover what it took to get the country we see today. Well put together museums help document all these events and this trip into the past will fascinate anyone and make you appreciate the peaceful landscape even more.
To make the past come to life even more, the Dundee Die-Hards are a team that come together to re-enact the events of the Battle of Talana, the first of the Anglo-Boer War. Wearing traditional outfits with members from both sides of the argument, this group of 24 are the country’s only permanent battle re-enactment team… well worth a look!
Another good educational visit is the Lesedi Culture Village of Gauteng – and does exactly what the title says! Otherwise, why not tour the Cape countryside enjoying the country’s finest wines.
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