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Rorke’s Drift

The Rorke’s Drift battle came after the slaughter of the British at Isandhlwana Battlefields on the 20th January 1879. Exploring South Africa’s historic battlefields is a thought provoking but entertaining experience with great stories told over and over again.

A Zulu impi of around 4000 men armed with assegais and spears launched an attack on the Rorke’s Drift hospital while less than a 100 men tried to fight them off. Burning assegais were thrown onto the hospital roof, with the defenders scorched by their flaming red guns. Luckily British reinforcements arrived at dawn and the Zulu retreated leaving 8 wounded and 17 dead British and nearly 500 Zulus felled by the blazing guns.

Close to Rorkes Drift lies the Prince Imperials monument, the last of the Napoleons last resting place. The young prince, Eugene Louis Joseph Napoleon Bonaparte, received a military education in Britian and begged to prove his worth to his own people by fighting with the British in the Zulu wars.On the 1st June 1879, he was part of a six-man advance party who stopped for a coffee break on the banks of the Vumankala River. A surprise attack by 50 Zulus followed and the prince was unable to mount his horse successfully, hanging on for dear life to a saddlebag strap which eventually broke. Along with two others, he was stabbed to death with assegais.

Discover our Zulu Battlefields tour here