Zulu wars, Shaka, Isandlwana, Rorke's Drift, Colenso, Spioenkop, Ladysmith, Dundee, Churchill, Blood River, Cetshwayo, Boers ... these are some of the terms which are associated with the internationally renowned KwaZulu-Natal Battlefields area of South Africa.
Walk in the footsteps of famous military strategists - Shaka, Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi and General Louis Botha - they were all part of the KwaZulu-Natal Battlefields. The wind sighs and whispers the secrets and sorrows of great battles, made visible by lone forts and small graveyards on these undulating landscapes ringed with rocky outcrops.
The legacy of our Zulu Kingdom's critical, blood-soaked conflicts today lives peacefully - reconciled in this fascinating region's myriad Battlefield sites, historic towns, national monuments and museums - and in HQs of the British regiments who make a 'pilgrimage' to these fields of bravery and supreme sacrifice.
Why leave all of this to the imagination? Knowledgeable guides will accompany you on tours of the Battlefields, talking you through each battle, debating the strategies used, the numbers who perished and the medals and rewards won by the brave.
If these legends inspire your adventurous spirit, there are more pleasurable ways of assuaging it than in battle. White- water rafting down the rapids of the mighty Thukela, sailing on the Chelmsford Dam, and hunting in the designated hunting reserves - this region offers you all of these pursuits.
Consummate shoppers will always find a way to practice their skill at tracking down a good bargain, and this area provides the opportunity at any of the large number of factory outlets selling everything from blown glass to pork sausages and baby products. The KwaZulu-Natal Battlefields - Legends of the Zulu Kingdom
If you are interested in touring this fascinating KwaZulu-Natal Battlefields, please make use of the menu below and links to the main towns in this destination. Please also note that there are a number of other KwaZulu-Natal towns which fall outside the core of the KwaZulu-Natal Battlefields area or experience - these include the Zululand towns of Paulpietersburg, Vryheid, Ulundi and Eshowe; the Elephant Coast of Mkuze; the area around the Thukela Mouth on the North Coast of KwaZulu-Natal, and in the city of Durban. Please visit these destination sites for information or search our interactive database. A link to lisit of the core KwaZulu-Natal Battlefields sites is also provided below.
If you would like to receive a brochure on the Battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal, please send an email requesting one to email@example.com
For complete details on the Battlefields Region including a map of the Region, details of the Registered Guides that Service the Region contact:
A Brief Introduction to the Battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal
The History of the KwaZulu-Natal Battlefields: Leopard-Skin, Khaki and Redcoat
Some of the most important KwaZulu-Natal Battlefield sites
The Battle of Isandlwana
The Battle of Rorke's Drift
The Battle of Spionkop (Spioenkop)
Helpful Hints to Remember When Visiting Battlefields
On the banks of the Thukela River and surrounded by the Drakensberg foothills, Colenso was known as Commando Drift before being renamed in honour of the first Bishop of Natal. John William Colenso was a missionary who translated the New Testament into Zulu...earning the title Sobantu - Father of the People. African life can be observed here in an undisturbed natural state, unspoiled by any form of commercialisation.
A small, picturesque town in the Battlefields area of KwaZulu-Natal, known for its coal.
Dundee & Surrounds
Nestling in a valley of the Biggarsberg mountains, Dundee was originally a farm owned by Peter Smith, who in 1882 named it after his Scottish hometown. Dundee is surrounded by evocatively-titled peaks - Indumeni (where the thunder rolls), Mpati (place of good waters) and Talana (shelf for precious items) rich coal deposits attracted merchants and fortune hunters.
Estcourt & Surrounds
Originally known as Bushman's River on account of its waterside location, the picturesque town of Estcourt was renamed after the MP for North Wiltshire who sponsored British settlers under the Byrne immigration scheme.
Estcourt is a gateway to the imposing Giant's Castle region of the central Drakensberg range and the KwaZulu-Natal Battlefields.
Named after a valley in Argyleshire by Scottish settlers during the late 1800s, Glencoe has a proud railway history the first train arriving on 4 September 1889.
General French was periodically stationed at Glencoe during the Anglo-Boer War, and Boer President Paul Kruger twice stayed overnight during the Siege of Ladysmith.
The house of Carl Landman - second in command at the Battle of Blood River can - be found on a farm close to Glencoe.
Ladysmith & Surrounds
This town on the banks of the Klip River - proclaimed in 1850 - was named after the Spanish wife of Sir Harry Smith. It became a prosperous staging- post for fortune-hunters en route to the Transvaal gold-fields and diamond discoveries at Kimberley.
Ladysmith made world headlines at the turn of the century when it was besieged for 118 days during the most crucial stage of the Anglo-Boer War. Today a commercial centre for surrounding communities, the town is a natural gateway to the tourist delights of the Central and Northern reaches of the Drakensberg range. Snowcapped peaks during winter form a breathtaking backdrop.
Originally known as Post Halt Two on the journey between Port Natal-Durban and the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek (Transvaal), the town was referred to as Viljoensdorp by the Boers during their brief occupation in 1899. At the junction of three provinces, this 'natural' destination and departure point for travellers is now the largest town in northern KwaZulu- Natal...with all the amenities and advantages of city life a mere ten minutes' drive from scenic, pristine mountain countryside.
Newcastle was named after the Earl of Newcastle who was, in 1864, the Colonial Secretary in Queen Victoria's Government. The township was set out by Dr Sutherland who later became the Surveyor General of Natal.
This cosmopolitan character is celebrated annually over the first week in September - with the International Village Festival.
Nestling in a corner of the Balele mountains, the little town of Utrecht is one of the five original Voortrekker settlements established prior to 1850. Nestling in a corner of the Balele mountains, this Utrecht is one of the five original Voortrekker settlements established prior to 1850.
Utrecht was prominent during the Anglo- Zulu War of 1879, when for several weeks it served as British HQ for both Commander-in-Chief Lord Chelmsford and Colonel Evelyn Woods' famous 'Flying Column'. The house in which Prince Louis Napoleon is said to have visited the daughter of Swart Dirk Uys is today an important tourist attraction.
Utrecht is uniquely situated within a game park - animals roam into town at night! For more information on the KwaZulu-Natal town of Utrecht please refer to the following menu of registered KwaZulu-Natal tourism services.
Weenen was established in 1838 on the banks of the Bushman's River and named 'The Place of Weeping' in memory of Zulu-massacred Voortrekkers. Weenen is today a fascinating mix of history and eco/cultural-tourism...plus a myriad opportunities for daredevil thrill - seekers in this aptly-named Adventure Valley.
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KwaZulu-Natal or the Zulu Kingdom has eight destinations guaranteed to provide you with memorable and unique experiences!