The Tales of the KwaZulu Natal BattlefieldsBy
For almost the entire of the nineteenth century, several of the bloodiest struggles known to man were conducted among Zulu, Briton and Boer for the control of the land and sovereignty. Most of these were concentrated in an immense battleground that stretches from the Drakensberg Mountains, north to Volksrust and east into Zululand, embracing plains of exceptional natural beauty that offer considerably more than simply just renowned battlefield locations to the guest.
It is really difficult to comprehend that this scenic and now tranquil land once rang with the brutal conflict. Instead, the hills, valleys and ridges now echo with the call of wildlife, an amazing array of birdlife or are just breathtakingly peaceful, making it possible for visitors to take in the undeniable ambiance.
From simple, secure camp sites to exclusive private game ranches, lodging is on the market to fulfill every taste, standard and budget, as well as several activities as wide as the plains for which the area is well known. White water rafting, mountain biking, abseiling, 4×4 trails, horse riding and hiking are some of the possible choices available to the more adventurous, whereas those trying to find other pastimes can indulge in a game of golf at numerous 9 and 18-hole courses, casino thrills or the chance to check out their fishing skills.
The rugged beauty of the landscape is marked with reminders of the violent history, particularly haunting memorials on the plains of Isandlwana, where the Zulu army demolished over 1,000 British soldiers, gravestones at Fort Pearson and the monument at Spion Kop, without doubt one of the most violent conflicts of the Anglo-Boer War.
The site of the well known Battle of Blood River involving Voortrekker and Zulu is home to the Ncome Museum, where the historical past of the Zulu people is documented. The museum and authentic laager reconstruction memorial provide a fascinating alternative interpretation of the battle, in both their accounts recorded and in the style by which they commemorate those who fought here. The site of the Battle of Rorke’s Drift among the British and Zulu is much the same since that bloody encounter with stone walls erected to defend the British still largely intact.
Lots of monuments and well-preserved artifacts give a superb backdrop to an area where re-enactments of the Colonial-era wars involving British troops and Zulu warriors, make it easy for present day tourists to discover the bloody dramas with practically frightening reality. Trained guides bring their own personal touch in terms of detail, emotion and anecdotal interest to the battles in contrast to the nearly always stark visual landscape.