Today’s tour update may seem a strange one. Yesterday I took two really nice visitors to the battlefields of Isandlwana and Rorkes Drift. This was a bucket lis trip for them and was really great to see how excited they were to visit. I really enjoy my visits out to the battlefields, I’m a huge history buff and South Africa’s history continues to excite me, especially the events leading up to and during the Anglo Zulu War.

Ian Knight at Rorkes Drift

Ian Knight at Rorkes Drift Taken from his Website

Meeting Ian Knight on the Isandlwana Battlefield

Now my love for Durban and Zululand history comes from a number of places. But it’s the written works of Donald R Morris (The Washing of the Spears) and Ian Knight (Zulu Rising; Voices From the Zulu Wars) that really stirred my interest.

Washing of the Spears by Donald R Morris

Washing of the Spears by Donald R Morris

Familiar Green Shirt

While I was on the Isandlwana battlefield I was watching a group of visitors listening to a chap in a very familiar green shirt. It was a little too far for me to make out exactly who it was, but that green shirt got got the little hairs on my arms standing up.

In alomst every picture of him (including those on his web site) as well as the few YouTube videos I’ve seen, Ian Knight has worn that distinctive green shirt. Yup, Ian Knight was on the Isandlwana battlefield!

I found a moment as my guests went off to study the monuments on the battlefield to walk over to Ian to introduce myself and let him know how much I valued his opinion. And I’m so glad I did, he is such a gentlemen, so humble and knowledgeable. I wont lie, this was quite a moment for me, a little bit a star-gazing! My only regret is I didn’t get a photo of him and I. Or his autograph on one of his books that I take regularly with me. Damn.

Chard and Bromhead portraid by Baker and Caine in the film "Zulu".

What do you mean you didn’t get his autograph!?

Day Tour to Rorkes Drift Battlefield

After my clients finished up at Isandlwana we headed over to Rorkes Drift which is about 20 min away. We enjoyed a picnic under the trees and then explored the battle site itself. I think for most people this is the highlite of the day. The majority of people I take out there have seen Zulu (if not once, a dozen times!) and there is defintely excitement in seeing the site depicted in Zulu!

Finally we departed for Durban. It is a long way from Durban, a 4 hour one way trip. With 4 hours spent on the battlefields and then 4 hours back to Durban, it’s a 12 hours day (sometimes 13 depending ont he traffic). But as my guests remarked when we finally got back to the hotel, worth every second!


If you are wanting to enjoy a guided tour to the battlefield sites of Isandlwana and Rorkes Drift, use the contact form below to get in touch and we’ll make all the necessary arrangements.

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Country and Coastal Touring

Country and Coastal Touring are registered tour guides and operators based in the city of Durban, South Africa. We offer a range of day tours, overnight tours and extended tours throughout KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa.