Country & Coastal Touring

Day Tour to Isandlwana and Rorkes Drift

A few days ago I was booked for a day tour to Isandwlana and Rorkes Drift. Lately we’ve had some extraordinarily warn weather, the temperature at Isandlwana reached 40 degrees Celsius (104 F). And although this is hotter than usual, the British would have had a similar heat during the Anglo Zulu war campaign!

The site of Durnford's Last Stand with Isandlwana in the background
The site of Durnford’s Last Stand with Isandlwana in the background

Day Tour to Isandlwana and Rorkes Drift

I picked up my English clients from their accommodation and we headed along the coast towards the Eshowe turnoff. This route along the N2 is not too far away from the route the coastal column would have taken on the way to Zululand.

We crossed the uThukela River in short order, pausing here long enough for me to point out the Ultimatum Tree and Fort Pearson; this was the position at which the British entered into Zululand.

From here it up to Eshowe, stopping long the way at the site of the Battle of Gingindlovu and Nyzane before crsting into Ehsowe and onto Meltmouth, Bambanango and finally Isandlwana.

View from Zulu Positions over British Positions at Isandlwana
View from Zulu Positions over British Positions at Isandlwana

History of the Zulu people, The Boers and the English in South Africa

Of course along the way I kept up a steady pace of chatting about the history of the Zulu people, the Boers and of course the English; the three forces that made up the Anglo Zulu War conflict.

At Isandlwana I was really impressed my English clients were coping with the weather as well as they were. I definitely reminded them that the British soldiers of the the time would have had similar conditions, only they would have marched to Isandlwana and not driven in an air-conditioned vehicle!

We explained about the actions of the Zulu’s and British on the day of the battle and after we all explored the battlefield for a short while. I overheard one of my clients remark to his colleague that just walking on the battlefield gave him “goosebumps”; this is something I experience regardless of how many times I venture out here.

The view from Blacks Koppie Over Fugitive's Route and Shiyane (Rorkes Drift)
The view from Blacks Koppie Over Fugitive’s Route and Shiyane (Rorkes Drift)

Rorkes Drift

We headed off to Rorkes Drift for a spot of lunch and of course to explore “KwaJimu’s” as the Zulu’s referred to the area. Rorkes Drift was named after Jim Rorke who had a trading store and ironically became good friends with the local Zulu chief Sihayo KaXonga who was to later give Frere and Shepstone the excuse they were looking for to deliver the famous Ultimatum to the British.

We explored the battlefield of Rorkes Drift as I once again explained about the battle, pointing out positions and of course relating some interesting tales of the men who were present.

Finally though it was time to depart and head back to Durban. The drive to the battlefields is 4 hours (and of course 4 hours back) but it went by really quickly as we all chatted in the vehicle about the events of the day.

The Zulu Monument at Isandlwana.
The Zulu Monument at Isandlwana.

Booking a Tour to Isandlwana and Rorkes Drift

I you would like more information about this tour, or any of the other tours we offer, simply send us an email and we’ll get back to you.