KwaZulu-Natal Tour… pt3
Our third day on tour was dedicated to the events that happened on the 22nd January 1879; the Battle at Isandlwana and the defense of Rorkes Drift.
Right after a fantastic breakfast we picked up our specialist guide for the day, Duncan and headed towards Isandlwana in the distance. Along the way we all chatted about the background the Anglo Zulu War, as we as discussed some of the events that directly lead to the Ultimatum issed by the British.
What made it really interesting for us was that Duncan lived in the area, and had come really interesting insights to how the Zulu’s felt about the battle back then as well as today. He was also able to chat to us a bit about day-to-day life in this remote area.
We spent the morning at Isandlwana and I was really sorry to leave. It’s really something to stand at the very place men fought and died at, a place totally untouched today as it was then. Kinda brings a lump to the throat quite honestly. There are a number of rocks scattered about that are painted white which indicate a spot where someone fell in battle, it’s heart-wrenching to see how many of them there are!
I am pleased to see how well kept the sites are every time I visit, it’s speaks volumes to both Zulu, British and Boer respect for the past.
After stopping back at the hotel for some lunch, we headed back out again to Rorkes Drift just 10 minutes away from the hotel. It’s here that about 150 British solders, some wounded, managed to fight off an attack by some 3,000 Zulu warriors; and amazing still to think that 11 Victoria Crosses were won in this single event!
Today Rorkes Drift has a museum as is well tended too and looked after. We walked around the building that served as the field hospital where much of the fighting took place, and I have to admit I got shivers when going through.
We finished our day at about 3pm, it was perfect timing since we were getting a little cold by now and tired. We thanked our guide Duncan for his time and headed back to the hotel, having a quick drink at the bar before going to our rooms for “40 winks” (for me it may have been a little longer).
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