Kwa-Zulu Natal Battlefields

The Battlefields of Kwa-Zulu Natal are found from the picturesque hills and rock formations of the Drakensberg Mountains; to the shores of the Indian Ocean. Many historic battles happened between the Voortrekker and the Zulu; the British Army and the Zulu Nation; and also Anglo-Boer Wars.

Isandlwana, Rorke’s Drift, Spioenkop, Zulu wars, Shaka, Ladysmith, Dundee, Winston Churchill, Blood River are some of the terms which are associated with this internationally renowned area of South Africa.

Visiting the Battlefields should be well planned and researched. One should choose an era, war, or campaign and then select the sites you want to visit. Many of the battlefield sites have remained unchanged since the time of the battle and consequently have no facilities.

There are several self-drive routes to enable you to visit these historic towns and sites. Knowledgeable, friendly, and accredited local guides are available on an organized tour. They guarantee hour upon hour of captivating company.

Kwa-Zulu Natal Battlefields self-drive routes

King Shaka’s Way Route

Young King Shaka was an outcast from his tribe and forced to find a home for himself and his mother. He grew up to become a great warrior, chief, and finally King of the Zulus.

This area offers visitors magnificent beaches, world-class game reserves, and heritage sites; and is rich in culture and tradition. Areas include Stanger, Eshowe, Melmoth, and northwards to Ulundi.

The Remembrance Route

The Remembrance Route begins from Pietermaritzburg through Greytown, Tugela Ferry, Dundee, and onto the Ithala Game Reserve.

The British invaded Zululand in 1879. The Zulus attacked in a battle that lasted through the night at Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift.

This area has an incredibly rich Zulu culture.

Battlefields of Kwa-Zulu Natal
The historic Battlefields of Kwa-Zulu Natal are found from the picturesque hills and rock formations of the Drakensberg Mountains; to the shores of the Indian Ocean

Rifleman’s Road Route

1881 marked the first of the Anglo-Boer conflicts. The most humiliating of these battles was Majuba. The British lost 350 men, while the Boers only suffered 6 casualties! Among the British casualties was General Pomeroy Colley. His grave is found in the lonely cemetery at Mount Prospect.

You will encounter fabulous scenery, generous hospitality, and also tales of great courage and endurance that will enthrall you. Again and again. This route is from Volkrust in the northwest; down through Newcastle, Dundee, Ladysmith, Colenso, and Escourt.

Warrior’s Trek Route

The Voortrekkers were moving into the northern Natal area, headed by Piet Retief. They approached the Zulu King; King Dingane; for permission to settle on the land. A series of bloody encounters were to follow. The famous Battle of Blood River on 16th December 1838 was victorious for the 460 Voortrekkers who defeated a 15 000 strong Zulu army. A Voortrekker (Wagon) Laager, cast in bronze commemorates this battle.

From Ulundi through to Vryheid and on to Paulpietersburg and Ithala Game Reserve there is stunning scenery, warm mineral fountains, battlefields, game viewing, and culture galore.

In a remote part of this region the last of the Bonaparte dynasty; Louis Napoleon Prince Imperial of France; met his fate as he fought with valor. A monument between Isandlwana and Vryheid remembers his bravery.

Siege Salute Route

The Siege Salute Route has a high concentration of historical sites encompassing the Anglo-Boer War and several Voortrekker-Zulu War sites. Major towns along the route are Ladysmith, Colenso, Escourt, and Winterton; at Dundee, it merges with Red Soldier’s March.

Famous people such as Mahatma Gandhi, Winston Churchill, and Louis Botha have traversed this area.

Probably the most beautiful of this route is the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg World Heritage Site. The Siege Salute overflows with beautiful landscapes, wildlife, birdlife, and adventures.

Red Soldier’s March Route

At Fugitives Drift you will find the memorial to Lieutenants Melvill and Coghill. They in fact died in a gallant attempt to save the Queen’s colors of their regiment; earning the first posthumous Victoria Crosses in history.

From there you will have a view down into the Buffalo River Valley. This is where the survivors from Isandlwana struggled to cross the swollen river to reach Rorke’s Drift. Here you will find the Rorke’s Drift Battle Museum; with a magnificent model and audiovisual depictions to demonstrate the battles that were fought in the region. In fact, the museum has attracted worldwide attention for its outstanding displays of the Anglo-Zulu War.

At the center of this route; Dundee has a varied history; depicted in the Talana Museum set in a 20-acre heritage park; on the outskirts of the town.