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KwaZulu Natal Holidays Tours South Africa Battlefields Durban Safari

South Africa: Zulu Battlefields Rorkes Drift + Boer War


SPD12D
12 NIGHTS
FROM £3,495
Per person sharing
International flights quoted separately
Explore the battlefields in depth on this privately guided South Africa tour, visiting the famous Zulu Battlefields at Rorkes Drift & Isandlwana with your own expert battlefields guide. Visit the Valley of the Kings & Blood River, as well as important Anglo Boer War sites at Spion Kop, Frere, Colenso & Ladysmith. Afterwards enjoy a thrilling Big Five safari at Nambiti. This holiday can be tailor made to your exact requirements.
South Africa Zulu Battlefields Rorkes Drift Isandlwana Spion Kop Boer War
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Zulu Battlefields
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Valley of the Kings
• 
Blood River
• 
Isandlwana Tour
• 
Rorkes Drift Tour
• 
Boer War Battlefields
• 
Colenso, Ladysmith & Frere
• 
Spion Kop Tour
• 
Big Five Safari
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South Africa
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Zulu Battlefields
• 
Valley of the Kings
• 
Blood River
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Isandlwana Tour
• 
Rorkes Drift Tour
• 
Boer War Battlefields
• 
Colenso, Ladysmith & Frere
• 
Spion Kop Tour
• 
Big Five Safari
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South Africa
Day 1
You will be met at Durban Airport and transferred to the warm North Coast, renowned for its wonderful beaches and excellent holiday weather.
  
Check into your hotel and relax on the shores of the warm Indian Ocean.
Day 2
After a background briefing, your guide will share with you the beauty of rural Zululand and brief you on its history, as you drive 5-hours to the remote battlefields at Isandlwana.
  
Our first stop is at the old white Fort Nongqayi near Eshowe, built by the British in 1883 to garrison a Zulu peace keeping force. Here there is an interesting museum.
 
We continue to the Zulu heartland of eMakhosini near Ulundi - the Valley of the Kings that was the birth place of King Shaka. The graves and royal capitals of seven Zulu Kings lie in this valley.
 
Afterwards we drive to our Zulu Battlefields lodge, following the Zulu army's line of advance to Isandlwana. Check in and enjoy dinner, whilst absorbing some of the fascinating history of this great conflict between Britain and the proud Zulu Kingdom.
Day 3
Today we travel to the battlefield at Blood River where the early Boer Voortrekkers won a defining battle against the Zulus as they fought for the right to establish a homeland south of the Thukela River. The loss of life here was so great that the river ran red with blood. This day is still celebrated as a national holiday - but is now called the Day of Reconciliation.
 
We leave Blood River for the banks of the Itshotshozi River, where the Napoleonic dynasty came to an end when the Price Imperial, Louis Napoleon, was killed by the Zulus on 1 June 1879.
 
After lunch we visit the Mangeni Gorge to follow in the footsteps of Lord Chelmsford on the day of the Battle of Isandlwana, and learn more about the poor military decisions made on that fateful day.
Day 4
Today enjoy a full day exploring the poignant Zulu Battlefields.
 
After an updated briefing, your guide will recount the events leading up to the fateful battle of Isandlwana, where in 1879 the mighty British army suffered one of the most humiliating defeats in its history following the controversial invasion of Zululand. See for yourself the events portrayed so passionately in the film Zulu Dawn, as the regiment was wiped out almost to a man by 20,000 Zulu warriors.
 
After returning to your lodge for lunch, we visit the famous mission station at Rorkes Drift where later that day a handful of British soldiers (outnumbered 30-to-1) fought off over 4,000 Zulu warriors for almost 12 hours. This battle - unforgettably brought to life by Michael Caine in the film Zulu -  saw 11 Victoria Crosses awarded, which is more than in any other engagement in the history of the British Empire.
 
We continue to Fugitives Drift where two young officers attempted to carry the Queen's colour to safety, before returning to our lodge.
 
Recommended Reading:
The Day of the Dead Moon - David Rattray
Brave Men’s Blood – Ian Knight
Day 5
Today we travel 4-hours from Zululand to the South African War Battlefields in the beautiful Natal Midlands. The Anglo Boer War of 1899 started shortly after the conquest of Zululand, as the British Empire turned its attentions to the lucrative Transvaal goldfields.
 
We follow the Boer line of advance, stopping at the Talana Hill battlefield and museum, where the first battle of the South African War took place and where khaki was worn for the first time.
 
We continue via Elandslaagte to Ladysmith, which was besieged for 118 days by the boers. Here we can visit the small Siege Museum (open on weekdays & Saturday am). On Christmas Day 1899, the boers fired a carrier shell without a fuse into the town containing a Christmas pudding, two Union Flags and the message "Compliments of the Season". This shell is still kept in the museum.
 
We check into our lodge near Spion Kop, with distant views of the dramatic Drakensberg Mountains.
Day 6
We begin the day by calling at Frere, site of the British camp and the Churchill capture site. We continue to follow the fortunes of the Boer raiding party as far as Willow Grange, where the final offensive battle of the war (from the Boers’ perspective) was fought.
 
After a short visit to Fort Durnford, we visit Colenso where the third and final battle was fought during the 'Black Week' of December 1899.  Inadequate preparation and reconnaissance, and uninspired leadership, led to a heavy and humiliating British defeat. Here we visit the site of the 'Saving of the Guns'.
Day 7
This morning enjoy a guided tour to the Spion Kop Battlefield.
 
We drive 40-minutes through stunning scenery to the place where one of the bloodiest battles of the South African War (Anglo Boer War) of 1900 took place in efforts to relieve Ladysmith, which was besieged for 118 days. Visit the mass graves atop Spion Kop hill and see for yourself how poor military decisions affected the outcome of this battle.
 
Incredibly three future world leaders were in the area at the time this battle took place - Winston Churchill as a young newspaper correspondent, the future Mahatma Gandhi as a stretcher bearer, and Louis Botha as the Boer general who would go on to become the first Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa.
 
Recommended Reading:
Boer War – Thomas Pakenham
Day 8
This morning transfer 1-hour through the rolling hills of the Natal Midlands and Ladysmith, to the malaria-free Nambiti Game Reserve.
 
Check into your Big Five safari lodge and enjoy a thrilling afternoon open-top game drive with your lodge ranger.
Day 9
Rise early when game viewing conditions are at their best, for an open-top game drive with a lodge ranger in Nambiti Game Reserve.
 
With a mixed vegetation of savanna grasslands, indigenous trees and bushveld, this wildlife conservation area is home to all the Big Five, as well as offering an ideal habitat for a large variety of plains game and abundant bird life. Although leopard are rarely seen, this reserve offers excellent opportunities to spot the endangered cheetah. Return to the lodge for lunch and some relaxation, before returning to the bushveld in the late afternoon for another exciting game drive.
 
Note: Children < 2 years are not allowed on open top game drives, with higher age limits applicable at certain lodges.
Day 10
After a final early morning safari in Nambiti Game Reserve, transfer 3-hours to your hotel on the North Coast of KwaZulu Natal, renowned for its wonderful beaches and reliably warm weather all year round.
 
Check in and relax in your lush sub-tropical surroundings on the shores of the Indian Ocean.
Days 11 To 12
At leisure to relax on the warm golden beaches of the Durban North Coast.
 
Many optional activities are available such as a marine cruise to search for dolphins, turtles, sharks, whales (in season) and other fascinating sea life. Championship golf, horse riding and deep sea game fishing are also available.
Day 13
Transfer to Durban Airport for your flight home.
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