2 Day Anglo / Zulu War Tour:
Durban to Durban
Day 1: Eshowe – Isandlawana Lodge
After breakfast we depart Durban and travel past lush green fields of sugarcane. We travel past the Ultimatum Tree (on the N2 Highway), which is the spot on the Tugela River where the Ultimatum, which precipitated the Anglo Zulu War of 1879, was delivered by the British to the Zulu's, and where the one of the British crossing points into Zululand was during their invasion of Zululand. The "Ultimatum Tree" has unfortunately died in the intervening years and we won’t visit its original site.
From here we travel to the Dlinza Forest Aerial Boardwalk in Eshowe. The boardwalk - the first in South Africa - is a 125m-walkway which takes visitors from the forest under-storey into its leafy canopy, giving a glimpse of life high above the forest floor - birds nesting and feeding, epiphytic orchids flowering in dappled light and giant trees competing for light and space. At the end of the walkway, we climb the 20m-high viewing tower which emerges above the canopy of trees. Here we have magnificent views over the forest and the countryside leading down to the coast.
We will also visit Fort Nonquai, situated on the outskirts of the town of Eshowe, which was built to serve as the headquarters of the Zululand Native Police. This small force was established in 1883 to serve as a bodyguard to the then Resident Commissioner Sir Melmoth Osborne. The small force, initially just 50 men, was known to the Zulus as nongqai and hence the fort was given the name Fort Nongqai.
The Zululand Native Police saw service in Zululand during the 1880’s, took part in the South Africa War (when its numbers rose to 600 men) and also the Bambatha Rebellion.
From Eshowe we make our way through rural Zululand to overnight at Isandlwana Lodge. Isandlwana Lodge is carved into the iNyoni rock overlooking the Isandlwana Battlefield, the site of the historic Anglo-Zulu war battle that took place on the 22nd of January, 1879. Today, the enigmatic mountain of Isandlwana nestles peacefully amongst the majestic beauty of the Zululand hills. In January 1879, however, it was the site of one of the most dramatic and enthralling events in the history of the Zulu Kingdom. This afternoon we take time to relax at the luxurious lodge.
Day 2: Isandlwana and Rorkes Drift
After breakfast we visit the museum and battlefield of Isandlwana, where on the 22nd January 1879 about 20-25,000 Zulus defeated the British, in what was to be Great Britain’s biggest defeat ever in her entire colonial history, at the Battle of Isandlwana. Over 1300 British and Allied officers and troops were killed in this battle, more so than in the Battle of Waterloo.
From Isandlwana we make our way to Rorkes Drift, where on that same fateful day a brave little garrison of 139 British soldiers held out all night against an immense Zulu attack, and in the process winning eleven Victoria Crosses for bravery, the most ever in a single battle in history.
After our visits to these two battlefields, we depart for Durban where we arrive in the late afternoon, dropping you off at your overnight accommodation or at the King Shaka International Airport in Durban.