5 Day Anglo Zulu War and Wildlife Safari:
Durban to Durban
Day 1: Eshowe – Isandlwana Lodge
After breakfast we collect you from your overnight accommodation in Durban or from the King Shaka International Airport and travel past lush green fields of sugarcane and 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 British crossing point into Zululand in the south 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. 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 can climb the 20m-high viewing tower which emerges above the canopy of trees and has 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 the Bambatha Rebellion.
From here we make our way 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. Take time to relax at the luxurious Lodge.
Day 2: Isandlwana / Rorke's Drift
(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
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.
We return to the lodge in the late afternoon for some much needed rest and reflection.
Day 3 – Nambiti Private Game Reserve
(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
This morning after breakfast we travel to Dundee where we visit the Talana Museum, nestled at the base of Talana Hill in Dundee. The Zulu name "Talana" meaning "the shelf where precious items are stored" is a most appropriate name for this large and varied museum. The museum comprises 17 buildings, dedicated to subjects as diverse as war and agriculture, mining, industry and domestic life. Started in 1979 to commemorate the Anglo Zulu war, the small collection moved to the present site at the beginning of 1983. The Smith cottage provides an evocative picture of the lives of the hardy pioneer farmers. The displays of weapons, uniforms, photographs and artefacts dramatically depict the conflict between the Zulu, Boer and Brit, as well as an insight into the Bushmen, the earliest settlers of the region. Glass has been manufactured in this valley since the end of the 19th century. Although the factory no longer exists, the museum is home to a magnificent collection of glass from around the world and South Africa. Dundee became the heart of the richest coal producing area in the country. Nicknamed "Coalopolis" the town expanded rapidly and the reconstructed town square and some of the shops, vividly recalls these times.
A superb collection of beadwork depicting the cultures of the many different African groups and the use of beads in all Indian and western cultures in South Africa may be viewed in the Bead Gallery. Today the museum has four extensive coal exhibits depicting the many aspects of coal mining in this area and preserving the proud and unique heritage of our mining history.
From here we head to the extraordinarily beautiful and geographically diverse Nambiti Private Game Reserve, home to elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo and rhino as well as over 30 other animal species. It is also rich in birdlife and indigenous flora. Extremely knowledgeable guides and trackers will plan a personal safari that takes into account your particular interests and requirements.
Please note that there are nine lodges to choose from, and lodges will be chosen in conjunction with your input.
Over a late afternoon tea, our ranger will discuss what you hope to see during the afternoon game drive. This game begins in the late afternoon and lasts until after dark, when spotlights are used for a glimpse into the nocturnal bush life. Listen to lions roar in the dark or admire the small nocturnal animals. Enjoy sundowners in a scenic location as the sun slowly sinks beneath the horizon.
A mouthwatering dinner is waiting for you at your lodge's boma or in a surprising bush location.
Day 5 – Nambiti Private Game Reserve
(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Today we follow the lodge programme, which usually includes a morning game drive, breakfast, sometimes a guided walk (which is optional), lunch, afternoon tea followed by the evening game drive and dinner. Game viewing here is very good, and generally close up sightings of their animals are usually experienced.
Day 4 – Nambiti Private Game Reserve - Durban
After our morning game drive and breakfast in this very productive private game reserve, we leave and head for Durban, arriving in the early afternoon. To relieve the excesses of the past few days, we will visit the Durban Botanic Gardens. The Durban Botanic Gardens traces its origins to colonial times, when it was founded in 1849 for the introduction and trial of potentially useful commercial crops. The gardens later developed collections of sub-tropical trees, palms and orchids. The Durban Botanic Gardens remains a classic botanic garden, reflecting the universality of the plant kingdom. It has, for over 100 years, had a fine mixed arboretum of African, Asian and American trees.
After our visit here we will drop you off at your overnight accommodation or at the King Shaka International Airport in time for your return flight.