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 Battlefield Tour – April/May 2004

We are considering arranging a trip to South Africa to visit the Anglo Zulu War sites in April/May 2004.

This will be starting at Heathrow in London. There will then be a connection flight from Johannesburg to Durban. Pick up from the airport and taken to the first overnight stay at The Oyster Box Hotel. If you don't fancy the idea of eating a superb meal on a veranda overlooking the Indian Ocean, we could arrange an alternative.

The arrangements are made by the South African historians Ron Lock and Peter Quantrill who have extensive knowledge on the subject and will be responsible for conducting the tours. Ron and Peter have recently published “Zulu Victory – The Epic Battle of Isandlwana and the Cover-up” and have a great deal of experience of the South African battlefields.

Details are listed below. Please send full contact details to [email protected] or call +44 (0)1992 583584 to arrange your place!

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Tuesday 27th April 2004

Fly out from London Heathrow in the evening with an overnight flight to Johannesburg. Connecting flight to Durban.

Day 1 - Wednesday 28th

You will be met on arrival at Durban Airport and transported to Umhlanga Rocks. Overnight stay at the Oyster Box Hotel, which overlooks the Indian Ocean at Umhlanga Rocks.

The Oyster Box Hotel

Isandlwana Lodge

Day 2 – Thursday 29th

Follow route of No. 3 Column via Pietermaritzburg, Greytown and Tugela Valley. Sites of Fort Bengough and Helpmekaar. Overnight Isandlwana Lodge. A first class hotel with rooms overlooking Isandlwana. Horse riding is available.

Day 3 – Friday 30th

Site of the Battle of Isandhlwana, Mandani Falls. Follow the route of Lord Chelmsford's column on the day of the battle, into Magogo Hills and his breakfast picnic site. Visit iTusi where Raw and Roberts encountered the Zulu army. View the Mgwebeni Valley, the site of the Zulu bivouac. Overnight at Isibindi Lodge (game reserve).

The view over the Isandlwana battlefield

Monument and graves of Melvill and Coghill

Day 4 – Saturday 1st May

Another chance to visit Isandhlwana. Walk the Fugitives' Trail part way. Afternoon visit to Melvill and Coghill's grave above the Buffalo River and walk down to the Fugitives' Drift. Afternoon, the battle of Rorke's Drift. Overnight stay at Isibindi Lodge.

Day 5 – Sunday 2nd

Visit the Talana Museum at Dundee with its Zulu War relics. Then to Blood River and the famous Vortrekker battle site. Visit to the Zulu museum across the river. Finally the Battle of Ntombi River where a convoy of the 80th. Regiment was wiped out in a dawn attack. Overnight Villa Prince Imperial, Vryheid or Strathcona Lodge, depending on numbers.

Blood River monument

Site of final redoubt and present day church at Rorke's Drift

Day 6 – Monday 3rd

Battle of Hlobane. The tour includes the hire of a horse for everyone. The horses are well trained and of good temperament. Each horse is accompanied by a groom who will lead the horse and rider if required. The plan will be to ascend the eastern end of the mountain, following Buller’s route, visit the graves of Campbell and Lloyd, cross the plateau to Devil’s Pass. We then return by the same route to the vehicle and go to the site of the massacre of Weatherly’s Border Horse. A full day in magnificent country. Overnight Villa Prince Imperial, Vryheid or Strathcona Lodge.

Day 7 – Tuesday 4th

Early morning game drive. Battle of Kambula. The site has hardly changed since Col. Evelyn Wood's column broke the power of the Zulu army in March 1879. An icon battle set in panoramic terrain. Overnight at Villa Prince Imperial, Vryheid or Strathcona Lodge.

James Rorke's grave at Rorke's Drift

Monument at Ulundi

Day 8 – Wednesday 5th

Travel across country to the site of the Prince Imperial's death and the memorial. Then onto uMgungundhlova partly reconstructed capital of Dingane. Execution site of Piet Reteif. Battle of Ulundi, view of the new monument to Prince Dabulamanzi. Overnight at Shakaland. Zulu culture and tribal dancing.

Day 9 – Thursday 6th

Zulu culture, stick fight and spear throwing - group participation. Battles of Nyezane and Gingindhlovu. Eshowe. Site of the Old mission/fort and British cemetery. Time permitting Fort Nongqayi and Zululand Museum.Fort Pearson and British cemetery. Ultimatum Tree. Overnight Oyster Box, Umhlanga Rocks.

Day 10 – Friday 7th

Either spend the day at Umhlanga Rocks on the beach etc, or enjoy a trip to Durban and visit the old fort (siege of 1842), Warrior’s Gate Military Museum and have lunch overlooking the harbour. Late afternoon, board transport to Durban airport for flight to Johannesburg with overnight flight to London Heathrow.

Memorial at Rorke's Drift


Prices are given in SA RANDS (at time of press R11.5 to £1). The price inclusive of transport, guide fees, entrance fees, accommodation D.B&B and picnic lunches is R12,750.00 per person, sharing. Single supplement R1,500.00. Transport by Mercedes Sprinter or Condor.

Plus airfares, given in GDP. Return fare from London Heathrow to Durban, with on flight from Johannesburg is £710, which includes airport taxes.

A deposit of R2,500.00 will be required not later than 1st January ’04. Balance to be paid 2 months prior to departure.

Items not included:

Lunch and dinner on day one. Lunch and dinner on day ten. Drinks, mineral water, refreshments and tips and the cost of the air fares.

There will be no group insurance and the organisers cannot accept responsibility for any loss or damage. Participants should ensure they have adequate travel and health insurance arrangements.

Any non U.K. participants can arrange flights to Durban themselves if required, or connect with the on flight from Johannesberg to Durban, similarly on the return Journey.

Alan Critchley,


Rorke's drift from the bell tower on Oskarsberg

The cattle kraal

Isandhlwana, from the hill the Zulu's attacked from

Isandhlwana and one of many Cairns

The view from the bell on Oskarsberg towards Rorke's Drift

The grave of James Rorke

The road to Rorke's Drift, with Oskarsberg in the distance

The plaque on the wall of the memorial garden

View out from Rorke's Drift itself

Coffin Rock