Campaign Trails

Kwazulu Natal, South Africa

Follow in the Footprints of the Soldiers of Yore

Duration: 6 Days*
Grading: B (see Grading)
Departs: Any day
clip_image001The best way to appreciate history is to walk in the footprints of the men who made it. During the closing years of the 19th century, two significant wars were fought on South African soil: The Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 and, 20 years later, the second Anglo-Boer War, known as the South African War. The greatest concentration of battles fought during these two wars were in the garden province of KwaZulu-Natal. Here dramatic scenery combines with stirring history to create memorable walking experiences.Day 1, arrive in Durban and transfer to Dundee.
clip_image001[6]On Day 2, walk the path taken by G Coy 24th from their base at Helpmekaar down to Rorke’s Drift on 24th January 1879, following the old wagon track. Stop for lunch and a breather at the lodge at the foot of the plateau, and continue to the mission station at Rorke’s Drift for an account of the famous defence of the military depot there by a handful of British soldiers against several thousand Zulu warriors.Day 3, follow the route taken by Lord Chelmsford, Commander in Chief of the British army, and the central British column as they entered Zululand to crush the might of Cetswayo, king of the Zulus.
clip_image001[8]The route followed is again the old wagon track, this time crossing the Buffalo River at Rorke’s Drift and continuing on to Isandlwana.Enjoy a picnic lunch at the interpretative centre, followed by an account of the battle of Isandlwana.Standing amongst the graves of the thousand or more British soldiers who died there.
imageDay 4 begins with an introduction to the Anglo-Boer War of 1899 – 1902 at Talana Museum, Dundee, followed by a short walk up the Talana Hill for an account of the first set-piece battle of that war.Drive to Ladysmith for lunch, the town that held world attention for 118 days while it was under siege by the Boer forces.

Afternoon climb up Tchrengula Hill, the site of severe fighting at the outset of the famous Siege. Time in the Siege Museum and visiting other places of interest.

On Day 5, follow the route taken by the British soldiers for the night attack on the Boer positions on Spioenkop on 23 Jan 1900. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the summit and hear an account of the action on that day.

The tour ends on Day 6 with return transfer to Durban, visiting the site of the capture of Winston Churchill and stopping for lunch in the Midlands on the way.

The accommodation used for this itinerary is a combination of standard and luxury.

The first three nights are spent at the Royal Country Inn in Dundee and the last two at Three Tree Hill Lodge at the base of Spioenkop.

The rate of R18 570 per person sharing for 2 guests includes: specialist battlefield guide, all vehicle transfers,accommodation as stated in the itinerary on a sharing basis, all meals and all entries. The rate excludes: Drinks, gratuities and items of a personal nature. Single and group rates are available on request.

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Tour Guides: Campaign Trails – Follow in the Footprints of the Soldiers of Yore Kwazulu-Natal

Nicki von der Heyde

Nicki lives near Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. She graduated from the University of Cape Town having read English and History, and later taught history at high school. Recently she combined her love for travel, horses and South African war history by introducing tours of the battlefields on horseback for the first time. Researching these routes led to the re-discovery of old trenches, gun emplacements, wagon trails, graves and other relics that she is now able to share with those wishing to explore the battlefields with her. Nicki arranges tours and excursions through the Anglo Zulu and Anglo Boer war battlefields and is renowned for her expert knowledge and passion. These tours may be in a safari vehicle, on horseback or on foot and include cultural experiences and spectacular scenery. She is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and an honorary life member of the Anglo-Zulu War Historical Society.

Jennifer Russell

Jennifer has an enthusiasm for the countryside and for South Africa that is infectious. Her battlefield accounts are peppered with ancedotes and word pictures and her lively sense of humour ensures that things are not taken too seriously. So saying, Jennifer takes pride in a job well done and has read widely on and around her topics, always eager for new and fresh insights which she can pass on to her listeners. She does her best to ensure that her companions see South Africa (and KwaZulu-Natal in particular) in as colourful and as balanced a way as possible.