The Zulu War

The Zulu War

The Washing of the Spears

BattlefieldHistory

7th - 20th March 2018
(14 Days)

Guide : Ian Knight

Tour price: £4,495

click here to book

The Zulu War

The Washing of the Spears

BattlefieldHistory

Your Holiday Essentials

7th - 20th March 2018
(14 Days)

Return flights from London, internal flight, 3 and 4 star hotels, buffet breakfast, all lunches, 3-course dinner with drinks each evening, all entrance fees and expert guide throughout.

Activity Level: 2/3

Guide: Ian Knight

Tour price: £4,495

Single supplement: £525
Deposit: £400
Price without flights: £3,895

Selling fast

click here to book

Tour Introduction

This fascinating study of the Anglo-Zulu War takes us to ground that has hardly changed since the memorable events of the period, all set amongst spectacular scenery still populated by Zulu tribes and an abundance of wildlife. As well as visiting battle sites such as Isandlwana, Rorke’s Drift and others that have gone down in British military folklore, we will be discussing the men, armies and tactics of both sides, their problems, successes and failures. We will be in the very capable hands of Ian Knight whose book Zulu Rising received great critical acclaim and adds to his body of meticulously researched books on the war and on Zulu culture.

But this is much more than ‘just’ a battlefield tour: Ian has been visiting South Africa for more than 30 years and knows the ground and its people well. We will be staying in comfortable lodges and hotels, and will have ample opportunity to observe the local people and customs as well as participating in a game drive featuring many of Africa’s best loved animals such as the elephant, rhino, giraffe, zebra, leopard and antelope.

After many years we believe we now have the definitive Zulu War tour nicely balanced with cultural experience – led by an expert who is both an enthusiastic guide and very good company.

Background

First annexed by Britain in the Napoleonic Wars, the Cape of Good Hope was a vital position on the route to the Far East, but South Africa never rivalled India in importance within the Empire. And yet the battles between Queen Victoria's red-coated battalions and the lightly armed Zulu forces have remained vibrant in the memory of both adversaries as few other imperial events have done.

In 1879, with Britain at the height of her imperial power, Lord Chelmsford's three columns marched into Zululand on a punitive expedition to teach the Zulu King Cetshwayo a lesson. Two equally professional armies with totally different fighting traditions and weapons met and fought with startling results. At Isandhlwana the Zulus inflicted the most humiliating defeat of the Victorian era on the over-confident British battalions. Yet hours later the small number of determined and well-led defenders at Rorke's Drift drove off repeated Zulu attacks and captured the public’s admiration. In the end the rifle inevitably triumphed over the spear. It is a story of arrogance and determination, traditions and innovations, but above all amazing individual bravery on both sides. The old Zulu nation was destroyed – but at the cost of a significant dent to British military prestige.

Highlights

  • With Zulu War Historian, Ian Knight
  • Isandlwana & Rorke's Drift
  • Wild African scenery; wildlife game drive
  • Superb game lodge and hotel accommodation

"I had the holiday / tour of a lifetime. Ian Knight is superb a diamond in fact"

Itinerary

Day 1 - Depart

Overnight flight from London Heathrow to Johannesburg.

Day 2 – Durban

Internal flight to Durban. The Southern column: Visit Fort Pearson, on a bluff above the Thukela River, and the Ultimatum tree nearby. Overnight in Prince’s Grant on the Indian Ocean Coast.

Day 3 – The Battlefields of Gingindlovu and Nyezane

Drive up to the site of the old mission station at Eshowe, converted to a fort by the men of Pearson's column, stopping at the battlefields along the way. Lunch at Fort Nongqayi. Overnight at Shakaland with Zulu dancing after dinner.

Day 4 - Shakaland

We drive deep into Zulu country to visit King Cetshwayo's grave. After lunch at Shakaland we are introduced to the culture and customs of the Zulu people and stay a second night.

Day 5 - Ulundi, the final battle of the Zulu War

We visit the battlefield and royal homestead at Ondini. Picnic lunch before moving on to Ithala Game Reserve, where we stay for 4 nights.

Day 6 - Ntombe Spruit

With time to walk around this little-known action where a convoy of the 80th regiment was wiped out in March 1879. River permitting, we wade across the stream and explore both sides. Then, on our way back to Ithala, we pick up the story of Col. Wood’s column to hear about the confusion and tragedy on Hlobane mountain.

Day 7 – Hlobane Mountain

If you are fit enough and the weather permits we will walk up the slopes of Hlobane mountain and explore as much of the flat-topped summit as we can (n.b. this is potentially a stiff walk and the tracks are deteriorating). For the less adventurous there are pleasant walks around the camp and time to relax. A game drive in the afternoon amid spectacular views.

Day 8 - Khambula

We explore the battlefield of Khambula and contrast the success there with the shambles of Hlobane.

Day 9 –Blood River & Prince Imperial

Travel by way of the Voortrekker Blood River battlefield to the memorial which commemorates the spot where France’s Prince Imperial was killed. On to Isandlwana/Rorkes Drift area for a 4 night stay at our wonderfully sited lodge.

Days 10 & 11 – Battle of Isandlwana

During these two days we hear the full story of the battle of Isandlwana, including the Ngwebeni Valley and the spur where the Zulu commander controlled his regiments' attacks. There is time to visit the outpost line and the memorial to the artillery; Black's Koppie, Younghusband's knoll and Durnford's Donga. We drive out to the hills where Lord Chelsmford took half his force to look for the Zulu army. For those of you who are fit we will walk as much of the Fugitives’ Trail as is practicable, although we are dependent upon the state of the river – we will in any case tell the story from the heights overlooking Fugitives’ Drift where we visit the memorial to Coghill and Melvill.

Day 12 - Rorke’s Drift

A full day at Rorke's Drift and there is much to see. Down at the Buffalo River crossing, and at the mission station the great story will be enthrallingly told by Ian as the great climax to the dramatic events of 1879.

Day 13 – Johannesburg

Return to Johannesburg with lunch en-route. Overnight return flight to London.

Day 14 – Arrive

Early morning arrival at London Heathrow.

Recommended Reading List

Photo Gallery

  • The Zulu War Tour
  • The Zulu War Tour
  • Our Zulu War Tour In 2017

Your Holiday Essentials

7th - 20th March 2018
(14 Days)

Return flights from London, internal flight, 3 and 4 star hotels, buffet breakfast, all lunches, 3-course dinner with drinks each evening, all entrance fees and expert guide throughout.

Activity Level: 2/3

Guide: Ian Knight

Tour price: £4,495

Single supplement: £525
Deposit: £400
Price without flights: £3,895

Selling fast

click here to book

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