At first, you might think this space is just an empty veld with memorials scattered around it. However, when your guide starts explaining the spectacular stories of the battlefields in Zululand, you’ll begin to appreciate this area for what it is. History. Now, we probably can’t do as good a job as the local guides, but here’s a very quick overview of what happened here. As the name suggests, this area was the site of many battles between the Zulus and the Boers, the Zulus and the British and then the Boers and the British.
During your visit here, you can visit Isandlwana; the site of one of the British Army’s worst ever defeats. Make sure you see Rorke’s Drift, where the British managed to push back 4,000 Zulus. Then visit Ulundi. The British had effectively won the war at this point but insisted on fighting the peace-seeking Zulus to assert their dominance. Battlefields Zululand is a history buff’s dream. It’s a great opportunity to discover the violent and bloody history of the Zulus, and discover a little more about their culture.
Once you’ve had your fill of battle sites, visit Cetshwayo. The British burned down the original which was home to the last king of the independent Zulu, but the reconstruction of this royal enclosure is superb. It’s a bit of a shame that you probably won’t see any real Zulus in this area. If you see someone in traditional dress or performing an ancient ritual, it’s probably a local trying to enrich your experience (which isn’t always a bad thing).
However, you can still learn about Zulus and find crafts that are made in the traditional style around Battlefields. The Vukani Zulu Cultural Museum in Eshowe is perfect for this, so try to stop there. It’s hard to separate myth from reality when it comes to the Battlefields. All the British accounts of the Zulus make them sound like bloodthirsty tyrants, especially King Shaka. However, this might have just been a bit of propaganda to make things more exciting. True or not, Battlefields Zululand has a real aura of history as you walk around with your guide. They’ll help you understand a bit more about the area’s tumultuous history and help you see how things have changed over the past two centuries.
Plan your trip to Battlefields today.