Visit Isandlwana – the Anglo-Zulu War's most famous battlefield

Visit Isandlwana – the Anglo-Zulu War's most famous battlefield

Are you in and around KwaZulu Natal? Then head to Isandlwana hill to learn about the great historical battle that took place between the Zulu and the British armies in the late 1870s.

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Tourism KZN
Tourism KZN

KwaZulu-Natal is a province in South Africa blessed with beautiful mountains and hills.  

One of these magnificent and historical destinations is Isandlwana.

This is the hill that signifies great pride for the Zulu kingdom. It is the historical place where the British army met its match against the Zulu nation.

The Battle of Isandlwana took place on 22 January 1879 and resulted in approximately 22,000 Zulu warriors defeating an estimated 1,350 British and Native troops, under the leadership of Ntshingwayo kaMaholeKhoza and Mavumengwana kaNdlela Ntuli.

What makes the win remarkable is that the Africans fought the British with no technology. The Zulus used traditional assegai iron spears and cow-hide shields as their weapons. The British used a Hale rocket battery, modern Martini-Henry breechloading rifles, and two seven-pounder mountain guns. They also fortified their troops with thousands of armed local Zulu refugees, called ‘Amambuka’. So, the loss was a great embarrassment to the British army and marked the defeat of their means to invade Zulu land.

Today, visitors to this hill can enjoy an immersive tour coupled with great history lessons.

Some places to see at the hill include the Ngwebeni Valley, the Talehane spur, the "notch" where the British rocket battery was wiped out, and the Manzinyama river where the survivors went to.

The Isandlwana Visitors Centre has a small museum and is located on the battlefield where the bodies of British soldiers were gathered en masse for burial.

Entrance fee is R35, and the Battlefield is open 8 am - 4 pm Monday to Friday, and from 9 am on Saturday and Sunday. 

If you want to spend the night, you can book accommodation at the Isandlwana Lodge, which offers visitors a comfortable stay and some fantastic views of the surrounding area.

Main image courtesy of iStock

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