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The Battlefield Route – Battleground Route – commemorates the many, long and bloody clashes between Zulus, British and Boers in South Africa. The site covers more than 50 historically significant places, with the cities of Estcourt in the south, Dundee and Glencoe in the west, Ulundi in the east and Volksrust and Vryhed in the north.
All battlefields are within 50km of the town of Dundee in a scenic, harmonious mountain region. Although everything is very close together, you should allow enough time, because the terrain is mountainous and the roads only gravel.
There is an excellent museum and hiking trails over the battlefield. About 10km from Rorke’s Drift lies Fugitive’s Drift, where two British officers tried unsuccessfully to rescue the flag of the British Empire from access by the Zulus.
On July 4, 1879, on the banks of the Umfolozi River near Ulundi, the decisive battle between the British and Zulu took place, in which the Zulu force was finally defeated. A monument reminds you of it today.
27km from Dundee is a place to visit if you are interested in the philosophy of the Voortrekkers who defeated the “hordes of unpredictable savages” in “Divine Mission” on December 16, 1838. The Blood River Monument shows 64 full-size cast-iron oxcars recreating the former Wagenburg.
The cairn was built after the Battle of the Boers to mark the center. The squad defeated 12,000 Zulu and the battle became very significant – showing that “the Boers are God’s chosen people” to conquer and “civilize” southern Africa.
The first major battle in the British war against the Zulus was the battle near the village of Ngutu. On January 22, 1879 met here five British army associations to 25,000 Zulus. After the battle, almost all Zulus and British were killed. An information center (daily 8-17, tel: 034/271 0634) organizes guided walks across the battlefield. The Isandlawana Museum is located in St. Vincente’s, right next to the former fighting scene. 30km from Isandlawana is the Rorke’s Drift, a former ford of the Buffalo River, where on 22 and 23 January 1879 100 British successfully fought against 4000 Zulu.
The Drakensberg (“Dragon Mountains”) are the highest mountains in South Africa. They extend for about 1000 km in a north-south direction from the northeastern Mpumalanga to the province of Eastern Cape. These massive mountain ranges with their three-thousanders, covered in snow in winter, offer deep ravines, battlements, crests, caves, overhangs and are not in vain called in the language of the Zulu Quathlamba: “barrier of upright spears”.
The 3000m high, alpine demolished edge forms the natural border with Lesotho, with the Sani Pass, which leads into the Kingdom of Lesotho, with 2874m height is the highest pass road in South Africa. The Lesotho border is open daily from 8:00 to 16:00. In order to experience the clear mountain air, the fairytale-like atmosphere, the waterfalls, wildflowers and the birdlife, it is recommended to plan at least one overnight stay in one of the numerous family hotels in the foreland.
If you are planning longer tours, you should urgently unsubscribe from the Natal Park Authority in your own interest. If something happens on the bad, unpaved roads, search parties in the vast terrain would otherwise be completely overwhelmed. The Giant’s Caste Wildpark is a 25km long and up to 3000m high grassy plateau, where you can admire the diverse fauna and the rare bearded vulture.
Especially good mountain hiking and climbing can be found on the 3194m high Cathkin Peak, which offers a magnificent panoramic view. The Royal Natal National Park, one of the most beautiful in South Africa, has over 20 different trails. Unforgettable is the view of the mountain formation of the “Amphihteater”.