Day 158… Thursday 7th December
Visited Rourke’s Drift and Isandlwana battlefield site and museum. Fascinating places and history of the British at war with the Zulu’s in 1879. Dirt roads through stunning green mountain areas. A mix of rain and sunshine today. Our campsite tonight at Elandsheim Guest Farm was a lovely peaceful spot overlooking the valley with friendly campsite dogs. No other campers. Thunder, lighting and heavy rain for the most of the night. No hot water in the morning. A cold shower is very bracing!
Both Rourke’s Drift and Isandlwana were pretty impressive sites, but Isandlwana better captures the spirit of it’s history and significance. This was the site where in 1879, pushed into a conflict, the British got caught short by the warriors of the Zulu kingdom and received an absolute drubbing with many life’s lost before the Zulus marched toward Rourke’s Drift several miles down the road and met their match.
Isandlwana is less far developed than Rourke’s Drift, with wide sweeping picturesque views of the surrounding hills. Dotted all around are collection of white stones, or cairns, to represent where the British soldiers fell. There are several monuments around the site to the British, as well as a newly created one to the Zulu warriors, which there also one at Rourke’s Drift.
It was impressive how high and prominent Isandlwana is on the landscape, visible for much of our journey to the campsite.