Anglo Boer War Battlefields of Kwazulu Natal - Important Heritage
There are many ways to explore the Anglo Boer War Battlefields of Kwazulu Natal. Brochures and maps are available from tourist information centers and visitors can embark on their own journey of discovery and exploration. Alternatively, visitors can explore the Kwazulu Natal Battlefields by joining a coach tour, or hiring a professional battlefield guide for the day. For an exciting day trip, the Battlefield Route will prove to be educational, emotional and thought provoking.
Touring through the different regions where the battlefields now lie quiet and peaceful, it is hard to imagine that many men lost their lives on these picturesque fields. Many men that set foot on these battlefields would live to be great leaders, such as a former soldier and newspaper correspondent named Winston Churchill, and a stretcher bearer named Mohandas Ghandi. The Kwazulu Natal region has the largest concentration of battlefields in one area, in the entire South Africa.
The First War of Independence was fought between the years 1880 and 1881. The conflict here was between the British and the Boer fighters. This war is also known as the First Anglo Boer War. Engagements occurred at Schuinshoogte and Laing’s Nek, and the British were defeated at Amajuba. Amajuba was also the location of the armistice that was signed and the peace treaty at Hilldrop House.
The famous Anglo Boer War that started in 1899 and ended in 1902, once again saw to the bloodshed of many British and Boer soldiers. Towns such as Colenso, Glencoe, Newcastle, Volksrust, Vryheid, Ladysmith, Dundee, Estcourt, Utrecht and Winterton were important positions during the war, due to the vulnerability of the Northern Triangle in Natal. The most famous battlefields to visit are Talana, Spieonkop, Ladysmith (the 118 day siege took place here), the Armored Train incident and Colenso Heights.
If touring the battlefields alone is not enough, the Dundee Die Hard team has been re-enacting the famous battles since 1999. The team’s first re-enactment was the Battle of Talana. The British “Die Hards” supervised this re-enactment, as they travel the world doing battle re-enactments. The Dundee Die Hard team is the only permanent re-enactment group in South Africa, and have 24 members. Going up against an invisible army is not very spectacular, and therefore the team enlists excited Boer Commandos and enthusiastic Zulu Impi’s for the day! Which ever way you choose to investigate the Anglo Boer Battlefields of Kwazulu Natal, it will be a day trip to remember.