Isandlwana Battlefield and walk

The longest lie inn of the trip, a half 8 breakfast luxury for some.The day started with another story from Reggie finding out about the Zulu culture was fascinating. A half an hour drive down to our first stop,  where Chief Sikhayo’s story came to life creating the scene for what was a sunny day. We were introduced to the Zulu culture including their thoughts of wizards death.  The second stop ‘the heights’ showed us fascinating views over the battlefield. At 4,300 meters we could locate the main areas of where the war had broken out and where specific skirmishes occurred.  It’s fascinating to see the village from a high distance, being able to imagine and identify areas, but also learning visually makes you appreciate Isandlwhana for what it is.
After a short visit to the Isandlwhana museum and a cheeky shopping spot, before heading into the Isandlwhana battlefield, seeing the land upon which the war began and ended. Reggie headed us up half way of Isandlwhana, to white rocks which represented deaths along the way showing different stages of the battle. Reflecting and describing the stages of the battle, between the British Army and Zulu Army. Due to the British ultimatum to demand the Zulu king to disband their army or British will start war. The war began on the 22nd January 1879, and within 24 hours the British would be defeated. Reggie described the main events including the strategies of both armies and how they had completely different defence and attack methods. As we listened, the battle came alive on the ground below. Play by play the men fought their timeless war and the significance of each motion became apparent and as we learnt more, it also dawned on us the battle’s effect on the country’s subsequent future as well as the effect on the British Empire as a whole.
After a interesting talk, it was time to climb the Isandlwhana, which I had been eyeing up for a climbing session. The walk was a steady climb, ending with a small scramble to the top where the views were stunning, being able to see for miles somewhere I could let the world go by.  A group photo was taken before a decent started, although we had a few people scared of heights the scramble down the ‘chimney’, was a challenge although they passed their fears.
The time had come to say bye to the minibus, to start our walking phase across Fugitive’s Drift, adding time to see more views across the valleys. Crossing the ‘batshy’ stream before a gradual climb over the hill to down to ‘ The Mighty Roaring Buffalo River’, where we cooled down our feet across to lunch.
A filling lunch strengthened us up for the final steep climb up to the monument. It was fascinating to see where the last two British solders trying to save the regiment colours died. You can see how respected the war battlefields, graves and areas nearby are by both the locals and the descendants of those who fought. Seeing a family of giraffes and zebras across the view on the way back to camp finished the day off perfectly.
Another amazing day of indescribable moments and views, although we might only have one more day in this amazing country, there’s always something new and surprising to see, TIA (This Is Africa)!
Gemma
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