Things to Do in Battlefields Battlefields Overview
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Nambiti Private Game Reserve
The spectacular Nambiti Private Game Reserve offers a malaria-free wilderness retreat near the southern Drakensberg in KwaZulu-Natal. Guests can experience the romance, adventure and excitement of Africa in this private reserve that is home to the Big Five.
Along with exciting sightings of lion, elephant, leopard and buffalo, you have the opportunity of seeing cheetah, numerous hippos, zebra and numerous species of antelope. Nambiti also features amazing biodiversity, supporting savannah, grasslands, thornveld and acacia veld.
A number of rare bird species will keep ardent birders scanning the sky and bushveld for many hours. Of course, you could just sit back, relax and watch as Africa unfolds from one of the nine luxurious lodges on the reserve.
Four By Four Trails
3 Provinces 4x4 Trails is the ultimate adventure for nature lovers.
The trail refers to the “Versamelberge”, where the three Provinces: Kwa-Zulu Natal, Mpumalanga and the Free State actually meet, on top of “Langkrans” (a sheer cliff), 2253 meters above sea level, and where the black eagles nest.
Novices to experienced drivers are accommodated. The trails include stream crossings, mountainous area, rocky terrain, muddy holes and driving through tunnels of dense bushes. The trail covers 32 km plus a separate 9 km “Tierkloof” and a 5 km "Bobbejaankrans" trail. A detailed map with all GPS co-ordinates is supplied.
The battlefield trail guide brings the Anglo-British-Boer war to life. Listen to astonishing stories, crawl through caves and visit places you never knew existed. For lunch you can relax and enjoy freshly baked farm bread with home-made jam. This is a family event not to missed.
Join the Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift Battlefield guides for a fascinating day of storytelling. Guides bring the Anglo-Zulu battles to life, revealing the astonishing details of this important part of South African history.
Day tours depart from Dundee at 08:30 and return 15:30. The trip costs R490 per person including entrance fees, but excluding lunch (March 2012).
+27 (0) 34 212 3216
Spioenkop Dam Nature Reserve
An easy 35-kilometre drive from Ladismith or 14 kilometres from Winterton will get you to Spioenkop Dam Nature Reserve, a popular weekend getaway for watersport junkies. The savannah landscape around the dam is home to interesting wildlife including white rhino, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, numerous antelope and prolific bird life.
The views from the summit of Spioenkop Mountain are breathtaking. You can spend hours gazing out over lush green plains to the mesmerising Drakensberg peaks extending from Giant’s Castle to the Sentinel in Royal Natal Park.
The Discovery Trail presents two wonderful hiking options, a 3 or 6 kilometre loop around the southern shore in an area free of dangerous game. Various picnic sites are dotted around the dam’s edge.
Available for hire:
Pro Shop, Bar, Restaurant, Board Room, Function Facilities
9-18 hole golf course! Many well known players have played here before!
As you travel on the N3 linking Durban and Johannesburg, only 8 km off the motorway near Ladysmith, you'll arrives at the famous Battlefield of Spion Kop.
Over a century ago on the 24th January 1900, Spion Kop was the scene of a bloody and futile battle fought between South Africans and British forces during the South African War, 1899 to 1902.
Raymond Heron, a renowned historian, has a fascinating presentation on the war and the far-reaching effects it had on Britain and South Africa. During Raymond’s vivid presentation, one is able to relive memories of the war and walk in the footsteps of three great leaders – General Louis Botha, later to become the Union of South Africa’s first prime minister, and Mohandas (later the “Mahatma”) Gandhi, as well as Winston Churchill.
Weenen Game Reserve presents many scenic and game viewing opportunities for visitors on foot or from their vehicle. The Bushman’s River surges through a spectacular gorge carved into undulating hills and valleys of KwaZulu-Natal thornveld.
Black and white rhino as well as giraffe, red hartebeest, eland, zebra, kudu, ostrich and common reedbuck have been re-introduced. Other species to spot include grey duiker, bushbuck, steenbok, mountain reedbuck, hyena and black-backed jackal. With more than 251 bird species, stunning scenery and the rich wildlife and vegetation, Weenen is growing in popularity as a small but worthwhile wildlife destination for both day trippers and stopovers.
Features include a hide at one of the waterholes, a vulture feeding site and three picnic sites all equipped with braai facilities, one with a magnificent view site. Accommodation facilities at the camp include 12 camping or caravan sites, some with electricity connections; and ablution facilities. There is also a fully-equipped cottage with a braai spot and an exclusive picnic site next to a waterhole. Weenen has three self-guided trails, and guided walks can be arranged.
Mgungundlovu was the capital of the Zulu kingdom during the reign of King Dingane, from 1829 to 1838. Several such military settlements were established by King Dingane but he lived at Mgungundlovu.
Excavations have revealed much about the Royal homestead, its layout and construction. Mgungundlovu was roughly oval in shape and was about 500 metres wide and over 600 metres long. There were as many as 1700 huts, and the settlement could accommodate up to 7000 people.
The uhlangoti (warriors’ living quarters) was divided, by the main entrance, into two sections that formed the sides of the oval while the Royal area was situated at the top of the oval opposite the entrance. The vast central area was used as a cattle enclosure and like the rest of the camp was surrounded by palisade fencing made of thick timber.
There were also areas for grain storage, brewing of beer and a smelting area for working copper.
King Dingane’s hut, said to be the largest ever built, was located in the isigodlo (royal area) and had a diameter of 10 metres. Excavations have revealed charcoal remains of the supporting structure and the molten remains of the glass beads that decorated the interior.
After defeat at the Battle of Ncome (Blood River) King Dingane had Mgungundlovu burned to the ground and fled the area.
Galleries and Museums
The Ladysmith Siege Museum, on Murchison Street next to the Ladysmith Town Hall, is housed in a building built in 1884 - regarded both here and abroad as one of the best Anglo Boer War museums in the country. It brings the whole period of the siege to life using black and white photographs, electronic mapping, documents and artefacts from the period.
Kwazulu Weavers produce hand-woven woolen carpets and homemade candles. The mini putt-putt course keeps the little ones busy while parents are shopping. Grab a bite to eat afterwards at the Waffle Hut.
The legendary Mahatma Gandhi, among many other things, served with General Buller's relief forces after the Siege of Ladysmith. He also trained 1100 Indians who participated in the battle.
In 1993 the Hindu community paid tribute to the work of Gandhi by building a statue of him at the Lord Vishnu Temple. Visitors will have to arrange with the caretaker beforehand to view the statue.
Four By Four Trails
Thangami 4x4 Trail is located within the rocky and mountainous area in between Vryheid, Nongoma and Ulundi. The trails are from 8 to 20 km long and graded between 2 and 3. There is no time limit on these trails. 4x4 And 2x4 vehicles can be used, as well as being able to self-drive or have a guide show you the routes. Low range is required and high clearance. The trails can be attempted all year round.
Established in 2006. The Mtonjaneni Cultural Zulu Museum houses an excellent private collection of memorabilla and artefacts, consisting of the larges collection of the Anglo Zulu war in the world. Situated on the very site where Lord Chelmsford and his men camped and planned the final defeat of the Zulu Nation at Ulundi.
Four By Four Trails
Bonani Wild and Wonderful offers many trails can accumulate to 50 km. To complete all the trails it will take around 8 hours. The trails start at a grading 3 three where any vehicle with low range gears may explore. Other routes have a grading of up to 5 and require a bit more technical know-how. The routes offer mountainous trails, river trails and dongas. Please enquire for further details.