Okavango Tours

Zulu Warrior

Zululand and the Historic Battlefields of Kwa-Zulu

The north-east of South Africa is a region rich in natural habitats, both marine and terrestrial, and in the colonial history of the country. This is the home of the Zulu, the archetypal warrior nation that visited upon a British expeditionary force that Empire’s worst ever defeat, at Isandhlwana, and afforded it the opportunity to award, at the subsequent battle of Rorke’s Drift, more Victoria Crosses than at any other.

 

Zulu BattlefieldsThese battles are re-enacted today by impassioned, expert guides, who will seat you on an open hillside overlooking the scene, and take you through each skirmish and scene of desperation and triumph, massacre and touching gesture of the respect shown by professional soldiers for the courage of those they slaughter in battle. These are gripping lectures  that very often move the listener to tears – details are revealed of names, mementoes, recovered letters to and from loved ones in very faraway home countries, of order and counter-order, and of the anecdotal record of Zulu participants, and of the extraordinary endurance, skill, discipline and courage that drove these barefooted men to march at the trot over vast expanses of African veldt, and to meet modern firepower with cowhide shield and stabbing spear, to preserve the dignity of their king and earn the privilege of disembowelling their enemy.

 

Mpautaland, South Africa - Thonga BeachFurther north and east the lush, wild coast of Maputaland – the Elephant Coast - basks in the sunshine. Off-shore whale sharks cruise lazily, and the more toothsome varieties feed. Southern Right Wales are seasonal passers-by, and turtles emerge from the surf in the moonlight to lay their eggs before returning to the ocean. Hard inland and separated from the ocean by the world’s highest sand dunes vast estuaries and lakes provide refuge for fish, birds, crocodiles and hippos. Most of this is encompassed by the Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park, a ENESCO World Heritage Site, and a number of comfortably relaxed beach lodges offer secluded accommodation and all the activities – diving, fishing, whale watching, turtle trekking – one would expect, coupled with rolling hills studded with magnificent wildflowers inland. To cap it all the game reserves of Hluhluwe and Umfolozi are close by, as is the private Phinda Reserve – big game, history, Zulu culture, magnificent birding, peaceful and beautiful lakes and forests and a wild ocean shore, all to be had in this rich region of South Africa.


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