Battlefields in the Drakensberg Region

KwaZulu-Natal is a military history enthusiast’s dream and many of its battlefields have become ‘must see’ sites, several of which are within easy reach of the Drakensberg Experience. They include the Voortrekker / Zulu conflict of 1838 and the Anglo-Boer War of 1899 – 1902.
The Voortrekker / Zulu conflict arose as a result of a major exodus of Dutch speaking people from the Cape Colony to the interior of South Africa. In 1838, one of these parties led by Piet Retief made contact with the Zulu king Dingane kaSenzangakhona to negotiate vast tracts of land. The suspicious king had Retief’s party put to death in February 1838 and unleashed his amabutho (warriors) on the various Voortrekker encampments scattered around the Bushmans and Bloukrans River valleys.
This incident eventually resulted in a retaliatory campaign being launched by the Voortrekkers under the leadership of Andries Pretorius, and the Zulu army was defeated in the epic Battle of Blood River on the 16th December 1838.
The Anglo-Boer War can be linked to the discovery of gold on the Witwatersrand in the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek in 1886, which resulted in an influx of foreigners to seek their fortune. Fearing that their Afrikaner sovereignty was under threat, the ZAR Government made their franchise difficult to achieve and members of the British Government manipulated the situation to suit their needs, and the war began on the 11th October 1899.
Several other sites related to the Langalibalele Rebellion of 1873, the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 and the Transvaal War of Independence of 1880 / 1881 are also within easy reach of the Drakensberg Experience.
IMPORTANT NOTE: It is illegal to remove any relic or item from South African Battlefields. No excavation may take place without the written authority of the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Heritage Authority, Amafa aKwaZulu-Natali / Heritage KwaZulu-Natal
Battlefield Tours & Museums
8 Mar 2021

Willow Grange Battlefield

This is the furthest south that a pitched battle was fought during the Anglo-Boer War. The Boers had withdrawn a section of their force ...
Battlefield Tours & Museums
30 Sep 2020

SPION KOP LODGE

Tel 036 488 1404 082 573 0224 spionkop@futurenet.co.za With warm hospitality, relive the memories of the Battle of Spion Kop and walk the footsteps of ...
Battlefield Tours & Museums
8 Mar 2021

Spioenkop Battlefield

The scene of one of the most futile battles fought on South African soil, the Battle of Spioenkop (24th January 1900) was General Buller’s ...
Battlefield Tours & Museums
8 Mar 2021

Bloukrans

Following the killing of Piet Retief and his party at Mugundlovu on the 6th February 1838, King Dingane ordered his Amabutho (warriors) to attack ...
Battlefield Tours & Museums
8 Mar 2021

Doornkop Laager site

Piet Retief and his party reached Doornkop on the 10th January, 1838 and he established a laager. He departed from here on the 25th ...
Battlefield Tours & Museums
8 Mar 2021

Colenso Battlefield

The Gun Positions. The Battle of Colenso was the first attempt by General Sir Redvers Buller VC to relieve the town of Ladysmith, which ...
Battlefield Tours & Museums
8 Mar 2021

Ambleside Military Cemetery

General Buller’s plan for the attack on General Louis Botha’s positions across the Tugela River involved the utilisation of three brigades with two in ...
Battlefield Tours & Museums
8 Mar 2021

Chieveley Military Cemetery

This is the site of No 4 Stationary Hospital. Many soldiers who were killed in action during the battles to relieve Ladysmith, or who ...
Battlefield Tours & Museums
8 Mar 2021

Bergville: MOTH Blockhouse Museum

As the Anglo-Boer War continued, the British began to erect lines of blockhouses in an attempt to prevent the Boers from moving freely across ...
Battlefield Tours & Museums
30 Sep 2020

THREE TREE HILL LODGE

This intimate, luxury, eco-friendly lodge is the perfect location to base yourself for exploring the major Anglo-Boer War and Anglo-Zulu War battlefields. Tel 036 488 ...
Battlefield Tours & Museums
8 Mar 2021

Tugela Heights

This massive battle was fought between the 12th and 28th February, 1900. It was General Sir Redvers Buller’s 5th attempt to relieve Ladysmith and ...
Battlefield Tours & Museums
8 Mar 2021

Rensburgskop Battlefield

This was the encampment of Johannes van Rensburg, Wilhelmus Pretorius and the Harmse and Loggenberg families. It was attacked at about 09h00 on the ...
Battlefield Tours & Museums
8 Mar 2021

Mount Alice Monument

General Sir Redvers Buller VC’s headquarters during the Upper Tugela Operations. This is situated on private property and therefore permission should be obtained from ...
Battlefield Tours & Museums
8 Mar 2021

Sooilaager

This was the laager established on the banks of the Little Tugela near Loskop by Hans Dons de Lange after the Zulu attack on ...
Battlefield Tours & Museums
8 Mar 2021

Elandslaagte Battlefield

The second battle of the Anglo-Boer War was fought here on the 21st October 1899. The Boers had occupied the station the previous night ...
Battlefield Tours & Museums
8 Mar 2021

Boer Dummy Gun Position

During the preparations for the Battle of Colenso, General Louis Botha established several dummy gun positions, which in most cases consisted of drain pipes ...
Battlefield Tours & Museums
8 Mar 2021

Weenen

After the Voortrekkers’ victory over King Dingane’s Amabutho at the Battle of Ncome/Blood River on the 16th December 1838, they established the Republic of ...
Battlefield Tours & Museums
8 Mar 2021

Marthinus Oosthuizen’s Grave

The hero of the Battle of Rensburg’s Kop.  He died on the 2nd April, 1897 and lies buried on the farm Enon, which he ...
Battlefield Tours & Museums
8 Mar 2021

Clouston Koppie of Remembrance

During the 1960s, most of the graves and memorials from the Battle of Colenso (15th December 1899) were relocated to this site on ground ...
Battlefield Tours & Museums
8 Mar 2021

Vaalkrans Garden of Remembrance

The Battle of Vaalkrans (5th to 7th February 1900) was General Sir Redvers Buller VC’s 4th attempt to relieve Ladysmith. After two days of ...
Battlefield Tours & Museums
8 Mar 2021

Ladysmith Battlefield Sites

Ladysmith Siege Museum An outstanding collection of items related to the 118 day siege of Ladysmith, situated alongside the historic Town Hall. Co-ordinates: S28° 33.544’ ...
Battlefield Tours & Museums
30 Sep 2020

RON GOLD TOURS

Tel 033 263 1908 083 556 4068 info@rongold.co.za Book your battlefield tour with a professional guide
Battlefield Tours & Museums
8 Mar 2021

Rangeworthy Military Cemetery

General Sir Redvers Buller’s 2nd attempt to relieve Ladysmith was fought in the iNthabamnyama hills above Rangeworthy Farm between the 20th and 22nd January ...
Battlefield Tours & Museums
8 Mar 2021

Spearman’s Military Cemetery

This was situated above the British camp that was moved from Chieveley for the Upper Tugela Operations by General Sir Redvers Buller VC’s army. ...
Battlefield Tours & Museums
8 Mar 2021

Zaailaager / Saailaager

The site of Gerrit Maritz’s laager. It was attacked by the Zulus on the 17th February 1838. The Zulus attempted to cross the Bushmans ...