KwaZulu Natal is home to more than the gorgeous Oyster Box Hotel. It’s also rich in Zulu, English and Boer history. The land has felt the footsteps of Zulu Kings, Mahatma Gandhi and Winston Churchill to name but a few.
The legendary Shaka was Zululand’s own William the Conqueror. The illegitimate warrior fought for his place in the line of kings, forming a powerful empire, amassing a huge fighting force, and revolutionising military strategy.
In 1838 the Zulu’s fought in the infamous Battle of Blood River against advancing Voortrekkers. To visit the peaceful Ncome River today, it’s hard to imagine the water flowing red with blood, but fascinating tours bring the history to life.
At Isandlwana, see the site of the crushing defeat of British forces by raging Zulu tides in 1879. While colonial troops were armed with state-of-the-art rifles, a numerically superior Zulu force was victorious with short assegai spears and cowhide shields.
Near to the Valley of a Thousand Hills, visit Spion Kop, where young journalist Winston Churchill was stationed during the Boer War. He reported on the battle that raged in 1900 between British and Boer forces. A youthful Mahatma Gandhi was a stretcher-bearer during the Battle, with the Indian Ambulance Corps he established.
Take a guided tour around the Battlefields, all around 40km from the Oyster Box at Umhlanga Rocks.
Written by Lucy Heavens