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This land is ancient.
Sketches, paintings, engravings and tools of the stone age San Bushmen testify to early and long occupation. By the 18thC Nguni tribesmen had given this area the name "Honey Mountains" for life here was sweet.
A lofty world of vast panoramas, this area can claim many titles – "No Man's Land", "The Turbulent Frontier", "Crossroads of South African History", "Land of the Covenant", "Land of Forts"' "Land of Missions".
Destiny marched with men along its winding roads and through its steep, narrow passes where bloody battles were fought between Zulu, Boer and Brit.
Black met Black in the great Shakan age. Boer confronted Zulu in 1838 and defeated King Dingane's impi's at Blood River/Ncome. Proud Imperial Britain bit the dust at Isandlwana on 22 January. That same day reputation was salvaged at Rorkes Drift.
The first of the Brit/Boer conflicts was brief, but never forgotten. "Remember Majuba" was to be a rallying cry for the conflict 20 years later. Boer challenged Brit in the most tragic of civil wars in 1899. Talana was the first dramatic battle of that three-year conflict.
Some of the most decisive battles of "Victoria's little wars" were fought in this region. Winston Churchill's historic reference to the town of Ladysmith, "famous unto the uttermost ends of the earth", holds true for the area as a whole.
The highroads to adventure cut through this area and many are the ghosts of people who passed this way. Brigands and bankrupts, officers and gentlemen, smugglers and cattle rustlers, men of the Cross and men of the Sword. All have lent romance and left a legacy in this corner of South Africa.
Colour, culture, character and the echoes of fierce clashes – all this and much more can be found in the tranquil and beautiful hills of northern KwaZulu-Natal.
Mercifully, this area offers more than just conflict. Its great natural beauty and its small wonders enchanted early travellers and continue to enchant.
Pride in the environment and their heritage is a real force in these mountains, where farmers have banded together in game conservancies to reintroduce game and protect surviving species. Bird viewers are delighted with their sightings.
The Battlefields Route is not a journey; it is a rich experience. These unspoilt battlefields have a palpable atmosphere. Tourist guides evoke vivid pictures of tough battles fought here and introduce the culture of the peoples that made the history and now give the area its unique character.
Midway between Durban and Johannesburg, the Battlefields Route is an interesting area and wherever you go, you can be assured of friendly hospitality.
Please note that many of the battlefields have remained unchanged since the time of the battle and consequently have few or no facilities.
It is advisable to take liquid refreshments and food with you. A hat, walking shoes and sunscreen are also advisable. We also recommend that you fill your vehicle with fuel in the towns as you pass through them.
Entrance fees are charged at most sites and museums
Information offices in the various towns will be able to provide you with accommodation recommendations, tourist guides, maps and local area information or have a look at the information in this web site.
Other brochures are available from these offices and the many museums.
Tourist Guides are available in most towns of the area.
or look at the KZN Battlefieldsguides website www.battlefieldregionguides.co.za