Talana Museum South Africa  

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Military Exhibits

The military museum provides an excellent starting point to the Battlefields Route.

The displays of weapons, uniforms, photographs and artifacts dramatically depict the conflict between the Zulu, Boer and Brit, as well as an insight into the Bushmen, the earliest settlers of the region.

A scale model of a rock overhang houses the history of the Bushmen in this area. An original painting of a rain animal may be seen at the entrance to the exhibit. Original Bushmen quivers with bows, seed necklaces, animal-skin pouches are some of the items included in the exhibit. Other items include a myriad of stone age implements. 

Walk through a Voortrekker wagon and read pages of the records from the diary of Jan Bantjies, Secretary of the Volksraad who accompanied the Wenkommando on their journey and recorded their daily movements and the battle of Blood River. Some of the interesting items in this display is an original outfit from the 1938 Centenary Trek, a Dutch bible, moulds for making canon balls and original paintings and drawings.

The exhibit on the Anglo Zulu war of 1879 has information, photographs and items about: the ultimatum, the invasion of Zululand, the battle at Isandlwana, the defence of Rorkes Drift, the journey and death of the Prince Imperial of France, life in the forts constructed by the British, accounts by survivors on both the British and Zulu side, the uniforms and weapons of the Zulu impis, the British regiments and the Colonial forces, the second invasion of Zululand and the battle of Ulundi.

Visitors then move into the Anglo Boer 1899-1902 exhibit. Naturally the focus is on the battle of Talana and events leading up to it and the battle immediately afterwards. Elandslaagte and the Boer occupation of Dundee (and the renaming of the town Meyersdorp). Photos, relics and information cover the Battle of Helpmekaar, the building of the blockhouse defences, the Natal Composite Volunteer Regiment based in Dundee, communications and medical conditions.

Interesting information of particular characters. Loodtjie de Jager, Dirk Uys, Roland Skikkerling and the involvement of many different countries and individuals on the Boer side of the war.

One of the unique items on display is a Boer field kitchen.

Our archives have numerous documents relating to the military conflicts in this area.