Reilly on the Road travel blog

Flintstones lodging in Dundee

Zulu Battlefield - Islandwana

Commander McBragg ... "There I was... surrounded by 5000 Zulus with nothing...

Thulani Khuzwayo our Zulu guide at Rorke's Drift Battlefield


After a morning of Jam sampling, we set off to some of the battlefields made famous in the british film "Zulu" starring none other than Michael Caine. We pulled into a town called Dundee that night and stayed in what was probably the most unique lodging we'd had to date. We'd had all manner of lodges, mud rondavels with thatched roofs, but this place was right out of the Flintstones - like a manmade cave. It was tight, but with a double and two bunks it was just what we needed - especially since my other option was camping and we'd been plagued with unbelievable thunderstorms almost every night.

The next day we visited Islandwana, where the Zulu army defeated the British and then onto Rorke's Drift where an outpost of 200 or so Brits held off a force of 5000 Zulu's. Ronnie and I were familiar with the history, but for Nick, and for most brits I imagine, these places hold mythic status in the history of British Empire. In fact while we were at Islandwana, we saw a group of Britich tourists sitting under parasols while theire guide recited entries from old British Army diaries.

Whether it was a slow day or it was the Friday before Christmas, , we were treated to a FREE tour at Rorke's Drift by a Zulu guide - Thulani Khuzwayo. It was great to get the whole history of the British-Zulu conlfict from the Zulu perpsective, but it was sad to hear that most Zulus don't know the history of these places as it's not taught in schools. According to Thulani, Self esteem and cultural identity is a big obstacle for the previously oppressed blacks as South Africa emerges from Apartheid.



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