The next day we were heading off to Ulundi, once the hub of the powerful Zulu empire. It was also the site of the last great battle between the British and Zulu's.
Stopping at Emakhosini, where the Zulu clans settled some 300 years ago. Atop a hill sits the impressive Spirit of Emakhosini monument overlooking the Valley of the Zulu Kings. The large beer pot symbolises the valley as a receptable of heritage. The grass coil it sits on, unity. Finally the 7 animal horns from the region, the Waterbuck, Nguni Cow, Eland, Kudu, Elephant, Rhino and Reedback, all symbolise the Zulu kings who lived and lie buried in the valley.
A lovely hot day we admired the fantastic views before heading off for the Dingaanstat Mission. This tiny mission comprises of a small school, a few houses and an old crumbling church with a huge cross outside. From here we stumbled across Piet Retief's grave which just lies before Mgungundlovu. This was Dingaan's (a Zulu King) capital from 1829 to 1838 and it was here that Piet Retief and the other Voortrekkers were killed by their host in 1838, the event that precipitated the Boer-Zulu war at the Battle of Blood River.
Having seen our fair share of Zulu villages we just stopped by the grave and then carried on to Ulundi. The town itself is quite small with nothing to see, so we stopped for a quick ice cream before continuing on to the Battlefield of Ulundi. On the morning of 4 July 1879 the British Forces crossed the Mfolozi River, consisting of some 6,000 troops and drew battle against a Zulu army of over 15,000. Unfortunately the Zulu's faced the onslaught of British machine guns and were decimated. This battle signified the end of the Anglo-Zulu war. The monument that now stands at the sit is lovely. It's not an open field as you might expect as there are a few houses around it, but the monument recognises the bravery of both the British and the Zulu warriors.
Heading back to Eshowe we popped by the Dlinza Forest Reserve and took a walk along the 100m aerial boardwalk giving us great views over the canopy and its bird life. We then headed off to the local Fort Nongqayi built in 1883 by the British to house the barefoot Zulu police force whose task it was to protect and enforce British administration for the area following the end of the war. Finally to round off the day we then headed down the road to King Cetshawayo's memorial and it was a sad sight to see. Situated in the middle of a road in the middle of an affluent area it looked to be in a state of disrepair. It is alledged that this was the site that he died on 8 Feb 1884.