We arrived at Dundee in the dark, it looked a little bit dodgy on the way into town, quite industrial from the little I could see, but as we headed towards our intended campsite the roads got wider and there were more trees and normal looking houses.We got a nice surprise as we drove into the campsite, or at least in the dark drizzle it looked okay, we had a small rondavel with a table and benches underneath for our use which was welcome as we tried to make some supper!
The biggest surprise at the Kwa-Rie Caravan Park were the bathrooms, I could have been in a 4* hotel and the Blesbok and rabbits out the back lying calmly on the lawn!The morning didn't prove to be a disappointment and we decided to stay two nights, one of the hopes was to get some washing done but the weather wasn't co-operating on that front!
We headed to the local tourist information to get more info on the battlegrounds. This area is the scene of many of the Boer-Zulu battles such as Blood River and lots of Anglo-Zulu battlefields. It wasn't the best day for it but with nothing else on the cards we headed out to find out more!
First stop after a bit of a drive (along rather water logged muddy tracks, I'm sure the views would have been amazing but the drizzle and fog wasn't for letting us enjoy any of those!) was Rorke's Drift.We didn't quite do it in order, a number of British troops had been able to escape Isandlwana (our next stop) and make it to this small mission (I think), from here about 135 soldiers including injured were able to fend off a large Zulu force until help arrived over 24 hours later!There were the lucky guys, those at Isandlwana were not as fortunate.It's not a part of British history that I know a lot about, but the museum was very interesting, with lots of courageous efforts on both the Zulu and British sides.There was also a small craft store, Rorke's Drift Arts and Craft all of the items inside were made locally and helped through a project to create income/employment by teaching people, ceramics and tapestry.There were some beautiful pots that had been smoked and still had an amazing smell but unfortunately the consensus was that we didn't have enough room and it would probably break before I could get it somewhere to ship it.
As the rain continued we went on to Isandlwana which is where a very large British force underestimated the strength, cunning and courage of the Zulu warriors.The British leader, Lord Chelmsford is supposed to have remarked "I can't understand it. I left a thousand men here." - he was returning with a force he had lead away from Isandlwana after a smaller Zulu force believing it to be the main one.He was mistaken, the 25,000 strong Zulu force was laying in wait for this separation of the British force and attached and quashed the 1,000 strong British force.I think the weather added to the atmosphere here but after a look around the museum we drove up to the battlefield, we had hoped to take a walk around but opted for the dryer car view!
After this we thought we could manage one more before heading back for supper, Blood River.We'd seen the monument on postcards and it looked rather impressive so figured we'd better have a look, unfortunately it was closed by the time we got there, with no visitors I think they just decided to close up early but we were still able to drive down to the monument and take some photo's.The monument we visited was the Boer one, the battle is called Ncome in Zulu and their memorial was on the other side of the river - we hadn't realized this at the time or would have had a quick look over that side too.I'm not 100% sure of exactly what happened here but it seems a small Boer group was able to group it's wagons into a circle and fend off a Zulu force of thousands…….
All very interesting, if you are ever in the area I recommend a visit!I may be back one day myself for the pot!!