KwaZulu- Natal. May 2022

 2.  Dundee, Rorke's Drift and Isandlwana.

Battlefields Lodge, Dundee. 

We stayed here for 5 nights as we were camping over a long public holiday weekend - which is one of the reasons we chose this area rather than the coast.  The campsite was very quiet and, most of the time, we were the only campers.  The lodge was also quiet except on Saturday when there was a wedding, but that was all finished by mid afternoon.  

 Our campsite at Battlefields Lodge.

 We made freinds with one of the lodge cats - of course!

There are a couple of walking/jogging trails at the lodge.

The large pond/pool in the lodge grounds which is where the wedding took place.

we were please that we were given this brazier and plenty of wood to keep us warm during the cool evenings.

 Wedding guests welcoming the bride with lots of singing, clapping and ululating

Talana Museum.

 We have visited this museum which is on the ourskirts of Dundee, before but enjoyed our return trip.  It's been kept in excellent condition and new collections have been added.  Sadly the walking trail to the nearby Talana battlefiled was closed.

The main museum building contains the National Coal Museum as from the mid 1880’s Dundee became the heart of the richest coal producing area in the country.  It also houses collections of beadwork from all over the country.  Talana House contains information about the military history of the area and Smith Cottage has artefacts showing what life was like for the early pioneers.The battle of Talana – the first battle of the Anglo Boer War of 1899-1902 – was fought across this area around the original buildings and up Talana hill.   Other buildings house information about the History of Dundee, a collection of Zulu war artefacts and cultural items, the Gandi Museum as well and a re-creation of Talana Station. 

The National Coal Museum with an old piece of equipment outside.   

 Smith Cottage was once lived in by Peter Smith a founder of Dundee, who farmed and mined coal on this site.

A memorial to those who lost their lives in the Battle of Talana - Talana Hill is in the background.  

 A locomotive, which was relocated from a coal mine, stands at the reconstructed Talana Station.

Rorke's Drift.

 Another place we've been to before.  Sadly the site has been neglected and they didn't even have any leaflets to hand out at the entrance.  The site has been fenced and you can no longer walk up to the terraces behind the buildings as they are the other side of the fence.  There is a gate but no path to the top.   After looking around we had our lunch at an overgrown picnic table and then enjoyed the scenery as we followed the gravel road south and then west until we met the R33 which took us back to Dundee.    

 The bridge over the Buffalo River which is near where the old Rorke's Drift crossing used to be.

A very full Buffalo River - you would not be able to cross it without the bridge with the water this high. 

 A view of Rorke's Drift settlement from near the river.

 Our drive took us through hills and valleys with some lovely views.

 Plenty of evidence of the amount of rain in recent months.

 One of several animal encounters along the way.  The rocks are for re-grading the road. 


 After our disapointment with Rorke's Drift we were not sure what to expect here but were delighted to find that everything has been kept in good condition.  The Museum was intersting, the walking trails around the site were clear and the marker stones and graves well kept.   

 Approaching Isandlwana from the East.

 The monument to the Zulus who lost their lives in the battle.

 Well kept cairns which mark where the British soldiers died during the battle.

 Even from a long way off Isandlwana is recognisable.

Last updated: December  2022