Rorkes Drift Day Tour Trip Report 31 July 2022

Amazing views, stunning weather, friendly people and the opportunity to walk the very battlefields made famous by the movies Zulu and Zulu Dawn; what more could you ask for.

The last month or so I have had numerous queries from travellers about tours to the battlefields of Rorkes Drift and Isandlwana, unfortunately I haven’t been able to do them because of prior commitments, but this weekend that all changed.

I received a call late Saturday from 4 British travellers who were keen to head up to Rorkes Drift for the day. Since I hadn’t been for a while I thought it a perfect opportunity to head out to one of my favourite sites and so quickly said yes Arrangements made, I collected my guests the next morning at 6am and off we went.

Michael, the main driver for the tour explained on the way to Rorkes Drift that the film Zulu was his late fathers favourite film and every year around Christmas time it was a family tradition to watch the film yet again.

I find it quite fascinating how many visitors I have taken out to the battlefields because of the films Zulu and Zulu Dawn.

Isandlwana Battlefield

Another interesting thing I have noticed; most enthusiasts are keen to visit Rorkes Drift but generally have little idea just have pivotal the battle of Isandlwana is. Fact is, without the battle of Isandlwana, there would be no battle of Rorkes Drift.

The battlefield of Isandlwana

On the drive to the battlefields, our first stop is always Isandlwana where, from a perfect vantage spot, I’ll go through the why’s and wherefore’s of the events that occurred here in 1879. We’ll also visit the little museum nearby before venturing on the battlefield itself.

Being on the battlefield really changes for perceptions about this battle. As you walk about there are a number of cairns that have been painted white that mark the remains of both British soldiers and Zulu warriors.

You get to see first hand exactly how challenging the landscape is and how difficult it must of been for British soldiers far from home to conduct European style warfare in South Africa. Of course at the same time you can also begin to understand the challenges faced by the Zulu warriors as they faced the might of Europe’s best professional army.

Battle of Rorkes Drift

After some time spent at Isandlwana my guests were ready for a spot of lunch. I had packed a picnic lunch so we elected to go sit at the picnic table at Rorkes Drift and to enjoy our lunches there.

On the drive there my client Michael became quite emotional; not only was this a place he had always wanted to visit since watching the film Zulu was a boy, it was also a way to connect to his father who had lost his battle to cancer not too long ago. I was so thrilled to be able to assist Michael in getting to Rorkes Drift and be a part of this special day for him.

Rorkes Drift

After our lunch we headed up to Rorkes Drift where I spent a good hour explaining the events of the day, and then at least another hour answering question after question by my very enthusiastic guests!

While I began to pack everything up, my guests went to pay their respects to both the British and Zulu dead at Rorkes Drift before buying a few soft drinks from the little spaza shop at Rorkes Drift.

Run by one of the local ladies in the community, I always support this shop because it helps the community and quite honestly in these remote areas, they can do with all the help they can get.

Back to Durban

On the way to the battlefields I spent a god 3 maybe 4 hours covering what happened in the build up to the Anglo Zulu War as well as covered a little about the traditions and cultures of the Zulu and Boers.

Amazing views around Isandlwana

Now on the way back I chatted a little about the rest of the war including the death of the Prince Imperial of France and of course the ultimate outcome of the Anglo Zulu war and it’s effects on us today.

All in all it was a fantastic day out and I know my guests loved it!

Booking a Day Tour to Isandlwana and Rorkes Drift from Durban

If you would like to visit the Battlefields of Rorkes Drift and Isandlwana on a day tour from Durban, and you would like an expert guide with you to bring to life the events that happened here in 1879, then us the contact form to get in touch with me. Not only will I accompany on the battlefields, but I will collect you from your accommodation in Durban and drop you off again as well.

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