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Isandlwana


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The battle of Isandlwana, the worst defeat of the British Army in the African Colonial Wars. The 24th Regiment was wiped out, with an estimated 1300 ( some sources mention 1472) dead and a handful of survivors by a Zulu force of 24.000 men.

The Zulus employed superior tactics and strategy and had better command lines, the British had the technological advantage of modern rifles, cannon and their bayonets outreached the Zulu Assegais but were in general (with a few exceptions) incompetently officered.

The number of Zulu dead is vastly underestimated by some sources, (Wikipedia mentions 1000) but as the Zulus removed their dead from the battlefield the true number may well have been between 5000 and 8000.

The lessons of Isandlwana had repercussions from the Boer War through WWI well into WWII with the Zulu strategic and tactical lessons applied by a new generation of professional officers.

 

We visited the scene with a historian/guide. It was fascinating and very emotive. His account was riveting and in-depth, the spirit of the battle was still present in the place. Including Rorke's drift (more about that later)  it took nine hours, which seemed like one.

Imagine a vast rolling plain with a brooding mountain, with white cairns dotted all over being the mass graves of the British soldiers as they fell in their retreat and the account of the expert bringing the battle alive before your eyes. A highlight of our trip.

 

 

 

 

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Yes, it will take a full day. I strongly advise you to stay at Isibindi Zulu Lodge for two nights and   to make use of Anthony Coleman (Battlescenes) as a guide.

If you want to book your trip through a local tour operator, I can recommend Tailor-made Safaris.

 

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