Battelfields of the Boer war and the Bristish - African Classic








Battlefield Tours with African Classic


  Those who do not look upon themselves as a link connecting the past with the future do not perform their duty to the world.  

   - Daniel Webster















Battlefields of South Africa





Blood River Battlefield, 1838
460 Boers under Andries Pretorius defeated some 15,000 Zulus under Dingane. A replica of the Boer laager can be found on the site, as well as a memorial to the Zulu impi who fought bravely during the battle. 48km from Dundee, off the R33. Open daily.


Majuba, 1881
British troops under General Colley were defeated overwhelmingly in the decisive battle of the first Boer-British conflict. On 6 March 1881, General Joubert and Colley's successor, General Wood, signed an armistice agreement. On 3 August, the Pretoria Convention gave the Transvaal its independence. On the N11 from Newcastle to Volksrust. Open daily


Talana, 1899
The museum commemorates the first battle between British and Boers in the South African War of 1899-1902). There is a self-guided tour of the battlefield. About 1.5 km outside Dundee on the Vryheid road Open daily, but check times

The Siege of Ladysmith, 1899
On 2 November 1899, Boer general Piet Joubert laid siege to Ladysmith and its 12,000 British troops for 118 days. The Siege Museum has a fascinating collection of artefacts, documents, firearms and other items, as well as information on battlefields in the area.

Spioenkop, 1899
Spioenkop was the scene of a bloody and futile battle between British and Boer forces during the Siege of Ladysmith. Countless graves and memorials are scattered around the summit of the mountain, which has a magnificent views of the Drakensberg. Off the R616. Open daily

Elandslaagte, 1899
A battle between Boer and British forces on 22 October 1899 over the railway line from Dundee to Ladysmith. The British were forced to retreat to nearby Ladysmith. Open daily

The Clouster Garden of Remembrance, once Gen Buller's headquarters during the Battle of Colenso at which he tried unsuccessfully to cross the Tugela and relieve Ladysmith, houses memorials and graves from the war. On the R103 outside Colenso. Open daily

Armored Train Cemetery
A plaque marks the spot where Winston Churchill was captured by the Boers, near the cemetery.
Off the R103 near Frere



Isandlwana, 1879
In January 1879 an invading British force of some 1,700 under Lord Chelmsford was annihilated by 20,000 Zulu warriors at Isandlwana Hill. Cairns mark the places where the British soldiers fell and were later buried on this remote and brooding battlefield.
Off the R68 between Nqutu and Babanango. Open daily

Fugitives Drift
The two brave officers responsible for saving the Queen's Colour from Isandlwana are buried here, 15 km beyond Rorke's Drift. The Fugitives' Trail follows the route along which the handful of survivors fled from Isandlwana across the Buffalo River. Open daily.

Rorkes Drift
The museum and interpretation centre are on the site of the hospital where the famous battle took place during which some 100 British soldiers repelled 4,000 Zulus for 12 hours, earning no fewer than 11 Victoria Crosses. 42 km from Dundee, off the R68 to Nqutu Open daily

British forces under Colonel Wood were routed by a Zulu impi of about 20 000 men.
Approximately 20km from Vryheid, on the Hlobane road

British forces attempting to relieve besieged Eshowe fought off an attack by Zulu impis. Eshowe was relieved next day, 3 April 1879. Open daily.

Ulundi, 1879
The battle on 4 July ended in the final defeat of the Zulu army and the crushing of the Zulu state, marking the end of the old Zulu order. The monument honours both the Zulu warriors who perished in defence of their king, and the British soldiers killed in the battle.

3 kms east of Ulundi.

Prince Imperial's Memorial
A plaque marks the spot where Prince Louis Napoleon, heir to the Napoleonic dynasty, met his untimely end on 1 June 1879.





The Siege of Kimberley, 1899
Kimberley was a key outpost on the western front of the Anglo-Boer War. The town was besieged by Boer forces for four months, during which rail and telephone communications were cut and the inhabitants were isolated. A memorial designed by Sir Herbert Baker honours the memory of the British soldiers who died during the siege.

Modder River, 1899
Scene of a deadly battle in which 2-4000 Boers under De la Rey and Prinsloo were overcome by a larger force of British troops under Lord Methuen. There are memorials to the fallen on either side of the Modder River Bridge.

Magersfontein, 1899
The major battlefield on the western front in which 948 British soldiers and 276 Boers were killed, wounded or captured. The battle site and memorials have been declared national monuments. It is told that on the night of 11th December each year, one can hear the eerie and haunting playing of a Scottish bagpiper who died here in battle. 35kms from Kimberley on the airport road.



Paardeburg, 1900
A pitched battle between 40 000 British troops, under Roberts and Kitchener, on their way to relieve Kimberley, and 4000 Boer troops under the command of Cronje and De Wet, which ended in defeat for the Boers



Siege of Mafeking 1899
During the early stages of the Anglo-Boer War, the Boer forces besieged the town of Mafikeng, under the command of Colonel Baden-Powell for 217 days. It was here that the Siege Cadet Corps and later the Boy Scout movement was conceived. The local museum in present-day Mafikeng has an excellent exhibit on the siege.

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History tours of the Battlefiields with African Classic