Durban and KwaZulu-Natal Sights

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Rorke's Drift Review

Rorke's Drift is by far the best of the Zulu War battlefields to see without a guide. An excellent museum and orientation center retells the story of the battle, with electronic diagrams, battle sounds, and dioramas. From the British perspective this was the most glorious battle of the Zulu War, the more so because it took place just hours after the disaster at Isandlwana. The British force at Rorke's Drift consisted of just 141 men, of whom 35 were ailing. They occupied a Swedish mission church and house, which had been converted into a storehouse and hospital. The Zulu forces numbered some 3,000–4,000 men, composed of the reserve regiments from Isandlwana. When a survivor from Isandlwana sounded the warning at 3:15 pm, the tiny British force hastily erected a stockade of flour bags and biscuit boxes around the mission. The Zulus attacked 75 minutes later, and the fighting raged for 12 hours before the Zulus faltered and retreated. To this day, historians cannot figure out why the Zulus failed to press their huge advantage. When the smoke cleared, 500 Zulus and 17 Britons lay dead.

    Contact Information

  • Address: Rorke's Drift Rd., off the R68, 3016
  • Phone: 034/642–1687
  • Cost: R15
  • Hours: Weekdays 8–4, weekends 9–4
  • Location: Rorke's Drift

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