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 140 Year Anniversary - Is there going to be a Commemoration???

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GaryTraynor



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Join date : 2017-11-27
Age : 51
Location : Moruya - New South Wales - Australia

PostSubject: 140 Year Anniversary - Is there going to be a Commemoration???   Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:11 pm

Hello, I am an Australian who wishes to visit Rorke’s Drift, Isandlawana and Fugitive’s Drift. As you know, January of 2019 will be the 140th Anniversary of the engagement. Could you please kindly respond to these following questions.
1. Is there going to be a commemoration? i.e. with local Zulu people re-enacting their part in the battle or even British people attending in period costume??? I only ask this as I am inquiring whether I should time my visit to coincide with this date???
2. Can you please advise if it is possible to walk from Rorke’s Drift to Isandlawana (possibly to stay at Isandlawana Lodge) for two nights or three nights..... taking in a battlefield tour and then a self exploration of the battlefield.
3. Then trek through Fugitive’s Drift (again, staying at Fugitive’s Drift Lodge)
4. Then trek back to Rorke’s Drift for a further two nights?
I am a very experienced trekker and lead tours myself to the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea, Gallipoli in Turkey and Thailand. So the distance is not an issue to me. I was just wondering if it was safe to do so???
Being from Australia, it is a very long way to come and I am one of those people who don’t just wish to visit the battlefield, but get a good feel and in depth experience of the battle and the experience of the British & Zulu troops.

I have just finished reading the books "How Can Man Die Better" and "Like Sheep on the Fold" by Lt. Col. Mike Snook and was very impressed. Are these the best books to read?? Or can you recommend others?

Yours gratefully. Gary Traynor (from Australia)
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: 140 Year Anniversary - Is there going to be a Commemoration???   Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:07 am

Hi Gary ( Second Aussie Gary on the forum
There is a 'commemoration' every 22nd January, normally attended by King Goodwill. Hence the reason for building the abomination at the battlefield entrance. I don't now of anything special being planned for a 140th anniversary though.
Its full possible to walk from RD to iSandlwana, there are two routes, following the modern road or the old bridal trail. The bridal trail cuts across country and is a really good walk, The road is an unexciting drudge.
The walk from the battlefield along the trail is well marked and although a fair trek is relatively simple. the nasty bit is crossing the river at the end. If you go with a guide from Fugitives Lodge they will have a means of crossing the river arranged, could be an old tyre inertube tied to a rope.
If the river is low its possible to clamber across the boulders with dry feet. But theres no guarantees on what the condition will be, Ive seen it bone dry and a raging set of rapids withing the same month.
I would not advise solitary wanderings around the bush. Not only for the inherent possibility of a robbery but also for the potential for accidents or even snake bites.
Hopefully 90th will see your post, he popped across for a visit a couple of years ago now he cant stay away! I'm sure he will have some invaluable advice for a 'tourist' ( No disrespect intended). Rather than my 'local' point of view, I know he has enacted with a number of local guides and tour parties so will be able to offer some thoughts.
Enjoy the trip.

Cheers
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warrior3



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PostSubject: Re: 140 Year Anniversary - Is there going to be a Commemoration???   Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:46 pm

Hi Gary,
I have done the Fugitive's Trail on my own, but only after I've been shown twice before. However, I wouldn't recommend it. When I was last there the last time the white painted arrows that point the way along the trail were very faded, and they don't last the whole way, probably about a third of the way, if that. Also, in January, as you probably know, it can be very, very hot, but as you're a hiker you will know about taking plenty of water, hardy walking boots, etc, it can get quite rocky-ish. It's still one of my favourite things to do whilst in Zululand. Take a good guide and lap it up.
Cheers.
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GaryTraynor



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Join date : 2017-11-27
Age : 51
Location : Moruya - New South Wales - Australia

PostSubject: Re: 140 Year Anniversary - Is there going to be a Commemoration???   Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:15 pm

Thank you very much Frank Allewell and warrior3 for your responses. I am excited that there is an old bridal trail and that sounds right up my alley. I really wanted to get a sense of the distances involved and if the bridle trail follows the same route that the ox wagons travelled between Rorke's Drift and Isandlwana ... then walking that stretch will be one of the highlights of my trip. IS THERE ANYBODY ELSE OUT THERE who would like to walk the battlefields??? No harm in asking Surprised
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warrior3



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Age : 52
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PostSubject: Re: 140 Year Anniversary - Is there going to be a Commemoration???   Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:27 pm

Hi Gary,
If I was you I would contact Ian Knight who's doing his own trip in March 2018. I've signed up for it, and to be honest, you're not going to get better than that. Once you've experienced that you might, like I've done, solo trips after that. But to experience Zululand, in my opinion, it is better in a group of enthusiasts, ie, shared experiences, banter, company, not to mention probably the most knowledgable expert on the Zulu war that is hosting the trip. Ian is doing two trips early next year, one with a major battlefield tour company, and one on a more intimate scale. Go for the second option and I might see you next year. You will not regret it!
Cheers
Guy
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: 140 Year Anniversary - Is there going to be a Commemoration???   Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:46 am

What needs to be taken into consideration on the fugitives trail is that the actual fugitives fled over a wide area, the trail as used today is merely a path over Mpethe that represents the escape route.
Warriors advice is sound, the nuances of the battles are such that someone like IK is essential to explain what happened and where.
The bridal trail is a traditional route that crosses the plain between the Escarpement and the Buffalo. Its not the route taken by the convoys of wagons or the regiments, then again neither is the current road.

Cheers
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