This is from Ian Knights ' Zulu - Isandlwana & Rorkes Drift 22-23 January 1879 '
Chelmsford sent Lt. Milne and Capt. W. Penn Symons of the 24th up a hill on the left to look at the camp through
their glasses , Reported Milne .... ' On reaching the summit I could see the camp ; all the cattle had been driven in close
around the tents , I could see nothing of the enemy on the left . The main body of the enemy who had been on our front all
morning , were now assembled at the foot of Siphezi Hill , watching the movements of the mounted infantry , who were scouring
the plain some short distance off , but on their apprach they all retreated to the table - land on top of the ( Siphezi ) mountain.
I also saw small clusters of the enemy on every hill top around us , observing our movements . Distinct firing was heard at small
intervals in the direction of the mounted police ' .
Ian Knight continues ........ Exactly how much could Milne have seen from his position ? , Isandlwana is clearly visible 12 miles away
across the plain from Mangeni , and at a quick glance it seems improbable that anyone with a good glass could have missed signs
of a battle taking place at its foot . Yet the mountain itself IS BELOW THE SKYLINE , and the distant hills of Natal beyond camouflage
its outline , while any mist or heat haze would obscure objects at its foot . The white blur of the tents would probably have been clear
enough ; for the rest , Milne would have had to interpret a few dark smudges according to whatever circumstances he thought most
likely . Since no member of the staff expected anything unusual to be taking place at the camp , Milne assumed that the dark patches near the tents were cattle . He was later forced to admit that he may have been wrong in that judgement .
On page 49 of this book is a photo taken to the left of the Milne position , on the nek between Hlazakazi and Mdutshane , where a
number of officers looked back toward the camp . The photo was taken with a 200mm telephoto lens to simulate the effect of a telescope , Ian goes on to say , ' Although the outline of Isandlwana is dimly visible below the horizon it is impossible to discern any
detail of what lies at its base ' . Hope this helps .
ps. I forgot to mention , there could have been haziness but more likely the white smoke from the firing would have made it difficult
to see , but as the foot of Isandlwana cant be seen from this position the smoke mightnt have been seen . Milne wasnt looking directly
into the sun , but it was in his front .