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Zulu Dawn:“Excuse me, my Lord, there's something I must convey to you. I rode along the track down to Rorke's Drift. The sky above is red with fire. Your orders my Lord? Do we move to the drift?”
 
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 Rorke's Drift - Where did the Zulu Impi cross the Umzinyathi?

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maussie



Posts : 9
Join date : 2010-08-03

Rorke's Drift - Where did the Zulu Impi cross the Umzinyathi? Empty
PostSubject: Rorke's Drift - Where did the Zulu Impi cross the Umzinyathi?   Rorke's Drift - Where did the Zulu Impi cross the Umzinyathi? EmptySun Aug 07, 2011 7:26 pm

I would appreciate any information about the Zulu line of advance/retreat to/from Rorke's Drift. Does anyone have GPS co-ordinates for the river crossings? Any facts or theories welcome. Thank you.
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

Posts : 7853
Join date : 2009-09-21
Age : 74
Location : Cape Town South Africa

Rorke's Drift - Where did the Zulu Impi cross the Umzinyathi? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Rorke's Drift - Where did the Zulu Impi cross the Umzinyathi?   Rorke's Drift - Where did the Zulu Impi cross the Umzinyathi? EmptyMon Aug 08, 2011 7:47 am

Upstream from FD the river narrows through a rock split, Ian Knight has indicated this as the crossing point. I think this should get you close.
28 21 20.98S
30 34 30.49 E

Regards
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maussie



Posts : 9
Join date : 2010-08-03

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PostSubject: Re: Rorke's Drift - Where did the Zulu Impi cross the Umzinyathi?   Rorke's Drift - Where did the Zulu Impi cross the Umzinyathi? EmptyMon Aug 08, 2011 11:56 am

Thanks I have been investigating the section between your co-ordinates and 28 21 32.49 s and 30 34 34.53 E (about 400m down river). Some refer to this point as "Masondo". I have visited this area before but felt that the gap was a bit wide (about 2.5-3.0 metres est) and the "runup", launch and landing points are tricky. In addition, the rock is very hard and does not look like it would have eroded much if at all over the last 132 years. (Just my opinion). The river was in flood so the rocks would also have been very slippery, so not something I would try (but I'm not brave and also not a Zulu!). However, a tree or branch could easily be thrown across the gap.

I will investigate further next weekend. and let you know

Some references suggest a crossing point not far above Fugitives Drift (the river also narrows into a gorge) but I would think it unlikely that they would have taken such a long way around, and the approach to this point from the Zululand side is not a "natural" route to follow on foot.
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

Posts : 7853
Join date : 2009-09-21
Age : 74
Location : Cape Town South Africa

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PostSubject: Re: Rorke's Drift - Where did the Zulu Impi cross the Umzinyathi?   Rorke's Drift - Where did the Zulu Impi cross the Umzinyathi? EmptyMon Aug 08, 2011 12:36 pm

maussie
Dont forget the traditional crossing point is not the generally termed Fugitives Drift. Above the traditional point with the sandbar under the cliff there is the Smith Dorean Pool. Upstream from that is a re entrant, all the locals use this as the crossing point and have I understand done so for many many years. The path over the top of the vertical drop into the SD pool is well worn, Im spent many hours searching that area looking for any sign of Smiths Grave. Obviously with no success.
Good look with the search, if you have access to "Nothing Remains but to Fight" ( Ian Knight ) look on page 65, thats the crossing Ian refers to.

Regards
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