Evening tour of Talana battlefield by full moon.
Saturday, 9 July 2017
Friday, 6 October 2017
Saturday, 4 November 2017
Saturday, 2 December 2017
17h15 meet at Talana Museum. Drive to Ingudlane Lodge. Refreshments and snacks overlooking the battlefield of Talana. Here the story will start as you have a unique experience that is only available by special arrangement. After this wonderful start, we move on to Talana Museum and battlefield.
There is a very different atmosphere to the museum at night – and yes, ghosts do walk here. View the Anglo-Zulu and Anglo-Boer exhibits with commentary by your guide. Ann Smith will welcome you to her home on the slopes of Talana Hill, join her in the Edwardian drawing room of her home. Hear her tales of life on the frontier and how her family coped with the battle that raged across the farm.
Move out under the full moon on to the battlefield and experience unforgettable tales of this first battle of the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902.
A picnic hamper of delicious food reminiscent of the bygone era will be enjoyed in the museum grounds (includes wine in your personalised souvenir glass), before departing to your local B&B.
Numbers are limited on this tour due to access into the Smith cottage drawing room—this is a special concession for this tour only as visitors normally view the room from the doorway.
6 to 14 people per tour group.
You may wish to add to this tour by making a weekend of it.
New look at Rorke’s Drift battlefield – St Augustines and Dundee Heritage Trail.
Depart Dundee at 08h30 via the Isibindi Falls and the lookout over the Rorke’s Drift valley to Isandlwana at Helpmekaar. Then proceed down the Hoehoek Pass to Rorke’s Drift. This pass was named in the days of wagon transport when drivers had to hold tight onto the reins so that the animals did not go too fast. You will understand why as you proceed down this pass. Along the way you will hear tales of cannibals who lived in this area in the early 1800’s as well as tales of Piet Retief’s widow.
At Rorke’s Drift you will visit the many places associated with the battle (Zulu cemetery, British cemetery, Zulu memorial) and hear the story of this renowned battle where just over 100 British soldiers fought a 12 hour battle against an attacking force of 4000 Zulus. Fascinating and unforgettable. You will also get a chance to visit the church erected after the battle and the grave of James Rorke who gave his name to the site. How did he really die? Hear all the differing accounts.
After lunch at Rorke’s Drift hotel, we visit the drift on the Buffalo river and the site and remains of Fort Melville, the river crossing, the site of Fort Northampton and the military cemetery. Then travel via back roads, which give you an amazing view of rural Zululand to St Augustines mission church. From here on your way back to Dundee you will see Vant’s Drift on the Buffalo River (one of the crossings used in both the Anglo-Zulu and Anglo-Boer wars), the site of the Buffalo Border Police Post and their gun position that overlooked the river and hear the tale of this amazing local militia force.
On return to Dundee enjoy a walkthrough the centre of the town along a portion of the heritage trail and hear fascinating tales of the early days of Dundee, the buildings and the people who built them.
Maria Ratschitz Mission
Drive through the Wasbank valley – hear tales of the Voortrekkers en route through the valley – to the magnificent site of Maria Ratschitz mission at the base of Hlatikulu mountain. Established in 1882 this out station of Marianhill, has a wonderful history. The cathedral-like church has decorated interior walls, which have been restored to their original magnificence. This peaceful place nestled in the foothills of the Biggarsberg Mountains was founded and built by the Trappists under the leadership of Abbot Francis Pfanner, in 1890.
The community around the mission flourished and many skills were imparted and children received an excellent education.
As a consequence of forced removals in 1968 the entire complex ceased to function and went into decline. The uninhabited buildings turned slowly into ruins. The majestic church also deteriorated. In 1996 after receiving a large anonymous donation from Germany for the specific purpose of restoring the church and mission, the Diocese of Dundee embarked on the restoration of Maria Ratschitz. In the year 2000 the work was completed and today visitors can truly enjoy the peace and solitude of this special place.
The gardens are lovingly cared for and many have described this oasis in the wilderness as a little piece of paradise!
The restoration of the buildings and site have been remarkable over the past 20 years. Now functioning as an Aids hospice, a retirement home for nuns and a retreat, this peaceful, thought provoking visit will remain in your minds and hearts for year’s to come.
Morning tea supplied.
Depart midday for your return journey home.