"The Battle of Isandlwana" Isandlwana by etfromnc

Isandlwana Travel Guide: 0 reviews and 4 photos

After the battle, many of the British bodies were merely covered with large rocks to prevent the fallen from becoming food for wild animals in the area. Some of those bodies never were recovered and are thought to be under these rock piles which are scattered around the battlefield.

The Battle of Isandlwana was fought on 22 January 1879 and was the first major encounter in the Anglo-Zulu War between the British Empire and the Zulu Kingdom, in what is now the nation of South Africa. Eleven days after the British commenced their invasion a 20,000 strong Zulu army attacked a portion of the British main column consisting of nearly 2,000 mixed British and colonial forces. The Zulus were equipped mainly with their traditional Assegai iron spears and cowhide shields, but also had a number of muskets and old rifles though they were not formally trained in their use. The British and colonial troops were armed with the then state of the art Martini-Henry breech-loading rifle, and two seven pounder artillery pieces as well as a rocket battery. Despite a vast disadvantage in weapons technology, the numerically superior Zulus ultimately overwhelmed the poorly led and unwisely deployed British, killing over 1,300 troops.

The Zulu army suffered around a thousand killed.

The battle was a decisive victory for the Zulus and caused the defeat of the first British invasion.

The best way to get to Isandlwana is probably to rent a car, and pray. The battlefield site is on a dirt road which is not particularly well marked. My best tip is that once you leave the paved highway, you should follow the few signs which you will encounter and trust that you have not missed it. We did ask two locals for directions along the way and they were very helpful.

  • Last visit to Isandlwana: Jul 2010
  • Intro Updated Sep 6, 2011
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