Thursday, 21 March 2019

zululand tour day 3

Today we returned to Eshowe to visit the site of King Cetshawayos death and then on to his grave .After the Zulu defeat at Ulundi Cetshawayo was eventually caught and imprisoned he was sent to London where he became a favourite of Queen Victoria .Later when it became obviuos to the British things were still unsettled in Zululand and they decided to reinstate the King but only in part of the country ,Zululand was divided into 13 states or areas .Cetshawayo returned but was soon involved in clashes with other zulu chiefs and was wounded by zulus led by Uzibhebhu with help from Boers , the King escaped and went to Eshowe to ask for help from the British ,he died afew days later ,the Zulus refused an autopsy and the official reason for death was an heart attack but rumours of poison were and still are rife .  After his death his followers carried out the ritual for burial of kings by putting him a sitting position wrapped in hides and sat him in a hut attended by a number of zulu girls  ,he was left like this until his body became desicated ,he was then loaded on a truck and taken to a secret location in the heart of his home land where he was buried and the wagon was left over his grave and the site was allolwed to become overgrown . Today the spot where he died is marked by a memorial which is now on a central reservation in a white area of eshowe , we visited this before following the trail taken by his followers to his burial site .The journey took us 40 minutes by vehicle over the most awful terrain ,it must have been a very long and difficult journey pulling the cart . The grave today has been cleared and amonument put over the grave , a Zulu waoman still tends the grave and asks all visitors to sign in ,it was sad that before our names the last entry was Ian Knight when he visited in January this year ,before that about 50 zulus had visited over the previuos year and then Ians visit last march was the next entry . Further to this story was that in 1906 a further Zulu Rebellion took place led by Bambatha , the revolt was put down the British being spurred on by Ghandi who was visiting South Africa at the time and wanted more rites for Indians living in the area .Bambatha used Cetshawayos grave as arallying point and has his Impi grew the British and colonial forces moved in armed with the latest rifles machine guns and artillery and the Zulus armed mainly with traditional spears and shields with some old rifles and muskets soon were destroyed over 3000 zulus perished in the revolt .To prove Bambatha was killed survivors were asked to Identify his body and his head was removed and taken back to help quell the revolt ,how ever almost immediatley a rumour appeared stating the whitemen had fallen for the ruse and the head was another warriors and Bambatha was still alive ,either way he was not seen again by the whites and the revolt collapsed .We then returned to Shaka land for our evening meal a chance to learn how to fight in the zulu way ,drink traditional zulu beer and watch zulu crafts .
The memorial on the site were Cetshwayo died

Part of the modern road leading to the grave site

The grave with the lady curator 
Zulu dogs are all very similier and are alocal breed ,this one stays near the Kings Grave 

the following few pictures show the terrain over which the final battle of the 1906 revolt took place
Bones and weapons are still laying in the valley 
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Our night at Shakaland

Descring a zulu homestead

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a great warrior with a Zulu 

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Zulu Tour day2

On day 2 after Breakfast we went down to the beach and looked at the area of beach were Henry francis Flynn met Shaka zulus army for the first time , with the Indian Ocean breaking on the shore it was great listening to the story told by Ian we also got to watch a large number of dolphins playing just off shore . We left Princess Grant and headed inland to the battlefield of Gingindlovu where Chelmsfords forces met the Zulu army whilst trying to break the siege of Eshowe .The Battlefield today is covered in crops of sugar cane and the cemetery is overgrown .This bloody battle  for the British forces is usually forgotten but was a decisive victory for Chelmsfords forces only losing around 11 men and inflicting over 1000 dead upon the Zulu .We moved up to the next battle field of Nyezane where Pearsons column encountered the Zulus in very hilly ground with the naval brigade showing thier worth and turning the zulus . A few monuments overgrown and fenced off are the only things marking this battle . Next we stopped for lunch and a tour of Fort Nongquyi a very beau geste looking affair built to train troops and police who took part in the 1906 Zulu uprising ,it has a nice little museum .After lunch we went to the site of the mission station at Eshowe and visited the Graves of the men who were killed in action and by Disease ,after a tireing day we went on to our home for the next few days Shakaland , originally built for the TV series Shakazulu it is now a cultural centre with around 50 huts converted into hotel rooms the remainder are lived in by locals who take part in dancing , fighting and craft making displays a wonderful experience in beautiful surroundings .
Big hats ,good sun screen heavy boots and good bug repellent are all a must 
add 20,000 zulus and you will get the sight greeting Flynn

Monument to the Zulu Regiments who took part 

The first fighting at Nyezane took place on this hill with the zulus swarming down into the NNC 

you can almost see dead legionaries on the walls 

the museum curator who was embarrassed to be taking Ian Knight on a tour 

Our lodge at Shakaland