Natal History

Here you will find a overview of Natal History.
Zulu History

Zulu History

The Zulu ancestors first settled in Zululand in the late 17 century in the valley of the Mhlathuze River near 1here Eshowe is today. At a later stage, under the leadership of a young chief named Zulu; a group of these early settlers moved westward to the valley of the...

The Voortrekkers

The Voortrekkers

The introduction of British rule in the Cape Colony after 1806 resulted in wide spread dissatisfaction among the fiercely independent Afrikaners. This led to the major exodus of six main groups of Voortrekkers bound for unknown destinations in the hinterland from...

Vaalkrans Battlefield

Vaalkrans Battlefield

The scene of the third unsuccessful attempt by Gen. Buller, which was then abandoned because of heavy Boer fire.

Majuba – The Hill of Doves

Majuba – The Hill of Doves

After the defeat at both Laing's nek and lngogo, Colley urgently had to look at other tactics. None of his officers were consulted and the only hint of this was in the last paragraph of a letter, dated 4 February 1881, which he wrote to General Evelyn Wood: "I would...

Battle of Tugela Heights

Battle of Tugela Heights

General Buller's fourth attempt was successful. It began on 14 February and during the next few days Hlangwane Hill, a strong position of the Boers was taken, Colenso was occupied, and the Boers were driven across the river. An attack on Grobler's Kloof failed, but...

Spioenkop Battlefield

Spioenkop Battlefield

Scene of the most futile, certainly the bloodiest, of the four battles fought in an effort to relieve Ladysmith. Spioenkop was captured but later abandoned as it was dominated by Boer fire.

Siege of Ladysmith

Siege of Ladysmith

General Joubert's force of about 20 000 men, slowly but surely advanced on Ladysmith and placed heavy siege guns on the hills to the north and north-east of the town. The great guns, which carried a 96 lb. shell, was named Long Tom by the British soldiers. Some naval...

Elandslaagte Battlefield

Elandslaagte Battlefield

A Boer commando of about 1 200 men with three guns had ensconced itself among some hills near the Elandslaagte station. This commando was attacked by the British on 21 October 1899 and thoroughly defeated.

Talana Battlefield

Talana Battlefield

The first battle of the war was fought at Dundee. The Boers had cut the railway line between Ladysmith and Glencoe on 19 October 1899 and a commando of 4000 men under Commandant Lucas Meyer, attacked Gen. Penn-Symons at Dundee the following morning. They were in...

The Anglo-Boer War

The Anglo-Boer War

Following repeated negotiations with the Boers, the London Convention signed on 27 February 1884, provided for the lifting of British sovereignty and the Transvaal became the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek once again. With the discovery of gold in the Transvaal during...

O’Neil’s Cottage

O’Neil’s Cottage

This cottage, originally the home of Eugene O'Neil, was used as a hospital for British soldiers during the Battle of Majuba. Calley's successor, General Sir Evelyn Wood, signed an arrnlstice with Joubert on 6 March 1881 at O'Neil's cottage in the foothills of Majuba....

The Battle of lngogo [Schuinshoogte]

The Battle of lngogo [Schuinshoogte]

On the morning of the 8th of February 1881 a force of 311 men, including cavalry with four cannons moved southwards along the lngogo River as part of a plan to protect the supply route between Mount Prospect and Newcastle. Crossing the Harte and lngogo rivers, the...

Laing’s Nek Battle

Laing’s Nek Battle

The first battle of the First Anglo Boer War in Natal territory took place at Laing's Nek. The ultimate goal was to take the nek and advance from there into the Transvaal. On the 28 January 1881, with a force of 870 foot soldiers, and 180 mounted men, General Colley...

Battle of Bronkhorstspruit

Battle of Bronkhorstspruit

The first battle of this war was fought at Bronkhorstspruit [20 December 1880]'when the Boers under General Frans Joubert intercepted a British convoy consisting of the 94th regiment that was sent to relieve the besieged British forces in Pretoria. The British forces...

The First Anglo  Boer War

The First Anglo Boer War

The final aim of the Great Trek was accomplished when the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek (Transvaal) and the Orange Free State gained their independence from the British in 1852 and 1854 respectively. However on 12 April 1877 Shepstone annexed the Zuid-Afrikaansche...

Prince Imperial

Prince Imperial

On June 1st 1879 the world was shocked to receive the news of the death of a 22-year-old British officer. There was nothing special about an officer dying in a war in which 1 400 British soldiers were killed or where 23 VC's were awarded. This officer's death was as...

Battle of Ulundi

Battle of Ulundi

At dawn on 4 July 1879 a column consisting of about 3 000 infantry and 300 cavalry left the camp at the White Umfolozi and advanced rapidly on Ulundi. The troops were formed up on the grassy plain and the Zulu soon advanced in their usual formation and disregard for...

Kambula Camp

Kambula Camp

On 29 March the fortified Kambula camp was fiercely attacked by about 20 000 Zulu impis. The Zulu advanced on the camp in the usual way and manifested the same indifference to danger. The tremendous fire from the artillery proved too much for them and they wavered and...

Battle of Hlobane

Battle of Hlobane

On 28 March 1879 General Sir Evelyn Wood sent out a force from the Kambula camp to storm the Hlobane Mountain. The four hundred men under Colonel Buller succeeded in reaching the top with some loss of life. The mountain was then surrounded by Zulu impis under Chief...

Rorke’s Drift

Rorke’s Drift

After the victory at lsandlwana about 4 000 impis pushed forward to take possession of the British camp at the drift, which actually was the home of a Swede called Otto Witt. Lord Chelmsford needed a field hospital as some of his soldiers were showing sympto'f1'fs of...

lsandlwana Battlefield

lsandlwana Battlefield

At this sphinx like hill 20 000 Zulu warriors defeated the British Army in what has been described as one of the worst defeats ever suffered by the British. lsandlwana means "the hill that looks like a little house." On 20 January 1879 Colonel Glyn's column advanced...

The Anglo-ZuluWar

The Anglo-ZuluWar

King Mpande maintained cordial relations with the Voortrekkers and the British colonists, who were established south of the Thukela River. During 1872 Cetshwayo, son of king Mpande, became the undisputed successor of his father's throne after his brother Mbuyazi was...

History in Brief

History in Brief

1802 Drought and famine in Natal lead to upheaval among chiefdoms. 1815 Shaka becomes chief of the Zulu. 1828 Shaka assassinated and succeeded by Dingane. 1834 Port Natal renamed Durban. 1838 Voortrekkers arrive in Dingane's kingdom. Battle of Bloodriver. 1839 Mpande...

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