Battlefields of Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift (Zulu War 1879)

Section for posting period and modern photographs and maps of the Victorian battlefield.

Re: Isandhlwana, Fugitives Trail and Rorke's Drift

Postby Brett Hendey » 12 Aug 2013 07:01

Peter

Excellent photographs and a wonderful record of a battlefield tour! Thank you for sharing your experience with us.

I noticed that you were not troubled by crowds of visitors, which is, sadly, a sign of the times. I say 'sadly' because without a healthy battlefield tourism industry, its future looks bleak, and the battlefields themselves will be neglected. Recently, the author, Ron Lock, in a letter to a local newspaper expressed great concern about maintaining the integrity of battlefields in the light of population growth and prevailing attitudes towards Colonial history.

Regards
Brett
Brett Hendey
Senior Member
 
Posts: 215
Joined: 04 Jun 2008 06:37

Re: Isandhlwana, Fugitives Trail and Rorke's Drift

Postby Peter Ewart » 12 Aug 2013 09:58

Great snapshots, Peter. And good to see some recent(ish!) photos of FDL. Stayed there 13 years ago but it still seems like yesterday. The Mzinyathi was in full spate, very wide indeed and flowing along very fast. Scrambling or wading was out of the question (no rocks or river bed visible at all!) so David Rattray got his teenage sons to pull us across in not much more than a large black tyre, they swimming with one hand and dragging us with the other. They did this three times to get the group across, knowing the currents intimately and having to swim upriver for much of the crossing. They were absolutely whacked before the end of the third crossing, the whole operation being conducted under the watchful eye of David, right over on the "Natal bank."

Brett, yes the struggle between population growth and protecting the battlefields is, and will be, a big issue. The encroachment at Isandlwana itself is increasing but no doubt the needs of the people must come first. It would be wonderful to arrive at a happy compromise. For my part, I think the proliferation of memorials in recent years is getting a bit much. No doubt regular visitor numbers at the less frequented battlefields would go some way towards reducing the constant vandalism and desceration, but there's a long way to go there. And, of course, the battlefield ceremonies at Isandlwana are these days used for political messages whenever an anniversary is in the offing.

I understand battlefield visitor numbers were badly affected by David's murder and then the worldwide recession must have hit numbers from Europe badly. In addition, the constant bad press RSA gets internationally in the wake of its violent crime will take some overcoming and must have a depressing effect on numbers, even though rural KZN is almost certainly much safer than many other RSA destinations.

Peter
Peter Ewart
Participating Member
 
Posts: 125
Joined: 20 Dec 2009 22:18

Re: Isandhlwana, Fugitives Trail and Rorke's Drift

Postby Brett Hendey » 14 Aug 2013 06:56

Peter

I agree with all you have written. There seems to be no happy solution to the problems facing battlefield tourism in Natal, and they are but a tiny part of the problems facing South Africa as a whole.

Regards
Brett
Brett Hendey
Senior Member
 
Posts: 215
Joined: 04 Jun 2008 06:37

Re: Isandhlwana, Fugitives Trail and Rorke's Drift

Postby addseo1115 » 28 Jul 2015 11:26

political messages whenever an anniversary is in the offing.
holiday palace
addseo1115
New Member
 
Posts: 3
Joined: 03 Jun 2015 10:10

Previous

Return to Photographs & Maps of the Victorian Battlefields

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest