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Visitor Information

Contact Dundee Tourism (tel. 034/2122121), which is the area's central hub, at Rorke's Drift and Isandlwana. The Ladysmith Tourism Information Bureau, site of the Second Anglo-Boer War (tel. 036/637-2992; www.ladysmith.kzn.org.za) is also very helpful.

Getting There

By Car -- It takes around 3 1/2 hours by car from Durban to get to the battlefields, 4 1/2 hours from Jo'burg. You have a choice of a number of routes, but the N3 toll road is the safest. If you're interested in Zulu culture, travel to or from Durban via Eshowe.

By Bus -- Greyhound and Translux both travel through Ladysmith daily.

Guided Tour

Exploring with a recommended guide is highly advised; unless you are an African history guru, it would be remiss to attempt a tour of the area without one. David Rattray, the late legendary storyteller whose family still runs Fugitive's Drift (tel. 034/642-1843 or 034/271-8051), has left behind a more than capable team of handpicked staff members well versed and rehearsed in the inimitable Rattray style. Their detailed research on the individuals who fought on both sides of the Anglo-Zulu War humanizes the battles, and even those who find history rather dry will find themselves enthralled. Space allowing, nonresidents may join these tours for a fee starting at R410 for Rorkes Drift and Isandlwana, depending on the tour and season.

For the Battle of Spioenkop of the Anglo Boer War, stay at Three Tree Hill Lodge, which continues the Rattray tradition of enthralling tours and wonderful hospitality (tel. 036/448-1171 or 082/379-1864; www.threetreehill.co.za).

Other guides worth mentioning are Mike Nel, who is based in Dundee (tel. 082/366-2639 or 034/212-2601). Prince Sibusiso Shibe, the local historian working with Thompson's Tours (tel. 031/275-3500 or 083/967-6347); Rob Gerrard, resident historian and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, based at Isandlwana Lodge; and natural scientist John Turner (tel. 035/835-0062), who combines battlefield tours with trips to nearby reserves, such as Hluhluwe-iMfolozi, where he puts his degree in animal behavior to excellent use.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.