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Kwazulu-Natal Battlefields and Big Five

(Tour code: BFJ17)Delve into the heart of this fascinating country

Re-live the defining moments of South Africa's infamous Anglo-Zulu War as local experts guide you through battle sites steeped in history, combine this with a possible Big Five encounter, a luxurious two-night stay aboard a Rovos Rail train and the sights of Cape Town.

Tour Highlights
  • Pretoria and the Voortrekker Monument
  • Spionkop Battlefields tour with a history specialist
  • Big Five game drive
  • 2 nights on board Rovos Rail
  • Excursion to Rorke’s Drift with a battlefields guide
  • Tour of Isandlwana with an expert guide
  • Cape Town tour and Table Mountain
  • The Cape of Good Hope & Boulders Bay Beach
  • Stellenbosch wine tasting
What’s Included (Full details)
  • 2 Nights on board Rovos Rail
  • Breakfast Every Day
    Selected Evening Meals
    7 Nights' Hotel Accommodation
    6 Lunches
  • Return Scheduled Flights

Itinerary & Map

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Departure Times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

Fly Options

Regional Departures Available

To make your travel arrangements even more convenient for you, we are excited to announce that we are now offering some regional airport options outside London for this tour.

To view prices and flight options, please click the 'View Dates & Prices' button and select the departure that you are interested in as options may vary. Alternative, click the image on the left to see flight options and call us on 01904 734 111 to book.

Days 1-2

Fly to Johannesburg

From London we fly to Johannesburg. Arriving on Day 2, we transfer to Pretoria for lunch and a one-night stay. After checking in to our hotel we visit the Voortrekker Monument, an enormous granite structure just south of Pretoria in Tshwane, which is dedicated to the pioneering emigrants of the 19th century. Designed by architect Gerard Moerdijk it commemorates those that made the journey from the British Cape Colony in the 1830s and 40s.

Rovos Rail
Days 3

Rovos Rail

We make our way to the station today where we join Rovos Rail for two nights aboard our 5-Star train. Lunch is served on board over views of the Drakensberg, 'Dragon Mountains', and later we make our ascent of Majuba Hill, the site of a decisive battle in the First Boer War. Tonight we enjoy our first dinner as we glide towards Elandslaagate for an overnight stop.

Big 5
Day 4

Nambiti game drive

On Day 4 we wake early for breakfast before embarking on a game drive in Nambiti Game Reserve, giving us the chance to spot the Big Five in their natural habitat. Rhinos, elephants, buffalo, lions and leopards make up this legendary collection and the name Big Five has traditions steeped in a violent hunting history: they were considered the hardest five animals to stalk and shoot on foot, thus making them the most sought-after trophies. Today though, the focus of these animals is on conservation and observation. After lunch back on the train, we continue to Spionkop, 'Spy Hill', for a tour of this historical battlefield site with a local expert. In January 1900 this was the site of a bloody battle between Boer farmers and British troops, who's miscalculated tactics led to an embarrassing defeat of what, at the time, was considered to be the mightiest army in the world. We learn more about exactly what happened here over 100 years ago as a battlefield specialist talks us through events as they occurred.

Valley of a Thousand Hills
Day 5

Valley of a Thousand Hills

This morning we pass through the Valley of a Thousand Hills, an area of incredible natural beauty just outside of Durban. Situated in the Kingdom of the Zulu, the evocative name comes from the numerous hills that cascade from the sky down to the Umgeni River. Stopping off in the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains, we make a visit to the Ardmore Ceramic Gallery, displaying and selling vibrant, handcrafted African art and sculpture. Afterwards we are treated to afternoon tea and a traditional equestrian show. The last leg of our journey takes us to Durban, where on arrival we transfer to Umhlanga for our first night at the 5-Star Oyster Box Hotel.

Day 6

Rorke’s Drift

We visit Rorke's Drift today with a battlefield guide, the site of the famous battle fought on 22nd January 1879 in which 139 British troops faced the might of 4,500 Zulu warriors and won. This epic struggle was immortalised on screen in the 1964 film, Zulu. This afternoon we continue to the Talana Museum which lies on the site of another protected Boer War battlefield. Here you can explore the exhibits that trace the history of this violent, yet pivotal time in South Africa's history. We spend tonight at Battlefields Country Lodge, overlooking Talana Hill, a strategic position during the second Boer War. On the night of 19th October 1899 it was occupied by the Boers and the next morning, as the mists cleared, it was from here that they shelled the British camp on the opposite side of town. Tonight we enjoy dinner together in the hotel's restaurant.

Day 7


Our excursion today takes us to the battleground of Isandlwana, which in 1879 was the setting of the 'battle that rocked Victorian Britain'. It was here that 20,000 Zulu warriors annihilated a British contingent of 1,800 men, becoming a symbol against colonial oppression. We explore the area in the company of an expert guide for a truly immersive historical experience. Afterwards we transfer back to Umhlanga for another night at the colonial-style Oyster Box, situated directly on the beachfront.

Table Mountain
Day 8

To Cape Town and Table Mountain

This morning we transfer to Durban airport for our direct flight to Cape Town, South Africa's cultural capital and one of the most vibrant destinations on the continent. It is surrounded by stunning beaches, expansive vineyards, lush farmland, and on arrival we are driven to our hotel ahead of a city tour and an excursion to Table Mountain. We make the ascent by cable car, taking in the unbeatable views over the cosmopolitan city as we travel to the summit at 1,086 metres (3,563 feet). The steep cliffs and rocky outcrops are home to a number of different animals and plants. Complementing the vast array of flora is a stunning range of fauna, some of which, like the Table Mountain Ghost Frog, are found in no other place in the world.

Cape of Good Hope
Day 9

The Cape of Good Hope

We make our way to the Cape of Good Hope today, South Africa's Cape Peninsula which stretches south-west into the South Atlantic Ocean. Due to its treacherous weather and rocky waters this region was originally named the 'Cape of Storms' in 1488 by its Portuguese discoverer, Bartolomeu Dias, but was later renamed 'the Cape of Good Hope' by King John II of Portugal. In 1859 the Cape received its first lighthouse. Standing almost 250 meters above sea level, today it can climbed to on foot or via the gently ascending Cape Point Funicular Railway. As we soak in the outstanding panoramas over the vast meeting point of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, it's easy to imagine the fabled Flying Dutchman ship attempting its doomed journey around this headland. Afterwards we continue by coach to Boulders Bay Beach, for some time with South Africa's only native penguin colony who roam freely along this sheltered stretch of coastline.

Day 10

Stellenbosch wines

By coach we head into the Stellenbosch Valley today, home to some of the most popular New World wineries in South Africa. Deep in this verdant setting, we enjoy some delicious tastings of the local specialities, also indulging ourselves with lunch at one of the nearby vineyards.

Day 11

Return to London

Today we make our way to the airport for our flight to back London where our tour concludes.

  • Scheduled flights

Get in touch with one of our Travel Specialists

Helping you plan your holiday...

Lynne Broadley
Julie Longfield
Lori Mcclaren
Phil Conde



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