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The battles of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift took place 133 years ago today. Now you can relive that bloody history by joining a custom-designed, guided, three-day coach expedition through Zululand, the southern Drakensberg and Lesotho, especially designed for Sunday Tribune readers by Garsons Expeditions in association with Fair Cape Travel.
The coach will depart from Independent Newspapers in Osborne Street, Durban, on April 20 and return after an exhilarating yet relaxing three days of adventure in the evening of Sunday, April 22.
Zulu Heart, as the package is called, offers a unique opportunity to explore a piece of our own history, giving you the chance to experience nature at its awesome best, view wild animals and birds at close range and soak up ancient cultures.
With Greg Garson as your personal field guide and comfortable accommodation, the Sunday Tribune family will experience it in stylish comfort.
Garson is a highly respected guide whose niche market specialities are colonial and Zulu history and culture, with a leaning towards traditional healers, Bushman Stone Age rock painting, the Anglo Zulu War of 1879, the Anglo Boer War (1899-1902) and the prolific mammal and birdlife of the sub-region.
Zulu Heart steeps you in history as you move deeper into Zululand to your battlefield lodge – one of two, subject to availability.
The Royal Country Inn in Dundee dates back to 1886, just four years after the town was founded, and has been proudly restored to its former glory by Daniel and Motz Bezuidenhout. Motz prides herself on her sumptuous dinners, too.
Rorke’s Drift Hotel is, by contrast, just a year old and owned by Charles Aikenhead who lives on the site of the Battle of Rorke’s Drift and carefully chose the hotel site on the Buffalo River, overlooking the now peaceful drift.
For one-and-a-half enthralling days you’ll experience the thrilling re-enactments of the Anglo-Zulu war of 1879.
This area is full of exciting stories and spectacular scenery and you will be engrossed in the events that took place here and at Rorke’s Drift on this day 133 years ago.
Zulu Heart also opens your senses to the visually spectacular as you travel from the battlefields to what is, arguably, the most magnificent World Heritage Site on the planet – the Drakensberg Mountains.
From the massive basalt cliffs of its northern reaches to the soaring sandstone buttresses in the south, the Berg, as it is best known, offers unsurpassed grandeur and one of the world’s highest waterfalls.
You will enjoy your second night on this Sunday Tribune expedition at the wonderfully situated Sani Pass Hotel, nestled in the beautiful Mkhomazana valley.
On arrival at the hotel, there are many pleasurable options including horse riding, quad biking, fishing, golf or swimming. Or you can simply relax on the patio with a gin and tonic, before enjoying a delicious evening meal.
After breakfast on the third day, our 4x4 vehicles collect you and your adventure on the Sani Pass begins.
The pass is a narrow, untarred, winding road in the Southern Drakensberg. It is also one of the traditional passes over the mountains and today this torturous, rugged and adrenalin- boosting climb offers the only motorised access to the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho from KwaZulu-Natal.
It also offers a beautiful route into the mountains. Baboons foraging on the middle reaches, bark furiously at you from the rocks above. Mountain Reedbuck graze on the verdant slopes – and once you reach the summit you will have a view that goes on forever.
The roof was, millions of years ago, the bottom of the old seabed and fossils may still be found in the sandstone layers. High in the reaches, shelters and caves are some of the most spectacular rock art panels in the world created by our “first nation people”, the San.
You’ll meet South Sotho musicians and, if lucky, mountain raptors including Jackal Buzzards, Black Eagle, Cape Vulture and the Rare Bearded Vulture.
The Sani Top Chalet, where you will enjoy lunch, boasts the the highest pub in Africa at 2874m above sea level. So, expect a fun-filled luncheon with hosts Jonathan and Sylvia Aldous.
In the late afternoon, our 4x4 vehicles will return you, via the pass, in the late afternoon to the Sani Pass Hotel where your coach will be waiting to return you to Durban.
This experience of a lifetime – exclusive to Sunday Tribune readers – costs R4 495 per person sharing (there is a 15 percent surcharge for singles) and includes:
l Luxury coach and driver
l Nationally accredited field guide
l Three days of extensive travel through a large region of KwaZulu Natal and Lesotho
l Two nights’ accommodation on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis in unique settings
l Entry to battlefield sites and talks on site
l Entry into Lesotho – border fees included, 4x4 drive to the Roof of Africa and visit to a South Sotho village – valid passport essential.
For more info and to book please contact Faircape Travel on 082 646 5026 or 083 235 5142 or email@example.com or www.faircapetravel.com