With just over 2 weeks in South Africa the Finance department decided we could afford to fit in 2 nights at Isandlwana Lodge and the battlefield tours.
The hotel has to be the nicest hotel I have ever stayed in, made extra special as we were literally the only guests in a 10 room hotel and I had the historian and author who lives next door, Rob Gerrard, to myself in the bar which I am sure I enjoyed more than he did.
The first thing I noticed was the view from our room (Room 1 Cetshwayo).
The next day started with a meet with our tour guide Dalton NGobese at 9am, followed by a tour of Isandlwana in the morning and Rorkes Drift in the afternoon.
And here I am pointing out what the tufts need to look like for the basing department.
Back to the hotel for lunch and the view from our rooms balcony over the battlefield.
Then on to Rorkes drift. I was so excited by this part I actually forgot to take photos (sorry).
I was struck by how much smaller than I imagined Rorkes drift was. The old mission has been converted into a visitors centre complete with manikins in uniform, in one case crawling through the holes in the wall they had dug. I was also struck by how different it was to the film which had been filmed about 30 miles away.
The current buildings are made from stone but built onto the original foundations.
At the end of all this I was able to sit with Dalton in the bar and talk about some of the historians he knew such as Ian Knight who had Daltons wedding. Apparently he had been challenged to a stick fight by some of the young men as he had carried a shield and Knobkerrie during the ceremony as many of the Zulu did, wisely he turned this down.
So back in the UK now and trying not to get sucked into a new project (Boer War, I was inspired) this may however be one I return to in the future.
I hope to have another post on Sunday after Partizan the show at Newark where we are putting on a demo game, WW1 East Africa marking the 100th anniversary of the landings at Bagamayo.
Thanks for reading.