Isandlwana Battlefield | Attraction Guides | History Hit

Isandlwana Battlefield

Nquthu Local Municipality, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

History Hit

24 Nov 2020

About Isandlwana Battlefield

Isandlwana Battlefield in South Africa was the site of the Battle of Isandlwana during the Anglo-Zulu Wars. The Anglo-Zulu Wars were in part an attempt by the British to repress the Zulu army so as to pave the way for the creation of a Confederation of South Africa which united all of the colonial entities into one unit.

On 22 January 1879, on the same day as their success at Battle of Rorke’s Drift, the British Army suffered a major defeat at Isandlwana Battlefield. Around 1,750 British were camping at Isandlwana at the time or had arrived as reinforcements when they were besieged by approximately 20,000 Zulu warriors. The Zulu captured the camp and killed almost all of the soldiers, resulting in a decisive and humiliating defeat for the British.

It is thought that Lord Chelmsford, who was leading the British in the region, went to great lengths to cover up the defeat. It was also overshadowed by the victory at the Battle of Rorke’s Drift.

Today, memorials and markers show the points at Isandlwana Battlefield where British soldiers fell. There is also a small Isandlwana Battlefield museum at the visitor centre. A visit to Isandlwana Battlefield is usually coupled with one to nearby Rorke’s Drift, particularly as the two are connected by road.

Isandlwana Battlefield also features as one of our top visitor attractions in South Africa

Featured In

South Africa Historic Sites

Discover the best Historic Sites in South Africa, from District Six to the Nelson Mandela Museum and more, includes an interactive map of South African cultural locations.

Top 10 Turkey

Your comprehensive guide to the Top Ten tourist attractions in South Africa. Includes info on each South African visitor attraction, an interactive map, directions and entry details.

British Empire Sites

Discover the most fascinating historic sites from the British Empire, from the Houses of Parliament to Faneuil Hall and more, includes interactive map.