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Home » Tour Departures » Anglo-Zulu & Boer War Battlefield Journey, 2014

Anglo-Zulu & Boer War Battlefield Journey, 2014

Commencing: Saturday 4th October 2014
Terminating: Friday 24th October 2014
20 Nights / 21 Days, Durban to Johannesburg

Onverwacht Battlefield Memorial

Onverwacht Battlefield Memorial

Our tour departs Australia on Saturday 4th October, 2014 and returns ex Johannesburg on Friday 24th October 2014 – a total of 21 days. Arrival Sydney Saturday 25th at 2:15 PM. The departure can be taken as either a Sydney-Sydney or join in Durban and take the land-only portion of the overall tour, the choice is yours. Airfares are offered separately to suit your individual travelled route to & from South Africa or enroute to another final destination.

On arrival Durban, a day to recuperate before starting our battlefield visits. First, some Zulu war sites, Fort Pearson and the Battle of Nyezane, Fort Nongqui, Rorke’s Drift, Isandlwana, Blood River, Hlobane, Kambula.

Then on to the 1899-1902 Colonial Boer War battlefields, Onverwacht-Bankop, Diamond Hill, Rhenoster Kop, Tzaneen area where Lts. Morant and Handcock of the BVC operated – their deeds brought about both their executions by firing squad; the winning of a VC at Swartkloof (Warmbaths); Elands River; Stinkhoutboom Farm, Lt. Howse’s VC, Sannah’s Post (Poss); Springfontein – concentration camp site; Pink Hill, Australia Hill, New Zealand Hill; Orange River Station – concentration camp, still as it was those years past; Battles of Belmont, Graspan; Modder River; Magersfontein; Sunnyside; Relief of Kimberley; Paardeberg; before returning to Johannesburg to finally visit the South African Museum of Military History, an excellent display of past military hardware.

The maximum number of travellers will be fifteen. It will be fully escorted, from arrival to departure, with visiting local battlefield experts and a lead guide. You’ll have personal access to the “best of the best battlefield historians, authors and guides” whilst on tour across these Boer War battlefields. This is the fourth in a series of Australian and New Zealand orientated Boer War journeys presented by “Battlefields of the World”, in this the 115th anniversary year of the war’s commencement.


Battlefield Guide Dennis overlooking Elands River

Battlefield Guide Dennis overlooking Elands River

Saturday 4th – Saturday 25th October 2014 (21 nights/22 days AUS/AUS)

Your airfare component is at additional cost and is subject to availability of booking class at the time of making a firm reservation. It also depends on your home port of uplift and class of travel selected. South African Airways (as at Oct,13) have economy class fares available ex Sydney from AUD 2,357.00 pp inclusive of port taxes and airline fuel surcharges. Travel route is: Sydney – Johannesburg – Durban + Kimberley – Johannesburg – Sydney. Total duration on the ground 20 nights/21 days. Fares are slightly less expensive ex Perth.

LAND ONLY Cost is: AUD 5,975.00 per person share twin
Whilst a sole use, single room is AUD 766.00 additional.
Maximum number of travellers 15, minimum 12.


  • All meet & greet services en-route whilst in South Africa
  • All transportation in air-conditioned 28 seat coach by Coachman transport
  • 20 nights/21 days share twin accommodation in tourist grade properties
  • Breakfast daily in your hotel of stay whilst on tour
  • Daily boxed style picnic lunch with bottled water, except days 20 & 21
  • Dinner daily in hotel or selected restaurants from Day 2 to Day 19
  • All entrance fees to museums and privately owned battlefield sites as detailed in the daily itinerary to allow visits to the actual battle sites and memorials
  • Field notes supplied on battle sites visited
  • Gratuity is included for coach captain – driver
  • Fully escorted by a qualified Australian Battlefield Guide and member of the Guild
  • Local South African Battlefield Guide and expert Boer War Military Historian
  • Joined by six specialist local Battlefield Guides enroute for specific sites visited

Places to be visited on tour include:
Durban, Fort Pearson, Battle of Nyezane, Fort Nongqai, Isandlwana, Rorke’s Drift, Blood River, Kambula, Onverwacht-Bankop, Diamond Hill, Rhenoster Kop, Tzaneen BVC Area Operation, Swartkloof – Warmbaths (Wylly/Bisdee VC’s), Elands River, Stinkhoutboom Farm (Howse’s VC), Sannah’s Post, Springfontein, Australia Hill, New Zealand Hill, Orange River Station, Battles of Belmont, Graspan, Modder River, Sunnyside, Paardeberg, Relief of Kimberley, Johannesburg with a visit to the Ditsong Military Museum. Plus many memorials and local cemeteries adjacent to where brave men fell in battle those many years ago.

Extensions are available post tour to Victoria Falls, Chobe and Kruger National Parks – please request details at time of your reservation.

Items not included on your Boer War tour programme:
• International and regional South African airfares these are a separate cost
• Personal comprehensive travel insurance
• Any item or service not detailed in the daily itinerary
• Items of a personal nature, laundry, room service, telephone, internet etc
• Any additional gratuities not mentioned i.e. to bellmen or hotel staff etc

This departure is fully inclusive as you’ll see from the above inclusions, with the usual exceptions shown. Your Australian escort is Mr Dennis J Weatherall, a qualified member of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides who holds badge number 34. His CV can be viewed via the Guild’s website – scroll to badged guides # 34. Dennis is also the Managing Director and creator of all the “Battlefields of the World” journeys.

Our South African Boer War resident local guide is Major Paul Naish Rtd, also a member of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides, an expert on both the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879-1881 and the South African Boer War of 1899-1902. Paul joins us in Durban on Day 1 until departure Johannesburg Day 21.

Along the route we travel we have invited a selection of South African based specialist guides (all registered and qualified in their field) to join us to impart their specific local knowledge on their area battlefields, you’ll receive instruction from both the Anglo and Boer side on these battles and battle sites.

Extensions post Friday 24th October 2014: Costs quoted are LAND ONLY

(A) Victoria Falls Zimbabwe and Chobe Botswana 4 nights / 5 days – 4 star
• Transfers from Victoria Falls airport to your hotel
• 2 nights accommodation share twin at the Kingdom Hotel B&B
• Tour of the Victoria Falls and a Sunset Cruise on the Zambezi
• Visa cost for Zimbabwe – gain on entry Victoria Falls airport
• Transfer from the Kingdom Hotel to Chobe Marina Lodge Botswana
• 2 nights accommodation Chobe Marina Lodge – all meals
• Two game viewing activities daily from the Lodge park entrance incl.
• Transfer Chobe Marina Lodge to Kasane airport on departure day

Cost share twin: AUD 1,320.00 per person / Single room extra: AUD 204.00

(B) Kruger adjacent to the National Park at “Kapama Private Game Reserve” 5 star, 3 nights / 4 days. 15,000+ hectares of pristine African wilderness, home to the Big 5 – Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Buffalo and Rhino plus many other species.

• Return transfer from Eastgate airport located just a 15 minute drive north of the Kapama Private Game Reserve
• 3 nights accommodation share twin at “Kapama” with all meals and both am/pm high teas. Your refreshments are at own expense
• 2 daily game viewing activities of 3 hours duration each per am/pm. On each day of your stay at Kapama

Cost share twin: AUD 938.00 per person / Single room extra: AUD 469.00

Belmont Railway Station Battle site 23rd Nov, 1899

Belmont Railway Station Battle site 23rd Nov, 1899

BOER WAR JOURNEY 4th-25th October 2014 – AUS-AUS


Day One: Sat 4th October 14

Depart Sydney via SAA/Qantas SA 7701 ETD 09:55 code share service in the morning arriving late pm ETA 16:15 into Johannesburg.

On arrival into O R Tambo International Airport, our representative will meet and transfer us from the Sydney flight to the Domestic Departures and assist with check in for their flight to Durban.

Johannesburg to Durban: SA 579 ETD 19:30 ETA 20:40

Dennis Weatherall (Tour Leader/Escort – Battlefield Guide) will escort the group ex Australia whilst Major (Rtd) Paul Naish (South African based Battlefield Guide) meet the group on arrival at King Shaka International Airport and welcome all, then arrange your transfer to your local hotel situated overlooking the Indian Ocean here in Durban.

Check in at the hotel on arrival.

Dinner tonight will be at leisure.

Overnight: Blue Water Hotel (or similar) in standard rooms on a bed and breakfast basis (a request has been made with the hotel for sea facing rooms)


Day Two: Sun 5th October 14

Breakfast at the hotel.

After breakfast we visit the iconic Moses Madiba Stadium and take the tram to the top of the dome for a view of Durban city and environs. Thereafter we visit Marine World and view the acquarium, seal and dolphin shows amongst other attractions. Time permitting we will visit the Warriors Gate Museum situated on the site of the old British fort besieged by the Boers in 1842

Lunch today will be enjoyed at leisure at one of the many restaurants situated at the Waterfront. Continued with a visit to other nearby attractions

Dinner tonight will be at the Jewel of India at the Southern Sun Elangeni Hotel – walk (optional) to the hotel – approximate ten minutes away

Overnight: Blue Water Hotel (or similar) in standard rooms a bed and breakfast basis


Day Three: Mon 6th October 14

Breakfast at the hotel before checking out.

Days Touring:

Anglo Zulu War

Fort Pearson and the Battle of Nyezane: Visit to Fort Pearson, the staging post of No 1 column of the British army on the banks of the Thukela River and the “Ultimatum Tree” where the ultimatum had been delivered earlier to the Zulus by the British on 11th December 1878.

Thereafter we follow the fortunes of Col Knight Pearson’s advance to Eshowe and his fight against Godide’s kaNdlela impis at Nyezane River on 22nd January 1879 – the same day as the battle of Isandlwana!
Lunch stop will be after Fort Nongqai (included boxed style), possibly at Dlinza forest which is also the site of “McFarlane’s” grave site. After which we travel onto Rorke’s Drift along part of the route that the Zulu’s advanced from Ulundi on 17th January 1879 to confront Lord Chelmsford’s Number 3 column which had crossed into Zululand 6 days earlier. We pause at various Anglo Zulu War related historical sites en route.

After touring we will make our way to the hotel and check in on arrival.

Dinner tonight will be enjoyed at the hotel.

Overnight: Battlefields Country Lodge, (or similar) rooms on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis

Day Four: Tue 7th October 14

Breakfast at the hotel.

A full day’s touring taking in the entire period from 20th-23rd January 1879 and the salient points of the under mentioned battles which will include:


Description of:

• The British reconnaissance of the 21st January and subsequent skirmish with the Zulu
• The advance and subsequent concealment of the Zulu main army that night
• The British response on the morning of the 22nd
• The Zulu attack and destruction of the camp.
• The British flight.
• Lt Anstey’s last stand
Lunch at leisure during the touring – included as an in-field picnic boxed style.

Rorke’s Drift

Description of:

• Tour of the museum
• The events leading up to the establishment of this frontier post on the Natal/Zulu border.
• The arrival and subsequent departure of No 3 column to and from the post leaving B/Company – 24th Foot in possession.
• First ALARM and building of the barricade at the post.
• Zulu attack and subsequent repulse.
• Visits to memorials, grave yards and terraces of the Zulu snipers- for the fight!

Preambles of the Battlefields

• The Battle of Isandlwana
• Rorke’s Drift


On 11th January 1879 No 3 column of 4500 men under the command of Lieutenant General Lord Chelmsford crossed the Buffalo River from Rorke’s drift in the colony of Natal into Zululand leaving a garrison of about 140 men from By Coy 24th Foot and a company of nativeauxillaries,, at what had been a Lutheran mission station some 1000 meters yards from the Buffalo river in Natal.

On the 20th, the column established a temporary camp on the eastern slope of a hill named Isandlwana and contrary to field regulations, failed to laager or entrench. On the morning on the 21st. two reconnaissance patrols totalling 1670 men were sent south and south east of the camp to reconnoitre a mountain range to the South and S.E. of the camp. They came across a Zulu force 20 kilometres SE of the camp where a skirmish took place. The British were to remain that night in the vicinity of the skirmish in an attempt to watch the Zulu force.

The following morning, 22nd January, which transpired to be the day of the battle Lord Chelmsford was to split his force again. He marched out of the camp with another 1000 men at 04h30 leaving a total of 1774 men in the camp with technically a fighting force of 1415

The core of the force was 5 Coy’s of the 1st Bn and one Company of the 2nd Bn 24th (the 2nd Warwickshire Regiment).

Just after 1200 hrs they were attacked by between 2000 a hitherto undetected Zulu warriors flooding down from a plateau 2kms NE of their camp

By1530 that afternoon 1329 of the British force lay dead including Lt Edgar Oliphant Anstey from South Australia in his famous“last stand”, along what has become known as The Fugitives trail, five miles of broken and thorn clad country which was the flight path of the terrified soldiers terminating at the Buffalo River which was in spate following days of heavy rainfall.

The Queens Colour was lost in the river only to be recovered from the river 14 days later. 27 years later Lt’s Melvill and Coghill would be awarded posthumous Victoria Crosses (VC’s) for their heroic attempts to save The Queens Colour a time – a longstanding symbol of British regiments throughout the Empire

Your guide will describe in graphic detail the critical areas from where the battle unfolded with uninterrupted views of the battlefield as it developed, culminating in the final destruction of their camp nestling in the saddle of the majestic looking Sphinx (Isandlwana Mountain)

The Battle of Rorke’s Drift

At approx 15h00 hrs on 22nd January 1879 news of the disaster at Isandlwana reached Rorke’s drift together with a report that a large Zulu army was rapidly approaching the camp. The base was garrisoned by B Coy, 24th Foot, a company of Natal Native Contingent (NNC) and other detachments, about 300 men strong. Including 36 sick and wounded men. Moments before the battle started, the NNC abandoned the hastily erected fortification of mealie bags and navy biscuit boxes necessitating in Lt Chard having to reduce the def ensive perimeter to the size of a tennis court. In the ensuing battle which lasted through the night into the early hours of the next day, the Zulu force of approx 4000 strong retired from the battlefield with a loss of approx 400 of their warriors.

The British losses totalled 17 dead. Eleven Victoria Crosses (VC’s) and Four Distinguished Conduct medals (DCM’s) were awarded to the defenders.

Return to the hotel in the late afternoon.

Dinner to be enjoyed at the hotel.

Overnight: Battlefields Country Lodge, (or similar) rooms on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis

Day Five:Wed 8th October 14

An early breakfast at the hotel before checking out.

Blood River

After departing from Rorkes Drift, we travel East towards the town of Vryheid, pausing on route at the Battle of Blood River to revisit the events both prior to and during the battle of Blood river (16 Dec 1838) contested between Boer Trekker Leader Andries Pretorius with 463 burghers and King Dingane’s Zulu generals Ndlela and Dambuza commanding approx 15000 Zulus.

After viewing a visual of the battle at the Museum, we proceed to the battlefield demarcated by 63 replica bronze wagons representing the Boer Laager on the banks of the Blood (Ncome) River during the fight.

Your guide will describe the epic moments of the day which resulted in an overwhelming Boer victory and crushing defeat of the Zulu’s who reportedly lost upwards of 3000 of their warriors.


‘It immediately became apparent that a catastrophe was immediate.’ – Major William Knox-Let 1/13th Light Infantry Hlobane)

After leaving Blood River this moment will be an unforgettable experience of the tour. We travel to Hlobane mountain and after an hour’s slow walk(time permitting) to the graves of Campbell and Lloyd, we talk through the drama and tragedy of this epic battle where British and colonial forces supplemented by black auxiliaries, suffered their second most crushing defeat of the war at the hands of Cetswayo’s Impi’s.

Caught flat footed on the summit of this mountain fortress on 28th March 1879, the British forces were surrounded and isolated. In their desperate panic ridden flight over insurmountable obstacles, the British were harried and pursued off the mountain in all directions, leaving behind a trail of their own dead.


After a picnic lunch (included boxed in-field style) we drive to Kambula to see where the British after the serious reverse at Hlobane the previous day, had prepared themselves on the slopes of a hillside against the expected onslaught by the victorious Zulu army.

At 12 noon on 29th March 1879, when the first shots were fired in anger and by a carefully contrived plan, the Zulu army was induced into making uncoordinated attacks from 3 different directions. The overwhelming fire power decimated the Zulu ranks in a four hour fiercely contested and bloody struggle, eventually resulting in a full Zulu retreat from the field.

After an exciting day in the battlefields we will make our way to our hotel situated in Vryheid.

Check in at the hotel on arrival.

Dinner at the hotel.

Overnight: Natal Spa (or similar) in standard rooms on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis

Day Six: Thu 9th October 14

Breakfast at the hotel before checking out.

Battle of Onverwacht/Bankop

Head off through undulating country via Piet Retief where we visit the site of the Battle of Onverwacht (Bankop) east of Ermelo.

In this engagement which occurred on 4th January 1902 a reconnaissance party of 200 British and Australian Mounted Infantry were drawn into an ambush by 800 Boer “bitter enders” under Commandant “Rooi” Daniel Opperman. In the ensuing fire-fight where the British force were in danger of losing a gun, the timely intervention of the Queenslanders aided by the Hampshire’s saved the gun from imminent capture .
In a Boer counter attack the gun again was in peril when all the wheel horses were shot and ended up in a donga. A party of 5th Victorians went to the rescue and secured it behind protective sangars. The enemy, anxious to make good their escape and releasing their prisoners (of one of whom was Major Toll) were pursued by Major Vialls a West Australian but failed to close contact. Opperman, a veteran of Spioenkop and Major J Vallentin, who had earlier been in Ladysmith during the siege, were killed in action.

Of the Australian component, the 5th Queensland Imperial Bushmen suffered 13 dead and 17 wounded. Many more were mentioned in dispatched (MID) whilst Company Sergt -Major F.B.Knyvett was awarded a Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM).

After a visit to the memorial on the field erected by the Australians, we visit the Ermelo cemetery where we will find the graves of Major Vallentin and the Queenslanders, who made the supreme sacrifice.

Lunch at leisure whilst touring included in-field boxed style.

Continue by road to the town of Cullinan Check in at the hotel on arrival.

Dinner tonight will be at the hotel.

Overnight: Cullinan Diamond Lodge (or similar) in standard rooms on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis. Two soft drinks included with the dinner.

Day Seven: Fri 10th October 14

Breakfast at the lodge before checking out

The Battle of Diamond Hill

The party commences the day with a visit to Sammy Mark’s farm where the Australians assembled before their advance on the target

The Anglo-Boer War Battle of Diamond Hill was the largest military engagement in the history of Pretoria. Part of it took place on the farm Donkerhoek; therefore it is also called the Battle of Donkerhoek. It was part of the British strategy to drive the Boer forces to a safe distance from Pretoria immediately after the capture of the Transvaal capital on 5 June 1900, and was part of the Boer strategy to slow down the British advance to the regions east of Pretoria.

On 9 and 10 June, Genl. Botha and Genl. Koos de la Rey’s forces took up position on the hills east of Pretoria to block the road and the railway to the east. A prominent terrain feature was steep plateau known as Diamond Hill named when diamonds were discovered in its vicinity. Lord Roberts attacked on the 11 and 12 June and succeeded in taking Diamond Hill. Genl. Botha feared that this would enable the British to capture his other positions, although these were still in place. During the night of 12/13 June he decided to break off the engagement, evacuate his positions and retired towards the east. The British had succeeded in driving away the Boers from Pretoria and the Boers had achieved their aim to hinder the British advance, therefore both sides claimed victory.

During 1904 the Transvaal Colonial Government exhumed the remains of the fallen British soldiers, scattered across a number of farms along the battle line, and reinterred them at this site. This became the present Diamond Hill Garden of Remembrance when the remains of the British soldiers from other cemeteries were also brought here in 1961 and 1962.

British Forces
• 14000 men and 70 guns

Boer Forces
• 4000 men and 22 guns

Official Casualties
• British 28kia / 145 wounded: Boers 3 kia 27 wounded

Australian Units taking part
• 1st Australian Horse
• NSW Mtd Rifles
• West Australian Mtd Infantry

Rhenoster Kop – 29 November 1900Preamble
Rhenoster Kop, an action during the Second South African War, fought on 29 November 1900 about 32 kilometres east of Pretoria.

A British column commanded by Major-General A. Paget, comprising two infantry battalions, nine guns and a mounted brigade which included Australian Bushmen (from Queensland, Tasmania and Victoria) and New Zealand Mounted Rifles, attacked a 1,200 – strong commando with two guns led by General Ben Viljoen which had been harassing the railway line to Delagoa Bay. Although numerically weaker, the Boer main body of 650 men occupied a strong defensive position atop a crescent-shaped line of kopjes (hills) covered with rocks and small bushes. The feature-known generally as Rhenoster Kop after the highest point on the south-western end-gave a commanding view of the northern approach over a wide open slope, while deep ravines on both flanks restricted the scope for attacks from these quarters.
Paget marched out at 4 a.m. to begin the action with a frontal infantry assault across hundreds of metres of’ flat grassy ground against the Boers’ left and centre. This movement was soon stalled by the enemy’s fire. On the infantry’s left, the Queenslanders and New Zealanders also went into action in a dismounted role-the latter reaching within 400 metres of Boer positions. At the far end of this flank were the Victorians and West Australians, who advanced on foot under the covering fire of a British field battery. This enabled them to secure a rocky ridge opposite the far right end of the enemy’s line, but they were prevented from making further progress by deep ravines across their front; the bulk of the Bushmen were-like the rest of the British force engaged along a front of more than six kilometres pinned down on the open veldt.

The stalemate which had been reached by 7.30 a.m. lasted for the next twelve hours, with the attacking troops forced to remain in their exposed positions under a glaring hot sun while suffering great thirst. At 7 p.m. part of the Boer force under Vecht-General C.H. Müller launched an unsuccessful hour-long counter-attack against the New Zealanders, whose gains were closest to the enemy. Thereafter the troops worked under the cover of darkness to begin digging trenches, aiming to make their positions more secure when the fight resumed next morning. This effort proved to be pointless, as when dawn arrived it was found that the Boers had abandoned the fight and safely withdrawn. In this action – the last pitched battle of its kind during the war – the Boers had suffered 31 casualties and a few men captured, compared to British losses totaling 85, (30 of whom were among the mounted troops).
Lunch included boxed in-field style. After touring we will check in at the lodge.

Dinner tonight will be enjoyed at the lodge.

Overnight: Bushfellows Game Lodge (or similar) in standard rooms on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis

Day Eight : Sat 11th October 14

Breakfast at the lodge before checking out.

Today’s touring:

Breaker Morant (1)

This morning we make our way north to Tzaneen where we stop briefly at Heroes acre on entry into Duivelskloof. The memorial – amongst others – records the names of Barend Viljoen and others who were killed in the attack earlier at Viljoen’s homestead.

We continue a few kilometers north and now visit the scene of the Bushveldt Carbineers (BVC) night attack on Viljoen’s homestead where Capt Hunt and Sgt Eland lost their lives together with Viljoen and others .Command of B Squad BVC passed to Morant leading historians to agree that this event resulted in Morant “loosing it” when he declared that “from now on we will take no prisoners”

Lunch included boxed infield style at leisure during our touring.

After lunch, we continue to our overnight stop visiting the graves/monument en route to the Grobler boys and Floris Visser, who were later gunned down in cold blood by members of the BVC allegedly in deference to Morant’s orders.

Arrive late afternoon at the hotel and check in.

Dinner at the hotel.

Overnight: Lalapanzi Hotel (or similar) in standard rooms on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis

Day Nine: Sun 12th October 14

Breakfast at the hotel.

Breaker Morant (2)

Today’s journey includes the following in respect of the above saga:

‘Drive-past’ of Gertrudesburg Berlin Mission Station, where Heese visited whilst waiting for Craig’s recovery and where Rev Endeman is buried (Endemman is the missionary who took the deposition from Silas Sono after Silas had arrived on the scene after the death of Rev Heese. Discovering the body of Heese’s dead black driver, he fled from the scene and reported what he had seen to Endeman).

‘Walk-in’ of the local railway station building, which was the original Pietersburg Station Building, through which Morant et al would have been escorted in cuffs on the way to Pretoria. (The original King Edward 7 red post box is still in the granite wall.) The building was re-erected in Louis Trichardt.

‘Walk around’ the steel structure (National Monument) that served as the base camp of the BVC and was known as Fort Edward. (It is now in town.)

‘Drive-past’ the NG Church, which, after Blood River (1838), is the 2nd Church of the Covenant. (Gen. Joubert dedicated it after victory against the Vendas.)


First stand
Arrive at Valdezia where the graves of 6 Boers shot are the BVC will be inspected.

The circumstances surrounding their executions will be discussed but centres around the fact that acting on the orders of Captain “Bulala” Taylor, Sgt Oldham heading up a reconnaissance patrol, lined up 5 fever ridden Boers alongside a road and shot them in cold blood. A sixth, aged 65 years lying on a mattress in one of the wagons, was similarly dispatched

Second stand
Col. Schiel’s fortified homestead. This is of particular Australian interest because of the apparent affiliation (or connection) between Mrs Magdalena Schiel and Lt. Handcock, namely Rev Heese and her testimony in the Courts Martial

Third stand
The grave of the 3 Van Staden’s at Sweetwater’s.

Fourth stand
Arrive Sweetwaters Farm, Captain ‘Bulala’ Taylor’s Quarters, Scene of attack on Beyers (piano playing incident), homestead where Olivia Bristow stitched the Union Jack – presumably the one that Morant’s Parade saluted.

Picnic Lunch at Sweetwaters historic site – included. (Sweetwater’s is the closest we can get to the grave of the 8 Boers. A road has to be cut to the actual place. No guarantee that access will be ready when the tour party arrives. The ‘info monument’ that is to be erected at this grave site is to be seen at the farm owner’s office)
Fifth stand
The Civilian Monument at the old Fort Edward site, as well as the 2002 Commemorative ABW Monument unveiled by Australian High Com H.E Connelly, and also metal grave markers of Brit soldiers (including BVC troopers) died and buried at Fort Edward.

(The Civilian Monument lists all War Crimes committed by BVC and bade in their 7-month occupation of the Zoutpansberg / Spelonken. It is the only known ABW monument in Limpopo that carries heading text in all local languages)

Sixth stand
Vliegenpan, the site of the ‘battle’ of Vliegenpan and also the site of the Monument in Honour of Rev. Heese and his driver, as well as the monument in remembrance of the Zoutpansberg Comando. Return to Lalapanzi Hotel after touring

Overnight: Lalapanzi Hotel (or similar) in standard rooms on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis
Day Ten: Mon 13th October 14

Breakfast at the hotel before checking out and driving South to Bella Bella (Warmbaths)

Preamble: A VC incident: Swartkloof (Warmbaths) – 1st SEPT 1900

During the 2nd Phase of the Anglo Boer War – (the Guerrilla Phase) the British launched huge punitive drives through South Africa rounding up malcontents , burning farms and towns, shooting livestock, destroying crops and herding the population into concentration camps. Australasian forces that played a prominent roll in the Conventional campaign were drawn into these operations and dispatched to all four corners of South Africa.

On one such raid in the Northern Transvaal outside the town of Warmbaths a party of Tasmanian Imperial Bushmen under command of Capt Brookes, were assigned to patrol through some broken country to the East of the town.

A vanguard of 4 men spotting some stray cattle, rode ahead into a rocky defile not noticing the tell tale signs of the Boers concealed on each side of the re-entrant. A sudden volley burst out catching Capt Brookes in the right shoulder and falling from his horse. The patrol to a man turned around seeking cover with the exception of Trooper Bisdee who turned his horse to aid the stricken Captain. In the melee that followed, another trooper was in difficulty from a bullet wound in the thigh. Lt Wylly responded remounted the wounded man on his horse whilst he fought a rearguard action. Both Wyllly and Bisdee were awarded VC’s – The pair was the first Australian born men to win the VC At the scene, your guide will re-construct this action.

Picnic lunch during the days sightseeing – included boxed in-field style. Refer note – final page

Continue onto the town of Rustenburg and check in at the hotel on arrival.

Dinner at the hotel.

Overnight: Rustenburg Boutique Hotel (or similar) in standard rooms on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis (2 soft drinks per person included)

Day Eleven: Tue 14th October 14

Breakfast at the hotel before checking out and driving through to the town of Swartruggens.

Siege of Elands River

A mixed force of Australians and Rhodesians indifferently commanded by a British Lt Colonel (Hore) staged a gallant defence of Elands River supply post from 4 – 16th August 1900 against a force of Boers (variously numbered from 2000-3000) under the command of General de La Rey, one of the best generals to emerge from the war. Relief attempts by British forces under General Carrington from the West and General Baden Powell from Rustenburg were unsuccessful. In the words of the Boer General Smuts: “The Boers were taught a proper appreciation of the Australians”.

Butters kopje (held by the Rhodesians) and Zouch kopje (New South Wales Bushmen) will be visited as well as the Garden of Remembrance where memorials to the Australians, Rhodesians, Boer forces and black persons are located. Of particular interest is the memorial to Lt James Annat (3rd Queensland Mtd Infantry) unveiled by his granddaughter Miss Isobel Annat (MBE and OAM) on the 101st anniversary of the battle. The garrison was relieved on 16th August. A British officer described the action of the defenders as “one of the most gallant defences of the war”.

Lunch at leisure during the touring – included boxed infield style.

Continue onto the town of Parys and check in at the hotel on arrival.

Dinner to be enjoyed at the hotel.

Overnight: Le Grand Chateau (or similar) in standard rooms on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis (Includes one soft drink during dinner)

Day Twelve: Wed 15th October 14

Breakfast at the hotel before checking out.

The action Stinkhoutboom Farm – Lt Howse’s VC

Drive through to Vredefort and proceed to the cemetery.

Orientation on the Skirmish at Vredefort / Stinkhoutboom, visit the 3 South Australian and Boer graves. Go to the foundations of the flour mill in Water Street where the subsequnt action had its beginnings. Drive to Palmietkuil and Vlakspruit Farms, scene of a fierce fire-fight and where the South Australian Imperial Bushmen under Captain Alfred Norton, took a number of casualties. Also the site where Sir Neville Howse earned Australia’s first VC.

Visit a ridge on Witrandjie Farm for a view of the entire battlefield.
Stop for refreshments at Reitzburg and proceed to Rhenosterpoort, a farm in the Vredefort hills, where the Boer Pimpernel, General Christiaan de Wet, had camped on more than one occasion.

Ideal surroundings for lunch – boxed infield style included.

Visit Schoemans Drift and make a quick stop at Stinkhoutboom Farm, on the way back to Vredefort and then continue onto the town of Bloemfontein.

Check in at the hotel on arrival.

Dinner tonight will be at a local restaurant at the Log Logan Waterfront.

Overnight: Protea Hotel Willow Lake (or similar) in standard rooms on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis

Day Thirteen: Thu 16th October 14

Breakfast at the hotel.

The Battle of Sannah’s Post (Sanna Poss) – 31 March 1900
Sannah’s Post, an action fought on 31 March 1900 during the Second South African War, after the British army commanded by Field Marshal Lord Roberts occupied the Orange Free State capital, Bloemfontein, on 13 March.

Two days after the town’s capture 300 mounted infantry were sent to Sannah’s Post, situated on the Modder River 34 kilometres to the east, to secure the pumping station which supplied Bloemfontein’s water supply. As it was known that a strong Boer commando under General JH Olivier was in this area, on the 18th another force – a 1,500-strong column of cavalry and mounted infantry under Lieut.-General John French – was sent to take up a defensive position at Thaba ‘Nchu, a further 34 kilometres east. On the 26th French had departed to resume command of his cavalry division, leaving the garrison at Thaba ‘Nchu under command of Colonel R.G. Broadwood.

When Broadwood found himself seriously menaced by Olivier’s force of 5,000 men, he decided on 30 March to withdraw in towards Bloemfontein taking with him any of the town’s pro-British residents who wished to be evacuated.

Unknown to him, his movement coincided with a bold plan by another Boer leader, General Christiaan de Wet, who had moved south from Brandfort with a column of 1,600 men and seven guns, with the intention of seizing control of the Sannah’s Post waterworks and placing himself astride the escape route which Broadwood would use once Olivier launched his planned attack.

By 4 a.m. on the 31st he had his men in position: 400 under his own command west of the waterworks, the rest east of the Modder. De Wet’s plan called for the larger force to mount the initial attack on the Sannah’s Post garrison, in the expectation that the defenders (reduced now to only 200) would abandon the place and head to the capital and straight into the ambush laid for them.
Intelligence reports delivered during the night told De Wet that a convoy had been dispatched down the road from Thaba ‘Nchu the previous afternoon, but he did not know that Broadwood’s whole force was on the move. When he learned of this fact shortly before dawn, he decided to continue, laying in wait even though Broadwood’s much larger force (about 1,800) – which he could actually see bivouacking nearby on the west bank of the Modder – could potentially overwhelm his own meagre numbers. While various minor skirmishes before sunrise at 6 a.m. should have given warning that Boers were in the vicinity, the nature and scale of the threat which was actually present was not evidenced to Broadwood until shells from the north-east started falling around the waterworks bivouac site at 6.20 a.m. Assuming that Olivier’s commando had caught up with them, the British column and its convoy rapidly took to the saddle and moved out along the road to the west.

When it was reported to Broadwood that 300 Boers had been sighted along hills to the north, he deduced that an enemy force was trying to interpose itself along his escape route from that direction. He accordingly ordered one of his two batteries of Royal Horse Artillery with a mounted escort to occupy rising ground on this flank, retaining the bulk of his mounted infantry to provide a rearguard at the Modder. The battery proceeded towards the head of the supply convoy, which had become bottlenecked in a gully fifteen feet below the level of the plain-not realizing that this was due to the action of De Wet’s men, who were silently disarming and making prisoners of the teamsters as they entered the trap. The lead battery of guns was already in the enemy’s hands when the true position was discovered by the following (‘Q’) Battery. This immediately turned about, with its escort, and galloped back to where a railway station was under construction-under heavy fire from the Boers after De Wet decided the time was right to reveal his hand.

With the ambush sprung, Broadwood proceeded to try and fight his way out of the predicament. Despite severe losses suffered during its flight out of the Boer trap, Q Battery brought four of its guns into action beside the unfinished railway buildings. Among the officers and men working these weapons was Lieut. J.C. Walch, a member of the Tasmanian Defense Forces on special service duty; he was severely wounded.

Aided by the fire of the guns, Broadwood sent cavalry elements around by the south with orders to move into the gully and take the Boers from the right flank and rear. When these moves failed to case the pressure which the Boers continued to apply, at 10 a.m. Broadwood felt obliged to order a general retreat towards the south-west. In preparation for this movement, volunteers braved a storm of rifle-fire to pull back four of the guns and limbers from their exposed positions and thus prevent them being left for the enemy.

While two-thirds of Broadwood’s force made good their escape, the various Boer forces now moved in to press the mounted infantry covering the rear-while also collecting up the spoils left behind. The leading elements of the British 9th Infantry Division began reaching the battlefield in the hour before midday, after marching from Bloemfontein, but these were too late to prevent the Boers making an orderly withdrawal by 1 p.m., taking with them 421 prisoners, seven guns and 83 wagons of stores. Broadwood had also suffered 159 officers and men either killed or wounded.

The considerable disaster which befell the British in this action might have been avoided, or at least attenuated, by the skilful intervention of a brigade of mounted infantry which had also arrived three kilometres in De Wet’s rear at about 8 a.m. but then wasted the opportunity which its appearance presented. This brigade, ordered by Lord Roberts from Springfield when he first heard of Broadwood’s planned retirement, was commanded by Colonel C.G. Martyr and comprised two British battalions and the Queensland contingent (commanded by Lieut.-Colonel St G.C. Henry) – a total of 600 men. A force of this size might have materially altered the course of events, but Martyr chose to split it up and disperse it.
While one battalion was sent to join in the belated cavalry movement Broadwood had initiated against De Wet’s right flank and rear, the other British unit and the QMI had been sent north-east to aid an isolated outpost at Waterval Drift, an important crossing on the Modder north of the waterworks. Here Henry’s Queenslanders came into action after crossing the river for a distance, until recalled to take part in a short-lived defence of the ford. When the QMI was forced to join in the abandonment of Waterval to the enemy, they left behind two killed, two wounded and five men who became prisoners. The position at Sannah’s Post was not restored to British control until 23 April.

The action at Sannah’s Pos will be described to you from a stand in front of a diorama overlooking the action, also visits to the railway station where bullet holes can still be seen in the stone walls and also a visit to a nearby military cemetery

Thereafter the tour party will visit the following:

• The War Museum of the Boer Republics
• Imperial cemetery
.Lunch at leisure during the days touring – included boxed infield style.
Tonight dinner will be in a local restaurant in Bloemfontein.

Overnight: Protea Hotel Willow Lake (or similar) in standard rooms on a bed and breakfast basis
Day Fourteen: Fri 17th October 14

Breakfast at the hotel, before checking out and departing Bloemfontein.

Stop at Springfontein to visit concentration camp site, see cemetery of 1000 mixed Imperial forces and Boers including at least one Australian – Pvt Cameron, and one New Zealander – Gunner Moeller.

Light lunch at Springfontein Lodge – infield boxed style included.

Arrival at Colesberg approximately 14h00/14h30. After freshening up at the accommodation, the Colesberg Museum, Boer War cemetery (including Australian and New Zealand graves) are visited.

Late in the afternoon a drive to the Pink Hill battle of 12 February 1900 where, after a heated action, the Imperial Forces withdrew. Six Australians were killed in this action.

Check in at the guest house on arrival.

Dinner tonight will be the Horse and Mill (included)

Overnight Honeylocust Guest House in a standard room on a bed and breakfast basis

Day Fifteen: Sat 18th October 14

Breakfast at the guest house before checking out and departing to the farm Slingersfontein where both Australian and New Zealand forces saw action in this region during February 1900.

After viewing the action at Australia Hill – close to Slingersfontein – return to the main camp area at the farm for an overview of the battle on New Zealand Hill.

Light lunch boxed infield style included, taken in the shade of the farmhouse and then a visit to New Zealanders still buried close to the farmhouse. Those who wish to climb New Zealand Hill to view the battle site, now have the opportunity. Apart from magnificent views, see the place where New Zealanders chased the Boers off the hill at bayonet point. This climb is very strenuous and not recommended for the unfit. The entire climb up, walk around, and climb down will take about 3 hours. Those not climbing can relax at the farmhouse.

In Colesberg, de la Rey proved to be a formidable opponent. To counter, British troops were sent to Slingersfontein, among a range of high koppies 20-km east of Colesberg. De la Rey immediately launched a series of attacks on Slingersfontein Camp. Captain Maddocks, commander of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles, succeeded in repelling a surprise attack on a company of Yorkshires on January 15 1900 at what was afterwards referred to as “New Zealand Hill”.

The following day a patrol of 25 Australian Mounted Infantry and New South Wales Lancers was ambushed near Colonel Porter’s camp near Slingersfontein and only three returned to camp. A hill in this region was later re-named “Australia Hill”.

By the end of the day on 12 February 1900, the remainder of de la Rey’s forces had succeeded in driving the rest of Clement’s troops stationed on koppies east of Colesberg back to Slingersfontein. Determined to follow up their advantage, de la Rey planned to attack Slingersfontein camp the next day. Two 40-pounders were moved into position in readiness. When dawn broke the disappointed Boers discovered the British had retreated to Rensburg during the night.

After a hard struggle, “Big” Freek Grobler succeeded in driving back the Australian outposts around Bastardsnek and Hobkirk’s Farm. This was followed up by a successful attack on the garrison at Pink Hill and Windmill Camp, closer to Colesberg. These losses endangered the British defense line which included Kloof Camp, Coleskop, Maeder’s farm, McCracken Hill and Porter’s Hill.

When Lieutenant Maine and the 4th Field Battery abandoned Coleskop only one of the two 15-pounders were saved. The other was dismantled and thrown down the mountain. The base of the latter is on display at the Colesberg-Kemper Museum. When news of the retreat from Slingersfontein Camp reached Clements, he had no choice but to order a general retirement of all troops on the left and right wings back to Rensburg.

After an exciting day of touring, return to the guest house leisure time and dinner.

Overnight Honeylocust Guest House (or similar) in standard rooms on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis
Day Sixteen:Sun 19th October 14

Early breakfast at the guest house before checking out.

Transfer through to Orange River Station concentration camp. In pristine condition, it is the only one in South Africa of its kind. We thereafter depart for Orania settlement, a modern town where the Afrikaner nation is attempting to “go it alone” and pay a visit to the Orania Museum, housing many relics from the Boer War.

Lunch at leisure during the tour boxed infield style included. After touring, check in at the hotel.

Dinner will be on the banks of the Gariep (Orange) River (weather permitting).

Overnight: Orania Oewer Hotel (or similar) in standard rooms on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis

Day Seventeen: Mon 20th October 14

Breakfast at the hotel before checking out.
Today visit the battlefields of Belmont, Graspan, Modder River and Magersfontein.
Belmont (23 Nov 1899) is the first battle on Lord Methuen’s march to relieve Kimberley. A soldier’s battle, it is also where the first Australian lost his life in action – Schultz of the Grenadier Guards. Schultz died of his wounds while travelling to Cape Town and is buried at Leeu Gamka.

Two days later on 25 November the battle of Graspan. Here the Royal Marines and sailors of the British navy clashed with Boer General de la Rey’s Transvaalers for the first time. Another Australian, Midshipman Huddart is killed in action. At the battle of Modder River on 28 Nov ember the Boers introduce trenches into their tactics. All three battles are victories for the British.

On 11 December 1899 the famous battle of Magersfontein took place. Here the Highland Brigade is “ambushed” and General Wauchope killed. A Boer victory. At all the battles, military memorials and monuments are present. At Magersfontein we will visit the museum and view an audio visual of the battle.

The New South Wales Lancers fight in all four battles. Before returning to the hotel a stop at the Siege of Kimberley monument – the Honoured Dead Memorial with the famed Long Cecil gun

Picnic lunch – included boxed infield style.

On arrival in Kimberley, check in at the hotel

Dinner at a local restaurant in Kimberley.

Overnight: Garden Court Kimberley (or similar) in standard rooms on a bed and breakfast basis

Day Eighteen: Tue 21st October 14

Breakfast at the hotel.

You will spend most of the morning at Sunnyside, the battle where Australian and Canadian units bore the brunt of the action on 1 January 1900.

The first Australians in an Australian unit to perish in the war were killed here; one of them is still buried on the battlefield. The first Australian memorial erected outside Australia can be viewed on the battlefield.

Light lunch en-route to Kimberley – included, boxed infield style.

In the afternoon view the famous Kimberley “Big Hole”, one of the largest man-made holes in the world, and visit the Boer War Garden of Remembrance where all Imperial soldiers killed during the advance to Kimberley have been re-interred.
Visits to the McGregor Museum (The Sanatorium where Cecil Rhodes stayed during the siege) and to the Clyde Terry Hall of Militaria, both having displays on the Siege of Kimberley.

An early dinner at the famed Kimberley Club. The Club is a former Gentlemen Only club and is a living memorial to those who made their money out of diamonds. It is where Lt-Colonel RG Kekewich stayed during the siege and a place most Imperial officers visited during the war when in the area. Dinner at the Kimberley Club.

Overnight: Garden Court Kimberley (or similar) in standard rooms on a bed and breakfast basis

Day Ninteen: Wed 22nd October 14

Breakfast at the hotel.

A brief stopover where the charge of General French’s cavalry swept through to relieve Kimberley (15 Feb 1900) it’s on to Paardeberg, the ten day battle which swung the war dramatically in favour of the British (17 – 27 Feb 1900). The Australian Lt Grieve, seconded to the Black Watch, was killed here.

Canadian, Australian and New Zealand troops in action at Paardeberg. Visited at Paardeberg are the museum, Colonel Hannay’s grave, Signal Hill, the Boer laager at Vendutie Drift, two British and Imperial cemeteries, Boer cemetery, and more. Various monuments are also viewed – A massive battlefield
Lunch boxed infield style included. Return to the hotel late afternoon. Dinner at a local restaurant. In Kimberley.

Overnight: Garden Court Kimberley (or similar) in standard rooms on a bed and breakfast basis

Day Twenty: Thu 23rd October 14

Breakfast at the hotel before checking out.

Transfer Garden Court Hotel to Kimberley airport for check in for the flight to Johannesburg.

Flight: Kimberley – Johannesburg: SA 1102 ETD 07:50 ETA 09:05

Meet and assistance on arrival at O R Tambo International Airport to an awaiting coach.

Lunch at local shopping mall in a restaurant of your own choice. – own account today.

Afternoon tour of Ditsong National Museum of Military History, Saxonwold.
(If you are even vaguely into weapons, military aircraft, medals, uniforms and other war memorabilia, then this is the place to be to view this superb display!).

Background info
During WW1 many of the countries involved in the fighting spent time collecting and preserving records of the role of their soldiers. For instance Britain established the Imperial War Museum, but South Africa failed to initiate a similar enterprise with the result that a lot of the material relating to the period was lost. It was shortly after South Africa entered WW2 that efforts began to preserve documents and materials, and a Historical Research Committee was set up. Interestingly the state appointed seven war artists who were present at the front. The collection of over 800 art pieces that followed serves as a visual basis to South African war effort. The museum opened in 1947 and was called the South African National War Museum. It was changed in 1975 to the South African National Museum of Military History. It holds a collection of over 44 000 items from both world wars and the civil war against Apartheid, divided into 37 categories that include photographs, the art collection and some of the rarest aircraft in the world. The Museum of Military History also has a library with a unique collection of journals, archive material and books, and some 80 000 people visit annually.

After the visit to the museum, you will be transferred to the hotel.

Dinner at leisure tonight.

Overnight: Peermont Metcourt Suites (or similar) in Classic rooms on a bed and breakfast basis
Day Twenty One: Fri 24th October 14

Breakfast at the hotel before checking out – (late check-out will be requested but cannot be guaranteed)

City tour of Johannesburg visiting Gold Reef city, and a visit to a local “Flea Market” where shopping for a bargin or two may be enjoyed.

Lunch at leisure during the day – own account today.

Transfer to O R Tambo International Airport and check in for outbound International flight.

SAA/Qantas code share service SA 7700 ETD 18:15

Day Twenty Two: Sat 25th October 14

Arrive Sydney due to the time difference in the afternoon today at approximately 14:15.
Allowing onward connections interstate and beyond to New Zealand.

NOTE: Day 10 – 13th October after visiting Swartkloof and our infield picnic lunch, an added highlight – On leaving Swartkloof, we travel South to Pretoria to visit the graves of BVC Lts’. “Breaker” Harry Harboldt Morant and Peter Handcock in the old Pretoria cemetery. Both of these officers were executed by firing squad on 27th February 1902 in the old Pretoria prison, after being sentenced to death for the murder of unarmed Boers in an earlier court martial carried out under British Army Rules & Regulations.
Optional post tour extensions – we offer the following possibilities for your consideration
(A) Victoria Falls Zimbabwe & Chobe National Park Botswana 4 nights – 5 days. Or
(B) Kapama Private Game Reserve (Kruger Park area) 3 nights – 4 days.
Please refer to page 2 of the Inclusion and exclusion pages for details and extension costs. Any questions you may have please email or call Dennis Weatherall (Escort-Guide) via email: or telephone: Sydney (02) 9520 5023(02) 9520 5023.

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