By Elena del Valle, photos by Juan Cooper
The terrace at Isandlwana Lodge
There were books, audio recordings and souvenirs at the gift shop
Dalton Lindizwe Ngobese, our Zulu guide
Our visit to the eastern area of Africa’s southernmost country was scheduled initially around game viewing and later expanded to include battlefield and spa properties. We immediately liked the KwaZulu Natal area’s friendly people and the hilly and at times mountainous landscape as well as the understated game viewing. As we completed the safari portion of the trip we wondered what to expect at our next stop, Isandlwana Lodge.
We arrived at the 15-room luxury lodge built on the side of a hill in the heart of KwaZulu Natal early in the afternoon of a chilly spring day in the company of Manager Andre Broerse, an affable young man. As we drove up the Isandlwana hill, the property, touted as a must stop for history buffs, especially those with an interest in the Anglo Zulu War and its battlefields, which was hardly noticeable from a distance, mushroomed into a handsome structure.
Anglo Zulu War A Personal Interpretation and The Stories of the Anglo Zulu War by Robert Gerrard
Soon we met the hotel staff including Dalton Lindizwe Ngobese, our Zulu guide, and Robert Gerard, the in-house historian and Anglo Zulu War expert and author of several books on South African wars, including the 125-page Anglo Zulu War A Personal Interpretation and The Stories of the Anglo Zulu War sold at the lodge shop. The morning after our arrival we and four other guests joined him for the first of two battle discussions in a daylong program.
In a way, our stay at the lodge reflected our arrival, developing from a distant view to a close up perspective. Thanks to Dalton and Robert our knowledge of the Zulus and the Anglo Zulu battles of the area, as related by the Anglo side, slowly grew, blossoming into genuine appreciation for the experience and the detailed descriptions that brought history to life for us during our two-night visit. Click here to read more about our stay at Isandlwana Lodge