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The city of Newcastle is located in the heart of South Africa in close proximity to the enclave of Lesotho. The name of the city comes from the former British colonial minister, the Duke of Newcastle. The metropolitan area served as a stopping point for the post office traffic between today’s Durban and Johannesburg the time of colonialism, whereby the city became more and more important. The city-scape retains many elements of the Victorian architectural style, indicating the long tradition of Newcastle. In the Newcastle area, there are many off-road trails that attract many foreign tourists each year. There is also a large Hindu centre in Newcastle with a temple, which is considered the largest in the southern hemisphere. The airport in Newcastle is almost entirely geared towards cargo traffic..
The flights to and from Newcastle are very thin, as the airport is mainly used by the steel company Mittal, which operates a large production facility in the Newcastle area. Therefore, it is advisable to be informed in advance about the events, as regular air connections are often late or fail due to the intensive industrial use of the airport. Connections exist only to Johannesburg and Cape Town and are operated by small regional airlines.
Within a radius of about 50 km around the city of Dundee in KwaZulu-Natal is the Battlefield Route. Here many historically significant battles took place between the Zulus, British and Boers.
In St. Vincente’s you will find the Isandlawana Museum right next to the scene of the first big fight on 22.01. 1879, when five British troops hit 25,000 Zulus. Hardly any of the fighters survived. Guided tours with information about this battle are offered.
At Rorke’s Drift on the Buffalo River, about 30 km from Vryheid, 100 Englishmen were victorious against 4,000 Zulus in the same month. Again, there is a museum and the battlefield can be visited. Ten miles down the Fugitive’s Drift, two officers of the British Army lost the empire’s banner to the Zulus, and on July 4, 1879, the decisive battle between the two war groups took place on the Umfoloi River near Ulundi, which is still remembered today. Here the Zulus were finally beaten.
27 km from Dundee, the battle took place on the Blood River, to which today still remembers the same monument. Here 464 Boers defeated an army of about 12,000 Zulus.
For visitors who are interested in the history of South Africa, a visit to the Battlefields is absolutely worthwhile, with plenty of time to plan, as the region is very hilly and the roads are mostly unpaved.