Adorable meerkat at Tswalu

Boer War Battlefields (Kimberley & Ladysmith)


SPY7K
7 NIGHTS
FROM £1,995
International flights quoted separately
This privately guided tour focuses on the historic Boer War battlefields in South Africa. Starting in Kimberley, visit the Modder River, Magersfontein and Paardeberg, before driving via Bloemfontein to Ladysmith. Visit the Siege Museum and key sites around Dundee and Colenso, including the battlefield at Spionkop. English speaking battlefields guide, all entrance fees & transfers included.
Photos Boer War Battlefields Tours Kimberley Ladysmith Spionkop
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Kimberley
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Magersfontein
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Modder River
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Paardeberg
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Ladysmith
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Seige Museum
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Dundee
• 
Colenso
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Spionkop
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Majuba Hill
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Kimberley
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Magersfontein
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Modder River
• 
Paardeberg
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Ladysmith
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Seige Museum
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Dundee
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Colenso
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Spionkop
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Majuba Hill
Day 1
You will be met at Kimberley Airport and transferred to your hotel in this historic diamond town, that was besieged during the Anglo-Boer War of 1899.
 
Check in, settle in and relax in the town that is world headquarters of De Beers mining company.
Day 2
Today is devoted to exploring the historic Boer War Battlefields with your expert guide.
 
Kimberley was an important diamond mining town that was besieged by the Afrikaaners for 124 days during the early days of the Boer War. Follow the campaign of Lord Methuen, as he attempted to relieve the siege. His campaign led him from Cape Town along the railway line towards Kimberley - with field guns, a 4.7” naval gun and more than 12,000 men.
 
Battles were fought at Graspan (Enslin), Belmont and Modder River, where the block houses and field hospital can still be seen, before the advance was halted for two months after the British defeat at the Battle of Magersfontein. You will hear stories of that fateful 'Black Week' in December 1899 and see the battle trenches that are still visible atop the hills at Magersfontein.
 
On returning to Kimberley we visit the Honoured Dead Memorial, the final resting place for 27 of the 43 soldiers who died defending the town, offering splendid views over the city. Here you can see the original Long Cecil gun, built under siege conditions.
 
Recommended Reading:
Boer War – Thomas Pakenham
Day 3
Today we visit the battlefield at Paardeberg ('Horse Mountain') on the banks of the Modder River.
 
After the British defeat at Magersfontein, field marshal Lord Roberts assumed personal command of a significantly reinforced army. Major General John French, whose cavalry had outflanked the Boer position to relieve the siege of Kimberley, managed to cut off the Boer lines of communication. The Boers then retreated from their entrenched position at Magersfontein, towards Bloemfontein.
 
Cronje's slow-moving column was intercepted by French at Paardeberg, where the Boer general eventually surrendered after a prolonged siege, having fought off an attempted direct assault by lieutenant general Horatio Kitchener.
 
Recommended Reading:
From Belmont to Bloemfontein – Steve Lunderstedt
Day 4
A full day on the road today, as we travel 6-hours from Kimberley to the small town of Ladysmith that was also besieged by the Boers.
 
Along the way we stop at Bloemfontein, the old capital of the Boer Republic of the Orange Free State. Following the Battle of Paardeberg, British forces captured the city and built a concentration camp to house Boer women and children. The National Women's Monument, on the outskirts of the city, pays homage to the 26,370 Boer women and children as well as 1,421 old men who died in British concentration camps throughout South Africa. Over 15,000 black people also died in these concentration camps.
 
We continue to Ladysmith and check into our hotel in this siege town.
Day 5
We spend today exploring significant Boer War sites around Ladysmith, which was besieged for 118 days as the Boers surrounded the town and cut off the important rail link to Durban.
 
Start the day with visit to the small Siege Museum. On Christmas Day 1899, the Boers fired into the town a carrier shell without a fuse containing a Christmas pudding, two Union Flags and the message "Compliments of the Season". This shell is still kept in the museum. We then visit the battlefield and graves atop Wagon Hill, where fierce battles were fought in attempts to relieve Ladysmith.
 
We continue to Dundee where we visit the battlefield and small museum at Talana Hill, the site of the first battle of the Boer War and where khaki was worn for the first time.
 
Recommended Reading:
Boer War – Thomas Pakenham
Day 6
Today we visit Colenso where, during the South African War (Anglo Boer War), a third and final battle was fought during the 'Black Week' of December 1899. Inadequate preparation and reconnaissance, and uninspired leadership, led to a heavy and humiliating British defeat. Here we visit the Winston Churchill capture site.
 
Afterwards we continue to the battlefield at Spioenkop, where one of the bloodiest battles took place in efforts to relieve Ladysmith, which was besieged for 118 days. Visit the mass graves atop Spioenkop Hill and see for yourself how poor military decisions affected the outcome of this battle.
 
Incredibly three future world leaders were in the area at the time this battle took place - Winston Churchill as a young newspaper correspondent, the future Mahatma Gandhi as a stretcher bearer, and Louis Botha as the Boer general who would go on to become the first Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa.
 
Recommended Reading:
Boer War – Thomas Pakenham
Day 7
Today we head for Majuba Hill near Volksrust, where the Boers won a decisive victory over the British forces. This battle brought an end to the Transvaal War of Independence (or First Boer War).
 
On the night of 26 February 1881, the British general Sir George Pomeroy Colley occupied the top of Majuba Hill with some 400 men. In the early hours of the next morning, when the Boers realised the British had occupied the mountain which dominated their position and blocked Laing’s Nek Pass and the road into the Transvaal, they advanced on the British position. They stormed the top of the mountain and forced the British off. The British suffered some 256 killed, including their general, wounded and captured while the Boers lost only 2 men.
 
Please note today involves a very steep climb up Majuba Hill.
Day 8
Transfer 4-hours to Johannesburg Airport for your flight home.
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