Things To Do in Rorkes DriftRorke's Drift Orientation Centre
Where? Rorkes Drift, Battlefields Route, KwaZulu Natal.
When? Monday to Friday from 08h00 to 16h00.
Saturday and Sunday from 09h00 to 16h00.
How? Call +27 (0)34 642-1687
How much? Falls into price group R1 to R100 per person. Confirm with the provider.
In the midst of the spectacular Drakensberg Mountain Range, the Rorke’s Drift Orientation Centre reveals insights, even secrets, about the beauty and history that surrounds it. This centre is designed to assist visitors from South Africa and all around the world to navigate this part of the country in terms of its heritage, getting the most out of their experience.
Rorke’s Drift is the site of a famous battle between the British soldiers and the indigenous Zulu folk that once called these mountains and valleys their home. In January of 1879, 139 British soldiers defeated 4 000 Zulu warriors as they defended their small mission station against the African soldiers. Queen Victoria honoured the British soldiers, but the Zulu warriors were not permitted to tell their story, or to honour their fighters.
Today, the Rorke’s Drift Orientation Centre is situated on the very site of that original mission station. Zulu guides conduct tours and are finally given the opportunity to tell visitors a version of the story that also reflects the valiant struggles and defence put up by the local Zulu tribes. The tour is accompanied by a self-guided trail brochure, which provides great information and insights.
Only 15 kilometres from Rorke’s Drift is the battle site of Isandlwana. Any experience of the one should be paired with the other for a fuller perspective. The battle site can be emotional, as one stands on the very spot at which so many lives were lost, for reasons complex and significant in terms of the history of South Africa.
Behind the Rorke’s Drift Orientation Centre is the Evangelical Lutheran Church Art & Craft Centre. It was here that many non-white locals were given to opportunity to learn and use their artistic abilities in creative, lucrative ways. Today, it continues to be a useful resource and an interesting place to visit.