Bergville Travel Blog› entry 3 of 16 › view all entries
Heading east we leave the Golden Gate National Parkbehind and head towards the Drakensbergs (the Dragon Mountains). These are the highest ranges in southern Africa and the Zulu called them the ‘barrier of spears’, a natural fortress of seemingly insurmountable rock that marked the eastern boundary of their land. We will pass over the Olivershoek Pass this morning, the border between the Free State and Kwazulu-Natal, and head down into the Karoo sandstone landscapes of the Zulu heartland.
Our destination today is the small town of Bergville, close to famous site of the Boer battlefield of Spion Kop and this afternoon we visit the site of what was one of the bloodiest battles in the entire war.
Spion Kop was to prove probably the most humiliating, and certainly the most costly, battle the British fought. In a monumental example of poor planning, 1700 British troops managed to find themselves exposed on an open hilltop exposed to the withering sharp shooting of a vastly outnumbered band of Boers. Over the course of the day the British lost 600 men and ended up retreating, leaving the hill that they had tried so desperately to hold to a collection of fewer than 350 Boers.