A guided battlefield tour in Kwa-Zulu Natal with Johann Hamman

Johann Hamman

At History’s Walk we can definitely arrange a full day of touring for you.  I am a registered Kwazulu – Natal provincial guide who does battlefield tours to all major sites of the three wars that were fought in this province. I was born in the Republic of Namibia, but I am a South African citizen as well, today. My wife Michele and I own and operate a Bed and Breakfast called History’s Walk in Dundee, which is your one-stop answer if you require accommodation as well. If you are the arty type, you will appreciate the amazing things Michele do in her studio, called Bahia Art.

I have a B.A. degree in Military History, among others, and specialises in the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879, the First War of Independence of 1881 (sometimes also called the First Boer War, or the Transvaal Rebellion) and the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902. 

 My flagship tour is a day tour to the Big Three, (The Battle of Blood River, the Battle of Isandlwana and the Battle of Rorke’s Drift.) I am a military historian and independent guide who freelances for all accommodation establishments in the district. I also do tours to the site of the Battle of Spioenkop and its integrated sites (Mount Alice and Spearman’s Camp), the Siege Museum of Ladysmith, the Battle of Wagon Hill and Caesar’s Camp (also known as Platrand), Colenso, Blaauwkrantz, the Churchill Capture site and the site of the Battle of Majuba.

(Please, please, please  keep in mind that it is not really possible to do Spioenkop and Isandlwana/Rorke’s Drift in one day, as it involves extensive travelling – in opposite directions….!!)

I am a former member of the Namibian Police, a free lance journalist and writer and have travelled extensively in Europe and South Africa. I obtained a Flemish-language postgraduate diploma in European and International Law at the Free University of Belgium, in Brussels, where I stayed and worked for a little over a year. I am an eighth-generation South African, and my family has been in this country since 1732. The government research station Nooitgedacht, outside Stellenbosch, was our family farm, where my ancestor Jan Jurgens farmed wine since 1732. I have four maternal ancestors who fought in the Battle of Blood River (December 16, 1838), two ancestors who were killed in action in the Battle of Magersfontein (December 12, 1899), one ancestor who was killed in action in the Battle of Wagon Point (January 6, 1900), one who died in the Battle of Spioenkop (January 24, 1900), and one who was involved in the capture of Winston Churchill. I am deeply passionate about the history of my country, and believes that a people who denies their history, does not deserve their future. The majority of my clients are visitors from the United Kingdom, who share a rich history with us, followed by Dutch and Belgian visitors, Americans, Frenchmen, Germans, South Africans, Australians, and even a few from Norway.

Tour Rates 2011 Johann Hamman

 1.    My guiding fee for a full day’s private and customised tour is ZAR1500.00, which includes a transport levy, in my vehicle, for up to four people. A 50% deposit may be required to confirm a booking. Please note that this does not include your entrance fees of ZAR20.00 per person to the sites. That will be for your own account on the day. If we use your vehicle, my hop-on fee is ZAR 1000.00, an you will be liable for my entry at Isandlwana and Rorke’s drift as well. The ZAR 1500.00 is a day fee, and not per person, and only applicable if my vehicle is required.

 2.     A light lunch can be obtained at Ladysmith, or lunch packs ordered from the hotel/accommodation establishment, which are for the clients’ account on the day. Please bear in mind that the Spioenkop tour is an extensive one, and will take almost the entire day, with substantial travelling to be done. There is little left of the Colenso site, except Col. Long’s old gun position, the Clouston Garden of Remembrance and the Ambleside grave site, but you can still make out Buller’s battle against Botha well enough. The loop is very overgrown, and you will not be able to reach the Tugela from that site anymore. The Ladysmith Siege Museum is excellent and well worth the visit. If you have specific Ladysmith sites in mind, let me know. I like to prepare a bit beforehand.

  3.    The Anglo-Zulu War tour of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift will also take the best part of the day. There is a hotel and small cafe at Rorke’s Drift that can provide light lunches as well, plus two curio shops, one at Isandlwana and one at Rorke’s Drift, for those inclined to buy souvenirs.

 4.      Closed shoes might be required, but are not compulsory. Insects could be a problem.  Clients will need sun protection during summer, and it can get chilly during winter.  Please be advised that these tours are not really suitable for very young children or babies, as it is a long day.

 

NB: All medical/chronic conditions, especially allergies, asthma and heart problems, must be declared to me before departure…..!!!

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