Johann Hamman’s Battlefield Tours

Johan Badenhorst van Voetspore en ek by een van die kanonreplika's by BloedrivierWe are still here, but we only do hop-on tours now. We can still arrange a full day of touring for prospective clients interested in touring the local battlefields. We provide the guide, and you provide the transport. I am a registered Kwazulu-Natal Level 4 provincial guide and military historian, who can do battle-field 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.

 

Johann Hamman Kwazulu-Natal Battlefields Anglo-Zulu War Battlefield guide

I have a B.A. degree in Military History, and a B.A. Honours degree in International Politics, two Masters degrees, among others, and specializes in the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 and the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902.

My flagship tour is a two-day tour to what we use to call the Big Three, but we have added the Battle of Talana now. (The Battle of Blood River, Battle of Talana,  Battle of Isandlwana and the Battle of Rorke’s Drift.) I am an 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 and the Churchill Capture site.

At the Forces' memorial on SpioenkopI am a former member of the Namibian Police, the Second South African Infantry Battalion Group, a free lance journalist and writer and have traveled 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 from my father’s side, 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.

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Tour Rates/Travel Arrangements 2023/2024  – Johann Hamman

We are very happy to hear that we are no longer on the UK’s red list for Covid 19, and would like to remind all our clients that the battlefields are still here….!!!!

1. COVID19 prerequisites can be observed, but it is no longer compulsory. You will of course be welcome to wear your own masks, if you may so wish. If you do not have one, they are freely available at shops like Pick and Pay.

2. I only do hop-on tours since January 1, 2024, where I join the clients in their own transport, or guide a touring coach. My hop on day fee (private tours, coaches, and travel groups) is   ZAR 2000.00 per day but will be liable to change at short notice. 

Please send me an email at johann@historyswalk.co.za to request a detailed tour plan and invoice.

3. Entry fees at Blood River are ZAR 50.00 per adult, and ZAR 20.00 per head, for children. Entry fees at Isandlwana, Rorke’s Drift and Spioenkop are ZAR 40.00 per adult.

4. Hop-on tours can only be conducted from accommodation establishments in or near Dundee. Clients will need to collect me at my office at 110 McKenzie Street, Dundee.

5. Tour fees have been updated for the 2023/24 season. My daily hop-on fee is still ZAR 2000.00 per day, irrespective of the size of the group.

The Tours…!!!

1. The Big Four Tour: (Two days)

This tour fee is ZAR 4000.00 on a hopon for the two days. We will visit Blood River and Talana on Day One, then on to Isandlwana, and then Rorke’s Drift Day Two.

2. Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift:

The same conditions as above apply. We will visit Isandlwana first and then come back to Rorke’s Drift. There are two community-driven shops at each site, where clients can have a look at locally – made crafts and some books. The Anglo-Zulu War tour of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift will also take the best part of the day. There is a small cafe at Rorke’s Drift that can provide light lunches. Two shops sell locally made crafts, for those inclined to buy souvenirs. Availability not guaranteed.

3. Spioenkop and Mount Alice

A light lunch can be obtained at Ladysmith, or lunch packs ordered from the hotel/accommodation establishment, which will be for the client’s 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 traveling to be done. Bigger coaches will not be allowed to drive up the hill, and shuttling will have to be arranged.

NB: We have had quite a lot of rain from December 2021, so some of the sites may be inaccessible. 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, as well as Fort Wylie, 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. Take note that it is not open on Sundays, If you have specific Ladysmith sites in mind, let me know. I like to prepare a bit beforehand.

Remember: Other costs not included in all the above-mentioned fees: 

Entrance fees of ZAR 40.00 per adult per site, and ZAR 40.00 at Talana Museum, (ZAR 50.00 at Blood River) Personal expenses on the day are for guests’ own accounts. Invoices will be issued upon request.

Closed shoes are recommended, but not compulsory. Insects might 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.

NB….!!!!!    Cancellation policy:

Kindly be aware that a 33% cancellation fee will be charged for any battlefield tours that are cancelled seven days or less, before the departure date. Voucher tours that do not get taken up after more than three months, will be cancelled. Any deposits on a voucher will be forfeited in the case of a no-show.

A 50% booking fee will be charged should guests cancel with less than two days notice.

The full tour/booking fee will be forfeited for non-arrivals and cancellations the day before, or on the date of departure….!!!

All tours that are cancelled, must be done in writing, a week before departure. Please send me an email with regard to this.

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