The David Rattray Guidebook of the Battlefields of Zululand

The David Rattray Guidebook of the Battlefields of Zululand


  • Author: David Rattray
  • Publisher: Pen & Sword
  • Publish Date: 2003
  • ISBN: 085052922-0
  • Price: 14.95
  • Number of Sales: UK 10,200 South Africa 4,000 (November 2004)

Review By : Adrian Greaves (Co author)

Available from all good bookshops. This very popular guidebook is available in both the United Kingdom and South Africa. Its purpose is to enable visitors to the Zulu War battlefields to safely visit the relevant locations and to orientate them on site. Facilities, or lack of them, are a prominent and helpful feature of the guidebook. Many of the battlefields are isolated and some have features which border on the dangerous; examples highlighted include the exposure of Hlobane and the confusing cattle tracks on Fugitives’ Trail leading to the tricky, and often dangerous, crossing of the Buffalo River. In most cases, visitors are advised to employ a properly qualified guide; this sound advice is occasionally ignored by those who think they know better, whole groups and lone British Army officers have been known to get seriously lost on the Fugitives’ Trail – or can’t find main battlefields, such as Ntombe Drift, or prominent locations, such as King Cetshwayo’s grave and other Zulu kings’ graves along the Valley of the Kings.

The guidebook gives carefully checked instructions how to find the battlefields from major towns and the book comes into its own on the ground. Clear maps and selected ‘points of interest’ ensure that the visitor makes the best of their visit to these poignant and beautiful locations. A ‘best seller’ in its own right, and very popular with visitors and battlefield guides alike.   

I have based my contribution to the guidebook on more than 50 visits to South Africa’s battlefields over a period of 20 years; some visits were for a month or more.   

Adrian Greaves (Co author)

Tuesday 21st of March 2006 12:02:11 PM