Spioenkop is steeped in South African history and natural beauty. The battlefield is an easy 30km drive from Oaklands, with Spieonkop Dam a further 10km away. Discover how the brutal battle of Spioenkop unfolded during the First Boer War or, alternatively, spend a relaxing afternoon in the wilderness at Spioenkop Nature Reserve.
Spioenkop Battlefield Tour
Spioenkop is the site of one of the fiercest battles that took place during the First Boer War more than a hundred years ago. Boers and Brits engaged in a bloody combat to gain control of the commanding hill that was thought crucial in relieving Ladysmith. Winston Churchill, a war correspondent at the time, witnessed the battle and wrote of the British defeat: ‘Many of the wounds were of a horrible nature. The splinters and fragments of the shells had torn and mutilated in the most ghastly manner.’
Today, visitors can explore the battlefield site and trace the events that unfolded between the ridge and the summit in the company of knowledgeable guides. The summit of Spioenkop also offers one of the most breathtaking panoramic views of this area of Natal.
Spioenkop Dam and Nature Reserve
Spioenkop Dam and Nature Reserve encompass an area of 4 400 hectares, which is protected by the KwaZulu-Natal Nature Conservation Service. Spend a day at the dam sailing, waterskiing and canoeing, or fishing for carp, bass, bluegill and tilapia. The nature reserve is rich in game, including giraffe, buffalo, eland and white rhino. Visitors can take guided walks through the park to view the fauna and flora unique to the area.