Tourism, Accommodation and Historical Attractions in Natal, South Africa
The Natal Coast
The Natal North Coast
The Tugela River
|Advertise Now -it's Free!||Change text size:|
Long known as the border between Natal and Zululand, the Tugela ('the one that startles') River was a formidable obstacle. The lower drift was passable only when the river was low but the John Ross Bridge provides an easy crossing.
John Ross was a 15 year old boy who walked from Durban to Maputo and back - 900kms over 40 days - to bring medicines. Downstream from the bridge, opposite the original ford is Fort Pearson, built by the British during the 1879 Anglo/Zulu campaign. Near the fort is an old fig tree.
It was under this tree that the ultimatum was given to the Zulu delegation as the excuse for the war. The ultimatum took many hours to deliver as it had to be translated line by line, the Zulu chiefs were expected to memorize it and carry it back to King Cetshwayo.