The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Majuba Hill

Majuba Hill as seen from Charlestown

Photo © Steven Herbert

Majuba Hill, site of the Battle of Majuba, is the prominent feature of the landscape in the Volksrust area. It is a large flat-topped hill that dominates the skyline. The name comes from the Zulu word “amajuba” which means “dove”, so this is the “hill of doves.”

On the 27th of February 1881 it was the site of a battle between the Boers and British during the First Boer War. The British forces, which numbered 405, were led by Major-General Sir George Pomeroy Colley. They occupied the top of the hill. About 450 Boer soldiers, led by Nicolas Smit, stormed the hill, and achieved a remarkable victory despite having the inferior position of having to climb the hill.

The British defeat at Majuba helped to bring about an end to the First Anglo-Boer War.

One may hike up to the top of the hill where one is rewarded with fantastic views of the surrounding countryside. There are also memorials to those who died in this conflict. Another option is drive to a picnic site, but one still needs to hike some of the way to the top.

Have you been to the top of Majuba? Is it worth the trip?

References and further reading

Conollys Guide to Southern Africa - 2nd edition - Author: Denis Conolly - Published: 1982 - Page: 239


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