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11 December 1878

On the 11 December 1878 the British Government in South Africa presented an ultimatum to King Cetshwayo’s izinduna (senior representatives). The conditions of the Ultimatum included inter alia the disbandment of the Zulu Army and Cetshwayo having to swear allegiance to Queen Victoria – conditions were unacceptable to the Zulus – and war broke out one month later. Fort Pearson is situated above where the British No 1 (Coastal) Column crossed the Thukela River to invade Zululand on the 11th January 1879. The Ultimatum Tree died several years ago but the site has been enclosed by a fence and a branch that was grafted from it and planted nearby has also been enclosed.

There are interpretive panels at Fort Pearson but the use of a guide is recommended to enhance the experience of the site. The key to the gate to Fort Pearson is obtainable at the nearby Harold Johnson Nature Reserve (run by Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife). A refundable deposit is payable.

2 Reviews

  • I am contacting you with regards to the Ultimatum tree, my team and I would like to find out how possible is it to do a shoot there next week, preferably on the 10th of this month (February) and what is the process that is involved, is there anyone we need to confirm with before we come there or the tree is open for the general public to come and visit at any time they may wish to.

    I am looking forward to hearing back from you
    Kind Regards.

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