Online Encyclopedia

TUGELA (" Startling ")

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V27, Page 364 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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TUGELA (" Startling ")  , a
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river of south-east Africa, the largest in
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Natal . It drains, with its tributaries, an
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area of about 8000 sq. m . The river valley is some rqo m. in length, the river, which has an exceedingly sinuous course is fully 300 m. long . It rises, at an altitude of nearly 11,000 ft. in the Drakensberg mountains on the eastern face of the Mont aux
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Sources, down which it leaps in a nearly perpendicular fall of 'Soo ft . The river, which starts its
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race to the ocean with a north-east course, soon bends more directly east, and, with many windings north and south, maintains this general direction across the table-
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land of north Natal until its junction with the
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Buffalo river, when it turns south . On its
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northern
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bank in its upper course are the heights of Spion Kop and
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Vaal Kranz, and on its
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southern bank, 56 m. east in a
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direct
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line from its source, is the
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village of Colenso, all three places being the scene of ineffectual attempts (Dec . 1899-Feb . 19o0) by the
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British troops under General
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Sir Redvers Buller to dislodge the Boers who blocked the road to
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Ladysmith . Below Colenso are more waterfalls, and above the river is Pieter's Hill, the storming of which by the British, on the 27th of
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February 1900 at length led to the
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relief of Ladysmith . Six miles
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lower down the Tugela receives the Klip, which rises in the Drakensberg near
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Van Reenen's Pass and flows by Ladysmith . Another northern tributary is the
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Sunday's river, which rises in the Biggarsberg . From the south the river is increased by several affluents, the chief being the Mooi (Beautiful) river .

The Tugela-Mooi confluence is 44 M. south-east of Colenso at the

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base of the Biggarsberg . Seven miles farther down the Tugela joins the Buffalo river, the
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united stream retaining, however, the name Tugela . The Buffalo has its origin in the Drakensberg near Majuba Hill and flows south with, also, a general trend to east . In its course, which is very winding, it receives numerous tributaries, one of them being the Ingogo, a small stream whose name recalls the fight on its banks on the 8th of February 1881, between British and Boers . The chief aflluents are the Ingagani (from the south-west) and the
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Blood (from the north-east), the last-named so called after the defeat of the Zulu king Dingaan, on the 16th of December 1838, by the Boers under Andries
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Pretorius, when the river ran red with the blood of the Zulus . Eighteen miles in a direct line below the Blood confluence is Rorke's Drift, or ford across the river, and some 12 M. south-east of the drift is the hill of
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Isandhlwana, both places rendered famous in the Zulu War of 1878-79 . The junction with the Tugela is 30 M. in a direct line, farther south, the Buffalo river in that distance passing through a wooded and hilly region . Below the confluence of the two streams the Tugela flows south-east in a deep channel between lofty cliffs, or through wild, stone-strewn valleys until it reaches the narrow coast belt . Its mouth is nearly closed by a sand bar, formed by the
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action of the ocean . The Tugela is thus useless for navigation . About 6 m. above the mouth are two forts, Pearson and Tenedos, built by the British in 1879, during the war with the Zulus, to guard the passage of the river . Generally fordable in the winter months, the Tugela is, after the heavy rains of summer, a deep and rapid river .

It is crossed, some 5 m. above the forts, by a railway bridge—the longest

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bridge in South Africa . From the junction of the Blood river with the Buffalo, that stream and subsequently the Tugela form the boundary between Natal and
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Zululand .

End of Article: TUGELA (" Startling ")
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