Ian Knight is a writer and historian who is internationally regarded as a leading authority on the nineteenth-century history of the Zulu kingdom, and in particular the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879.

He has a degree in Afro-Carribean Studies from the University of Kent  and has been researching and writing for more than thirty years. He has published over forty books and monographs, the majority of them on Zulu history and the rest on other nineteenth-century British colonial campaigns. Details of these can be found on the Books page.

He is the guest leader of the Anglo-Zulu War Battlefield Tour organised by Holts Battlefield Tours.

He has appeared on-screen in a number of television documentaries including –

Timewatch – Zulu, The Real Story

Secrets of the Dead; The Mystery of Zulu Dawn

Great Military Disasters

Shaka Zulu (documentary for the US History Channel)

The Zulu Wars (three part documentary which he wrote, co-produced and presented for UK History Channel)

Zulu Wars

Zulu; The Warriors Return

He has also contributed to –

Lost Kingdoms of Africa; The Zulu Kingdom

Warriors (Zulu episode)


He is a ‘Life Time’s Achievement’  winner of the Anglo-Zulu War Historical Society’s Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi Award for his work on Zulu history, and his book The National Army Museum Book of the Zulu War was joint winner of the Royal United Services’ Institute Award for ‘Best Military History Book’. He is an Honorary Research Associate of the KwaZulu-Natal Museum in Pietermaritzburg.


About the Talks

Ian is an experienced and accomplished public speaker – book him now for an entertaining , evocative, educational, and exhilirating talk.  He has been giving talks on the Anglo Zulu war for over thirty years and enfuses them with enthusiasm, humour and an encyclopedic knowledge of this fascinating subject, enlivened with personal anecdotes of travel in Zululand.  Ian has honed his story-telling skills leading tours of the battlefields and in a number of television documentaries, and has led public events at museums like the National Army Museum in London and Brecon Museum in Wales. He has shared a platform at the Royal Geographical Society with the late John Aspinall and has delivered talks to historical societies, regimental associations, after-dinner clubs and schools. Talks can be tailored to a particular subject and perspective – this is history at its most entralling, and it has many lessons for history buffs, military enthusiasts, those seeking an insight into the background of modern South Africa as well as businessmen, tactitians and implementors in todays complex world.

Some Sample Talks; 

Isandlwana; How the Zulus Humbled the British Empire

Rorkes Drift ; the truth behind the famous movie ‘Zulu’

Lord Chelmsford; Incompetent or out-generalled?

The Zulu Royal House and the Challenge of the British Invasion

Business Lessons From the Battle of Isandlwana!

YouTube Link;

Ian Knight


Please contact us with details of your event for a quotation.


Rider Haggard

Rider Haggard visiting the British graves at Ulundi in 1914. As a young man Haggard had been on Shepstone’s staff during the annexation of the Transvaal in 1877, and as an ardent Imperialist he was in favour of the invasion of Zululand. He never visited Zululand at that time, however, but went on to make the Zulus …


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