It has been my experience that you need to use old maps if you want to find old battlefields. 'Places' can 'move' a few miles over the course of a century, sometimes rendering modern maps into a positive hindrance rather than an aid. I have, for example, been talking on another thread of the pass called 'Lancer's Gap', above Maseru in Lesotho, which contrary to the folklore of colonial Basutoland is some 4.5 miles from where the 12th Lancers actually had their rather difficult day of 20 Dec 1852.
The best map for the purpose of locating Tamai is to be found on p.15 of my Go Strong into the Desert
. As I always say I don't need a £2.50 royalty, but that's where the answer is to be found....and if you need to know, then you need to know. It is only available through the books section of perryminiatures.com, the firm which commissioned it, though you might get a second hander (yuk) elsewhere online. So the answer you seek is about 3 mouse clicks and 25 quid away.
I reckon Tamai is somewhere between 14-16 miles out of Suakin and does indeed lie to the south west. It is Hashin which lies to the west. Tamai (or shall we call it 'old Tamai') was about 1000 yards south of the Khor Gob. The primary source history leaves no room for doubt on this. Graham's brigades did indeed attack across the khor from north to south, though the heaviest fighting took place on the north side when the Bija counter-attacked pre-emptively. Tamai was a minor settlement of primitive dwellings (possibly only desert shelters made of sticks and mud) given added significance by the large rebel encampment which sprang up around it in wartime. So Tamai on a modern map is really only a district, not a place. You have your work cut out to find it if you want to go there. If you are a millionaire or a member of a reputable and generously resourced academic institution, I will take you there!
Tofrek, Mark, you are right, is a nightmare. It is easy enough to be sure you must be looking at it; but to be sure you were actually standing inside the zareba would take several days of meticulous fieldwork, time which I did not have available to devote to one battlefield when I was in the littoral. I have looked at it but not stood on it. I would like to. What we need is a rich sponsor of Victorian military history and then we could so these matters justice and get these places definitively plotted. I should add that I was tolerably convinced at one point that I wasn't going to get out alive and would dissuade anybody from going to these places outside the confines of a proper expedition with a joined up security plan, a surfeit of good manners and lots of experience of dodgy places.