The battlefield tour was so vividly described we almost felt we were in the siege well over a hundred years ago
Peter S 64 yrs, Newbury, UK, Read 32 reviews »
Rorke Drift, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
- World famous Anglo Zulu battlefield tours with the best guides in the region
- Now also boasts its own private game reserve
- Over two hundred and seventy five recorded bird species on the property
Facilities includeWifi Large swimming pool Safe for valuables Lounge Laundry
- Blood River
- Horse Riding
- Mountain Biking
- Tour to Mangeni Falls
Seasons in South Africa
About Fugitives' Drift
The Rattray family, pioneers of Heritage Tourism in South Africa, created these award winning facilities to allow visitors to savour the extraordinary saga of the Anglo-Zulu War. Had one tried to dream up geography and topography for a clash between those two great empires, one could hardly have come up with more fantastic scenery than that which is found on and around the famous battlefields of Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift. This spectacular property is a Natural Heritage Site. Walk or horse ride through the reserve to view abundant game and birdlife on fish on the 20km frontage of the Buffalo River.
Fugitive's Drift is world famous for its battlefield tours, led by knowledgeable and highly-qualified lecturers, steeped in the history of the region and telling the tale as they were taught to tell it by the renowned historian David Rattray.
At Fugitive's Drift Lodge there are eight spacious luxury twin en-suite rooms. The annex cottage consists of two luxury twin en-suite rooms, a sitting room and an outside deck.
The Lodge, near Rorke's Drift, is situated on the site of the original Rattray homestead, where David's parents enjoyed their holidays, and here the seeds of this unique operation took root in those early years. The Lodge is the original establishment, built by David and Nicky Rattray in 1989 and houses the majority of the memorabilia in the central lounge and dining room area. Spacious luxury en-suite rooms all have a private veranda. A feature of the Lodge is the beautiful shady, well-established garden; home to innumerable birds and a spectacular, large swimming pool situated on a secluded spur on the lip of the Buffalo River Gorge.
The Lodge is home to The Harford Library - with incredible views over the Buffalo River Gorge and the mountain of Isandlwana, the Harford Library offers a fantastic venue for friends who wish to relax and celebrate, or for executive groups to meet and contemplate the important business lessons which can be drawn from these remarkable stories. Lunch is served on the deck every day.
At Fugitive's Drift Guest House there are six luxury twin en-suite rooms. The Guest House was once the home of Mr and Mrs Potgieter who were immortalised in Gillian Rattray's award-winning book "The Springing of the Year". This old farmhouse has been altered and now forms the most charming sitting and dining room. The original verandas have been retained and the outside eating area has a stunning view across a plain with Isandlwana in the distance. The luxury en-suite rooms all have verandas and sweeping views of the reserve. The Guest House has a large swimming pool with views across the plain.
Indulge in sundowners around the fire and dine in the splendid atmosphere of a veritable museum of Zulu War memorabilia. Superb food and personal service are central to the fine hospitality they offer at Fugitive's Drift.
This part of KwaZulu Natal and the battlefields, indeed the whole region, are characterised by the most remarkable geography which, to quote David Rattray, “literally leaps out of the pages of She and Nada the Lilly…”. This geography, which was certainly enough to inspire Sir Henry Rider Haggard, is just as awe-inspiring to the guests today.
Both the Lodge and Guest House lie within the 5,000 acre Fugitives’ Drift Game Reserve which is a registered Natural Heritage Site and is teeming with wildlife. They have over 250 species of birds on the property, ranging from the Purple-crested Lourie to the Yellow Weaver, many of which can be seen from the comfort of your veranda.
Their six horses are as comfortable around the giraffe as they are the zebra and wildebeest; a horse ride through the reserve will offer the most fantastic views of this remarkable property and its flora and fauna. Exciting mountain bike trails are available as are bikes to hire.
A walk down to Fugitives’ Drift on the Buffalo River will afford an opportunity not only to swim in pools and rapids, but also to try your hand at a spot of fishing. The 22km river frontage offers superb fishing.
How to get there
We will assist you with all necessary internal transfers after booking.
The closest international airport is Durban
From Johannesburg it is approximately a 5 hour drive
From Durban it is approximately a 3 and a half hour drive
From Hluhluwe / Umfolozi it is approximately a 4 hour drive
From Dundee it is approximately a 1 hour drive
From Ladysmith it is approximately a 2 hour drive
From Empangeni it is approximately a 3 hour drive
NB. All prices and times are subject to change.
When to go
Summer is the rainy season and they often experience thunderstorms in the afternoons. The days are hot, but we occasionally enjoy very cool overcast days in summer. The winters are generally mild and dry with warm days and chilly mornings and evenings. Always be prepared for a sudden change in the temperature; it can get cold very quickly.
Fugitives’ Drift is malaria free.
Please note the gate at the entrance to the property is locked at 18:00. Please advise us if you are likely to arrive later than this time.
Travelling with children
Children of all ages are welcome.
Children over the age of 7 years can eat dinner at the same time as the adults. Separate meal times will be arranged at the convenience of the child and parent for all children under the age of 7.
Children over the age of 12 year can participate in the tours. It will be at the lecturer's discretion whether they can accommodate children younger than 12 on the tours.
Child-minding facilities are offered whilst parents are out on tour and in the evening while parents are at dinner.
For the keen junior historians the Battlefield Kids program is an excellent option.
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