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428059 10150638596359298 733093582 nIf one tried to dream up geography and topography for the clash between two great nations, one could hardly come up with a more fantastic scene than this one.

It was here that David and Nicky Rattray pioneered Heritage Tourism in South Africa and created an award winning lodge for visitors to savour this extraordinary saga.

Led by the finest guides in South Africa, thought-provoking and often emotionally charged tours are conducted daily to Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift. Walks and horserides through the reserve to view abundant game and birdlife are offered as well as fishing the 20km frontage on the Buffalo River.

The reserve offers a choice of accommodation in either the Lodge or the Guest House, both owned by the Rattrays and both born out of their extensive experience in the hospitality industry. Evident in every corner of Fugitives’ Drift is the Rattrays’ love of South Africa, its people and its unique history.

Both the Lodge and Guest House have spacious and luxurious en-suite cottages which all have private verandahs and broad views over the plains flanking the Buffalo River Gorge. The Lodge and Guest House both have swimming pools set in their colourful, well established gardens which are home to innumerable bird species.

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Fugitives’ Drift boasts two ‘camps’: The Lodge and The Guest House.Both offer a high standard of fully catered, en-suite accommodation and are 600m apart. We also offer more basic self-catering accommodation at Umzinyathi House which is 2km from The Lodge. All our guests, whether staying at The Lodge, The Guest House, Umzinyathi House or KwaGeorge, experience the same tours with the same guide or lecturer.

The Lodge is situated on the site of the original Rattray homestead where David’s parents Peter and Gillian came for their holidays and here the seeds of this unique operation took root in those early years.

Spacious, luxury en-suite cottages each have a private verandah affording views over the plains flanking the Buffalo River Gorge.

The Cottage has been redesigned to have two en-suite bedrooms and a sitting-room. One bathroom has a shower and bath, the other is a small shower-room. It is ideal for small families or couples travelling together. Another feature of the Lodge is the beautiful, shady, well established garden, home to innumerable birds, and the most spectacular large swimming pool situated on a secluded spur on the lip of the Buffalo River gorge. Enjoy superb cuisine, a unique fusion of home and modern flavours, in the splendid atmosphere of a veritable museum of Zulu War memorabilia.

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The Guest House

In its original state The Guest House was the home of Mr Johan Potgieter and his family. “Mr Pot” was immortalised in Gillian Rattray’s award winning book “The Springing of the Year”. He was one of the great storytellers of this area.

Mr Pot’s house has been turned into the most charming sitting and dining room, filled with fascinating memorabilia. The original verandahs have been retained. It also has an outside eating area which has a stunning view across a plain with Isandlwana in the distance.

Guest House Rooms have large, en-suite bedrooms that are individually decorated and all have private verandahs with sweeping views of the reserve and surrounding battlefields.The Guest House boasts a sparkling pool that overlooks Isandlwana and the indigenous bushveld.

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Battlefield Tours

In 1879 the British invaded Zululand. The central of the three major invading columns forded the Buffalo River at Rorke’s Drift. Within days Lord Chelmsford’s invasion was in jeopardy.

Part of his central column had been almost annihilated at Isandlwana in a battle rated as one of the greatest military disasters in British colonial history.

A few survivors struggled back into Natal across the mighty Buffalo River. Lieutenants Melvill and Coghill died in a gallant attempt to save the Queen’s colours, earning the first posthumous Victoria Crosses in history.

A great wing of the Zulu army went on to attack the British garrison at Rorke’s Drift, and these warriors were beaten off in a battle that lasted all night. More VCs were awarded for valour in this battle than in any other battle in history. There never was another day like this one…….

Fugitives’ Drift has become world-renowned for its battlefield tours to all the Zulu War battle sites in the region, particularly the battles of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift.

Flagship tours to Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift are led by registered tour guides Alastair Lamont, Andrew Rattray, Douglas Rattray and Mphiwa Ntanzi, who are superb storytellers and make the history of that day come alive. Our long family associations with the area and its people allow us to offer you some unique Zulu perspectives.

Learn of the bravery and mobility of the Zulu army that defeated the British Army at the Battle of Isandlwana and listen at sunset to the famous story of Rorke’s Drift, where 139 British soldiers were attacked by 4000 Zulu warriors; a British victory which saw the award of more Victoria Crosses than in any other battle in history.

ISANDLWANA Hear in gripping detail the background to the Anglo-Zulu War as narrated by David Rattray on the Day of the Dead Moon as you are driven to Isandlwana in the early morning. Sit on the battlefield, mesmerised by the remarkable story of this fantastic Zulu victory. There is often some walking involved in the tour. However, arrangements are often and easily made to accomodate guests who are less mobile – please do let us know if this is the case.

RORKE’S DRIFT Listen at sunset to the famous story of Rorke’s Drift, where 139 British soldiers were attacked by 4,000 Zulu warriors, winning more Victoria Crosses than in any other battle in history, returning to the Lodge or Guest House in time for a drink around the fireplace.

On a one night stay, we recommend that you arrive before 1pm in order to join the afternoon tour to Rorke’s Drift. You would then do the Isandlwana tour the following morning and depart either after lunch or directly after the tour.

On a two night stay, you may choose whether to join the tour to Rorke’s Drift on the afternoon of your arrival or to wait until the following afternoon and undertake the tours in the correct historical order.

On a three night stay, you may split the tours and go to Isandlwana on the morning after your arrival and Rorke’s Drift on your second afternoon, thereby having the time to relax and enjoy other activities.

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