You feel steeped in history at Fugitives' Drift Lodge. The main building stands on 5000 acres, close to Rorke’s Drift, and is a museum of the Zulu Wars. It was founded by the late David Rattray, acknowledged as the leading expert on the Battlefields, and a consummate storyteller. His Battlefield tours, of Rorke’s Drift and Isandlwana, were immensely moving and quite unforgettable. Today his wife Nicky runs the lodge and the tours are given by his son Andrew and a talented team of guides are equally moving. A morning walk to the Buffalo River takes you to the spot high above the river on the Natal bank, where, after escaping Isandlwana, Lieutenants Melvill and Coghill were killed defending the Queen’s Colour. Both were honoured with posthumous Victoria Crosses. There is a simple memorial at the site.
Accommodation & facilities
Accommodation is in luxurious cottages which are spacious and have baths as well as showers. Each has a private verandah looking out over the tranquil gardens to the reserve. There is a large swimming-pool and horse-riding is a favourite activity on the reserve. The lovely, shady garden attracts a variety of birds. The reserve contains wildlife including giraffe, zebra, kudu, hartebeest, wildebeest, waterbuck and a host of smaller antelope, as well as prolific birdlife.
In addition to the museum, there is an interesting shop, a swimming pool, and horse-riding on the reserve. In the evening, guests gather around the boma for drinks, before enjoying a delicious dinner.
Activities at Fugitives Drift Lodge
The principle activity is the Battlefield tours. There is one to Rorke’s Drift, and another to Isandlwana. You can also visit the site were Lieutenants Melvill and Coghill lost their lives. There is horse-riding and fishing on the reserve, and also guided walks. Tours to Masondo and Mangeni Falls are available at extra cost.
Through the David Rattray Foundation, Fugitives’ Drift has provided support for seventeen schools in the Rorke’s Drift and Isandlwana areas over the last five years. Working closely with the Department of Education, the foundation has supported the provision of classroom computerisation, teacher and school management development training, nutrition management, health and sanitation development, libraries and summer camps.