Fugitives' Drift Lodge
Fugitives' Drift Lodge  
Fugitives' Drift Lodge Pool  
Relaxing at Fugitives' Drift Lodge  
Views from Fugitives' Drift Lodge  
Fugitives' Drift Lodge  
Fugitives' Drift Lodge  
Dining at Fugitives' Drift Lodge  
Views from Fugitives' Drift Lodge  
Terrace and views from Fugitives' Drift Lodge  
Bike ride from Fugitives' Drift Lodge  
Lounge at Fugitives' Drift Lodge  
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I'm enquiring about: Fugitives' Drift Lodge

Fugitives' Drift Lodge

Zululand & the Battlefields, South Africa

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.

Community support

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.

Accommodation Reviews

We are so pleased we were persuaded to go there and not anywhere else. Our 3 nights there was the highlight of our 3 weeks away and was a very special experience. Andrew Rattray (David’s son) is now more or less in charge, and listening to people who knew David, apparently Andrew is just as good as his father at telling the stories. Magical, and we didn’t want to leave.

Patricia R
May 2, 2012

In some ways [Fugitives Drift was] the high spot of the trip. You need two nights at least (we had three) and I would hire a robust car. We upgraded to an XTrail which enabled us to take some trips from the lodge without worrying about the potholes. Excellent tours of the Battlefields.

T Taylor
June 9, 2009

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Holiday ideas Fugitives' Drift Lodge is featured in

KwaZulu Natal Meander - Culture, Wildlife & Beach - Self Drive
From £3405
This South Africa holiday is a relaxed two-week self-drive trip, staying at carefully chosen hotels and lodges. You visit the KwaZulu Natal Midlands, Drakensberg Mountains, historic Battlefields, Huluhluwe Game Reserve, Elephant Coast and the coastal resort of Umhlanga.
KwaZulu Natal - Self Drive
From £3320
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