The spectacular Fugitives’Drift property is a 2000 hectare Natural Heritage Site which looks out over the famous battlefields of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift in Kwa Zulu Natal.
These battlefields are where the tragic Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 took place. On the property there is a memorial to two brave soldiers, Lieutenants Melvill and Coghill who lost their lives after fleeing the battle of Isandlwana in a valiant attempt to save the Queen’s Colour of their regiment from being captured by the Zulu Warriors.
It is in this breath-taking location and steeped in the powerful history of the area that David and Nicky Rattray created an award winning lodge where they could share their passion for this extraordinary saga with those who pass through their gates. With David's talent for telling spell binding stories and with Nicky's as a gracious hostess, they created an unbeatable team which has visitors flocking to the lodge. Now joined by their son Andrew and his wife Anel, the new generation of Rattray's, a new chapter in the history of Fugitives' Drift begins.
Fugitives’ Drift offers a choice of luxury accommodation in two separate locations on the property; one has a choice to stay at either the Fugitives' Drift Lodge or the Guest House. Both of these establishments are owned by the Rattray family and are 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 verandas and broad views over the plains flanking the Buffalo River Gorge. The Lodge and Guest House have swimming pools set in their well-established gardens which are home to 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.
The dining room at the Lodge houses a remarkable collection of Zulu War memorabilia. They have recently built, what they call, the Harford Library which commands a breath-taking view 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 a special occasion or for executive groups to meet and contemplate the important lessons which can be drawn from these remarkable stories.
Umzinyathi Farmhouse is a charming stone and corrugated iron roof building built in the 1920’s. It has 3 bedrooms (and a very small 4th bedroom), sitting room with fire place, dining room, kitchen and only 1 bathroom, with a bath, basin and toilet. Guests interested in this accommodation must be aware that this house, although having electricity, comfortable beds and hot water, is somewhat rustic and self-catering. David did not want the dwelling changed on account of his special childhood memories here.
An addition to Fugitives' Drift is in the grounds of Umzinyathi Farmhouse; aptly named “KwaGeorge” which means, “Place of George” in the Zulu language. Kwa George consists of a twin bedroom, en suite shower and veranda. Meals are served at the Lodge or Guest House.
Led by the finest guides in South Africa, thought-provoking and often emotionally charged tours are conducted daily to Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift. Their six free roaming horses are comfortable around the plains game and a horse ride through the reserve will offer the most fantastic views of this remarkable property. Exciting mountain bike trails and hikes are available on the property and 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.
Please click here for the Fugitives' Drift online brochure.