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Fugitives Drift

KwaZulu Natal & the North Coast

Rating: Deluxe    Price from: £90 - £270 pp full board.

Fugitives Drift overview

Fugitives' Drift, near Rorke's Drift, consists of the Lodge and the Guest House, both set on a hillside above the Buffalo River Gorge. The Lodge is the original homestead of the well-known Rattray family, early champions of heritage tourism in South Africa. It has 8 spacious, luxury en-suite rooms, each with a private veranda affording views of the reserve and surrounding battlefields. The Annex or Cottage provides additional accommodation comprising 2 bedrooms, both en-suite, and a lounge. The Lodge is set in beautiful, well-tended gardens, and there is a large swimming pool located near the Buffalo River. Pre-dinner drinks are often served by the fire as you enjoy the fine views.  

Fugitive's Drift Guest House, also once a family home, is neartby and has 6 large en-suite rooms, all with private verandas. Overall it is smaller and a little less luxurious than the lodge, but perfectly comfortable. Social areas include a dining room and sitting room, shaded terrace and an al freso dining area. The guest house has its own small swimming pool.

Guests at both the lodge and guest house can take guided tours of the battlefields of Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift. You can also enjoy walks of various durations, with Zulu guides for the longer walks, plus fishing and horse riding. Mountain biking is another popular pursuite, as well as offering exercise and ther chance to enjoy the scenery, you may observe some of the plains game such as zebra, giraffe and impala. 


Open: Open all year.

Location: On a 5000 acre natural heritage site near the battlefields of Rorke's Drift and Isandlwana in KwaZulu Natal.

The Lodge: In the Lodge there are 8 large en-suite rooms with private decks. The Cottage in the lodge's grounds has 2 bedrooms, a bathroom with bath and shower, a shower room, and a lounge. 

The Guest House: About 600 metres away in the Guest House there are 6 rooms and 2 guides rooms. Bedrooms are simpler in style than those of the lodge though still proivide every comfort, and are all en-suite.

Activities: You come here mainly to hear inspiring story-telling about the Zulu War of 1879 and the main battles of Rorke's Drift and Isandlwana. The guides are what make this the famous and exceptional tour that it is - whether you think you have an interest in these battles or not! Please note however, that the battlefield tours are not included in the accommodation price.

In addition, you might simply want to chill out in this lovely area, or perhaps go fishing on the 20km stretch of frontage of the Buffalo River. The lodge can also arrange horse riding, mountain biking and some excellent walks in the area, all of which may offers chancesw to glimpse resident wildlife which includes giraffe, wildebeest, impala and zebra.

The Lodge: There is an outdoor swimming pool. The deck overlooks the river.  There is a dining room furnished in period style and with an impressive collection of Zulu War memorabilia. In the lodge grounds you'll find the Harford Library, a great place to  relax, and where you can take advantage of Wi-Fi internet access and a modern entertainment system.  

The Guest House: The guest house has an outdoor pool and a veranda where meals are often served. Indoors there are dining and sitting rooms. 

Dining: Meals are usually eaten together as a group at both properties, indoors and outdoors. 

Children: Fugitive's Drift accepts children of all ages in the accommodation. However the battlefield tours are not deemed suitable for most children under 12 years due to their length, so any children under this age can only be accepted at the discretion of the guide. There are specific children's tours however, and these include stories of the bravery of the British and Zulus, plus a game walk, a visit to a Zulu village, and a small Zulu shield as a memento. Children under 6 years are not permitted in the dining room or sitting room at the lodge, and separate mealtimes are arranged for young children. Child-minding is offered, either while parents are on the tour or so they can enjoy a quiet evening meal.

Health: This is not a malarial area.

Communication: There is no mobile reception. Wifi is available in certain parts of the lodge such as the office, dining room, Harford library and some rooms.

Map for Fugitives Drift

Lodge IconLodge Yacht IconVessel Tented Camp IconCamp Hotel IconHotel National Park IconNational Park Historic site IconHistoric site Place of Interest IconPlace of Interest UNESCO world heritage site IconUNESCO heritage site

Tracy Edwards
Dave Lock
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holidays featuring
this property

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If you're looking for a mix of history, wildlife and scenery with the added freedom of your own car, this holiday is an ideal choice.

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Explore the Battlefields and the scenic Drakensburg and is some exciting game viewing and finish up relaxing on the beach, this is the perfect holiday whether you want to self-drive or be driven.

A room with heart
a room
with heart

This is one of the Rattray’s Historic Lodges.  The Rattray family built up heritage tourism in the region to recount the extraordinary saga of the Zulu War of 1879. It is an experience which proves fascinating to anyone who visits here.  Appropriately, the lodge backs the David Rattray Foundation which aims to further the cause of reconciliation between the peoples of South Africa.  They do this by promoting discussion through historical and political lectures, nationally and internationally, and by raising funds for locally-based upliftment projects in the areas of education in northern KwaZulu Natal. 

customer rating

71% from
7 reviews











client reviews

Amanda Marks

"Fugitives Drift Lodge: I didn't stay here (I stayed at the nearby, slightly less luxurious guest house - also run by the Rattray family), but visited the lodge. It has a great atmosphere and the story of the Anglo-Zulu wars comes vividly to life while you're here.To do both battlefields in one day would possibly be a bit much, so two full days plus your arrival day is worthwhile. You can do lovely walks or even short game drives (not big five, but varied plains game including giraffes) at the times you're not on tour, or perhaps just relax by the pool, or sit in the lovely Harford Library and enjoy the view of Isandlwana and the Buffalo River below.Meals are taken at separate tables here. "

Amanda Marks
"Fugitives Drift Guest House: ​What a spot! From the lodge you look out over the hills, and the famous battlefield landmarks of Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift look back at you. The guest house is smaller and a little less luxurious than its sister lodge, but nonetheless very comfortable. Most of the people I met whilst here were staying 3 nights, and I think it's worth it. To do both battlefields in one day would be a bit much, so two full days plus your arrival day is worthwhile. You can do lovely walks or even short game drives (not big five, but varied plains game including giraffes) at the times you're not on tour, or perhaps just relax by the pool and enjoy the scenery.  The food is excellent too, and is taken with everyone at one big table."
Bridget Batchelor
"The food is wonderful, the welcome second to none and the accommodation of a very high standard (radiators and electric blankets very welcome in the unseasonable spring weather we experienced!). The gardens are extensive with chairs and loungers dotted about. We did the tours of course and the Isandlwana guide, whose grandfather and great-grandfather fought in the battles is a natural Zulu story-teller. There is a huge difference between a story-teller and a guide (however good) and we were treated to a story-teller of great skill (taught by his father, who was taught by his father . . .) The Lodge is surrounded by an award-winning game reserve in which it is safe to walk. This was a treat in itself, getting as close to herds of zebra and blesbok as we would to a herd of cows in this country. if you go to the Battlefields, do not hesitate, stay here."
Jane Dyball
"Nice place, lovely cottage to stay in, very informative tours, nice pool, fantastic views, good food. Negatives were the enforced mingling (I do that for work and quite wanted to avoid having to mingle on holiday), as all the other guests were much older than our family."
Anthea Chester-Master
"Superb guiding, very comfortable rooms and lovely food, lunch in the new library overlooking the ravine was wonderful."

Read more reviews



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