Fugitives' Drift Lodge
Historic, country-style lodge set on a hillside close to the famous battlefields.
Fugitives' Drift Lodge
Perched high on a ridge overlooking the Buffalo River Gorge and the historic Rorke’s Drift, with Isandlwana glinting in the distance, Fugitives’ Drift is nothing short of spectacular. It was on these lands that the Zulu war was fought in 1879 and the property is dedicated to sharing the fascinating history of both the battles and the people of the area. Established by David and Nicky Rattray who pioneered Heritage Tourism in South Africa and have extensive experience in the hospitality industry, the lodge itself is tranquil and intimate, and after an emotionally-charged day on the battlefields, you’ll feel like you’ve come home (G&T included!).
At the lodge
The lodge is a veritable museum of war memorabilia and the dining room, bar and sitting room have artefacts and relics to keep you occupied for hours. At the other end of the property, the Harford Library has a breath-taking view over the Buffalo River and houses a spectacular collection of books. Lunch and dinner (home-cooked, fresh and utterly delicious) are taken in the glass-fronted dining room or out on the veranda, overlooking the pretty gardens, and there’s a beautiful firepit for pre-dinner drinks and chit chat.
Rooms at the lodge are spacious and cool, but still manage to retain their intimate and cosy feel. All have enormous outdoor verandas (and showers!) with incredible views over the gorge, indoor seating areas, dressing areas and large bathrooms, complete with roll top bathtubs. Décor is smart and stylish and there’s a good collection of books and photos in each room to remind you of where you are. In the morning, you’ll wake to the tweeting of the birds and fresh tea and coffee delivered straight to your door. Magic.
The activities here are geared towards learning about the Zulu war of 1879 and during your stay, you’ll likely visit both Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift, the two ‘flagship’ sites. The guides are superb storytellers who all have great associations with the area, and in their company, history comes alive. For stays of 3 nights or longer, you may also be able to visit the graves of Lieutenants Melvill and Coghill, cycle or walk through the reserve, or do a spot of fishing in the river. From January 2018, helicopter flights over the plains will also be on offer (January to March).