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Fugitives' Drift Lodge

Fugitives' Drift Lodge

During the Zulu War of 1879, two decisive and particularly bloody battles were fought between the British and the Zulu nation at Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift. The very names of these locations still haunt the national memories of both nations. The Zulu army defeated the British army at the Battle of Isandlwana. At Rorke’s Drift, 150 British soldiers famously repelled attack by 4,000 Zulu warriors. The British government awarded more Victoria Crosses for this battle than any other in its history.

Fugitives’ Drift is on a 500-acre Natural Heritage Site overlooking both these battlefields as well as the site where two British Lieutenants by the name of Melvill and Coghill were killed while trying to save the Queen’s Colour of their regiment. Today, would anyone be prepared to die for a flag, however well decorated?

Nonetheless, the battles are still fresh in the local memory, and there are daily tours of the sites under leadership of fine guides. The battlefields still seem to ring with the cries of the warriors, and it is a strangely haunting experience to visit them.

Under the management of the Rattray family (who incidentally pioneered Heritage Tourism in South Africa), award-winning Fugitives’ Drift Lodge was created especially for visitors wishing to participate in the saga that was the Zulu War.

Accommodation is in either Fugitives’ Drift Lodge or Fugitives’ Drift Guest House, both of which have a number of spacious and luxurious en-suite cottages with private verandas and great views. The lodge also has a cottage with two en-suite bedrooms that is ideal for family or friends traveling together. Fugitives’ Drift Lodge is really a grand country home. It has enormous character and is full of Zulu and British war memorabilia.

Apart from battlefield tours, the 500-acre site offers game drives. It is fair to say that game drives are not the main focus of the lodge, but an enjoyable time will be had nonetheless. In addition, six willing and well-trained horses provide a unique way to do game-viewing. This is beautiful country and worth taking time to enjoy.

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