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Fugitives' Drift


The Zulu War of 1879 is famous throughout the English-speaking world for the great battles of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift. Fugitives’ Drift lodge is set within a 5000 acre Natural Heritage Site, overlooks both Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift battlefields. These sites include where Lieutenants Melvill and Coghill lost their lives attempting to save the Queen’s Colour of their regiment. 

One could hardly dream up a more dramatic landscape and setting for the clash of two great nations. Be amazed by the finest guides in South Africa including world famous Rob Caskie. Join thought-provoking and often emotionally charged tours to Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift.

At Fugitives’ Drift Lodge there are 8 spacious luxury twin en-suite rooms and the annex cottage consists of 2 luxury twin en-suite rooms, a sitting room and an outside deck and perfect for a family or two couples travelling together. 

A must visit for anyone interested in history or how modern day South Africa came to be.

The Zulu Battlefields, Luxury Safari & Lesotho

8 NIGHTS, JOHANNESBURG, PHINDA PRIVATE GAME RESERVE, ZULU BATTLEFIELDS WITH ROB CASKIE, LESOTHO MOUNTAINS  This 8-night itinerary takes you on a journey of discovery through a region that was fiercely fought over and is packed with...

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The Lodge, near Rorke’s Drift, is situated on the site of the original Rattray Family homestead, where David’s parents enjoyed their holidays, and here the seeds of this unique operation took root in those early years.

The Lodge is the original establishment, built by David and Nicky Rattray in 1989 and houses the majority of the memorabilia in the central lounge and dining room area. Spacious luxury en-suite rooms all have a private verandah. A feature of the Lodge is the beautiful shady, well-established garden – home to innumerable birds – and a spectacular, large swimming pool situated on a secluded spur on the lip of the Buffalo River Gorge.

The Lodge is home to The Harford Library - with incredible views 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, or for executive groups to meet and contemplate the important business lessons which can be drawn from these remarkable stories. Lunch is served on the deck every day.

At Fugitives’ Drift Guest House there are 6 luxury twin en-suite rooms. The Guest House was once the home of Mr and Mrs Potgieter who were immortalised in Gillian Rattray’s award-winning book “The Springing of the Year”. This old farmhouse has been altered and now forms the most charming sitting and dining room. The original verandahs have been retained and the outside eating area has a stunning view across a plain with Isandlwana in the distance. The luxury en-suite rooms all have verandahs and sweeping views of the reserve. There is also a guide’s / driver’s room. The Guest House has a large swimming pool with views across the plain.

Battlefield Tours

The flagship tours are to the battlefields of Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift. 

On a one night stay we recommend that you arrive between 1 and 2pm in order to join the afternoon tour to Rorke’s Drift. You would then do the Isandlwana tour the following morning and depart after lunch.

On a two night stay you may choose whether to join the tour to Rorke’s Drift on the afternoon of your arrival or to wait until the following afternoon and undertake the tours in the correct historical order.

On a three night stay you may split the tours and go to Isandlwana on the morning after your arrival and Rorke’s Drift on your second afternoon, thereby having the time to relax and enjoy other activities


Full Battlefield Tours

Walking Safaris

Kids Battlefield Tours







This part of KwaZulu Natal and the battlefields is characterised by the most remarkable geography which, to quote David Rattray, “literally leaps out of the pages of She and Nada the Lilly…”. This geography, which was certainly enough to inspire Sir Henry Rider Haggard, is just as awe-inspiring to Fugitives' Drift's guests today. Both the Lodge and Guest House lie within the 5,000 acre Fugitives’ Drift Game Reserve which is a registered Natural Heritage Site and is teeming with wildlife.  

There are 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.

For those guests wishing to enjoy a gentle horseback safari, the six horses are as comfortable around the giraffe as they are the zebra and wildebeest; a horse ride through the reserve will offer the most fantastic views of this remarkable property and its flora and fauna. 

Exciting mountain bike trails are available as are bikes to hire.

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.  The 22km river frontage offers superb fishing.


By Car

Take the N3 highway south towards Durban for about 1• hours. Cross the Vaal River and just before the Wilge Toll Plaza, turn off the N3 onto the R103 and head towards WARDEN. After about 60km, turn left onto the R34 towards VREDE. After about 15km, just before the town of Vrede, turn right on the R34 towards MEMEL and NEWCASTLE. (Be very careful of potholes for 16km between Memel and the top of Botha’s pass on the R34). Go through Newcastle and turn right onto the LADYSMITH road (N11). After 16km take the R621 to Dannhauser, Hattingspruit and Dundee. In Dundee, at the 5th traffic light (in the main street) turn right on the R33 towards Greytown. The signboard is on the left of the road. Then after 14km turn left onto dirt to RORKE’S DRIFT, drive for 29km to Rorke’s Drift. Go beyond Rorke’s Drift for 3km and turn left onto the D31 signed Fugitives’ Drift. Go along this road for 7km through the big black gate until you see signs for the Lodge and Guest House, on the right. (Please note that the gate is locked at 6pm).

Take the N3 towards Pietermaritzburg and take the Greytown/Church Street glide-off and follow the R33 to Greytown for 70km.
In Greytown follow signs to Dundee. Continue along the R33 through Keates Drift, Tugela Ferry and Pomeroy. Please be aware of speed humps and potholes. 10km after Pomeroy take the dirt road turnoff to the right, marked Elandskraal (and Isibindi and Camp Buffalo signage). At Elandskraal (which consists of a church and a trading store) turn left to Rorke’s Drift. Go for about 14km and before you get to Rorke’s Drift turn right onto the D31, sign posted Fugitives’ Drift. Go for about 7km (through the big black gates) and follow the signs for the Guest House or the Lodge. (Please note that the gate is locked at 6pm).