Fugitives’ Drift Lodge
Fugitives’ Drift is set in a large private reserve close to the battlefields of Rorke’s Drift and Isandlwana in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. It is in an area midway between Johannesburg and Durban. The lodge, which is run by the Rattray family, is set on a hillside above Buffalo River Gorge.
Accommodation & Facilities
There are three accommodation options. Fugitives’ Drift Lodge, the adjacent Guest House and the newly renovated Umzinyathi Farmhouse. The main building is almost a museum with many war relics and artefacts. Guests can enjoy superb meals in this splendid atmosphere. For families, the Fugitives’ has two sets of inter-leading rooms. These are spacious en-suite doubles/twin rooms with a door in the entrance area connecting the two rooms together. The Guest House has six large luxury twin en-suite rooms, each with a private verandah and broad views over the plains flanking the Buffalo River Gorge. There is space for a child’s bed in each. The lodge and guest house both have (unfenced) swimming pools, set in their colourful well established gardens. Umzinyathi Farmhouse has three en-suite bedrooms (two doubles and a twin room). Guests can self-cater or take meals at the lodge. There is a stand-alone twin bedded en-suite garden room available should accommodation for eight be required.
Eating & Sleeping
In consideration to other guests, children under seven years are not allowed into the dining and sitting room. Separate meal times for children are offered at the convenience of the child and parent. Parents can choose from a wide range of family favourites. Child-minding facilities are available whilst parents are on the battlefields tour and in the evening while parents are at dinner. The babysitting/listening service is available at R30 per hour.
Wildlife & Activities
Diverse and abundant wildlife includes giraffe, zebra, kudu, hartebeest and a host of smaller antelope as well as many bird species in this area. The Buffalo Gorge is also a great area for walking. What Fugitives’ Drift is best known for, however, are the battlefield tours to all Zulu War and Anglo-Boer War sites in the region. These provide thrilling accounts of the events that led to the most Victoria Crosses being awarded in one act of battle. The tour guides are superb story-tellers, making the history come alive. Scenic helicopter flights are an optional extra, payable locally.
Specifically for Children…
• Due to the length and content of the standard battlefield tours, there is an age limit of 12 years.
• “Battlefield Kids” is designed especially for children aged 5-11 and involves a game drive, a walk down to the graves of Melville and Coghill and a simple explanation of the events there. Children will be given the opportunity to hold a Zulu spear and a Martin Henri rifle.
• Baking and painting is offered to children with advance notice.