The brainchild of late historian David Rattray, located in KwaZulu, in the Natal battlegrounds along Buffalo river, Fugitives Drift is a one of a kind, a lodge set up to commemorate, explore and understand the 1879 battles of Islandlewana and Rorke’s Drift.
The lodge is known for its battlefield tours, where the story of one of Britain’s most significant losses (together with that of the slightly later successful defence of Rorke’s Drift) is brought alive by the storytelling prowess of a number of the lodge’s key historians,
Fugitives Drift consists of the main lodge, its recently renovated annex, a guest house, Umzinyathi farmhouse and, in its grounds Kwageorge, a twin bedroom suite.
FOOD AND SERVICE
Comfortable, characterised by a cosy homestead feel, the atmosphere is welcoming, homely, with drinks, nibbles and gatherings often taking place around Fugitives Drift Lodge’s fire pit. Packed with war and associated paraphernalia, the dining and seating area plays host to large, filling portions of classic farmhouse fare.
Nestled in mature gardens, the lodge and annex – where the majority of guests stay – comprise of a lounge and dining room, pool, library and veranda.
Unlike the majority of lodges (where the library is normally relatively small and constitutes little more than a snug room) the new Harford Library at Fugitives Drift accommodates 34, includes internet and audio-visual facilities, and occupies an intellectually central position in the lodge’s daily activities.
While the various pieces of accommodation differ in terms of number of bedrooms, each suite or house is beautifully kept. The lodge suites include a private veranda, twin bed, seating area and en-suite bathroom, while the guest house has 2 bedrooms with separate bathrooms, private verandas, a lounge and its own catering facilities. The farmhouse has 3 bedrooms, a kitchen, lounge and just one bedroom, and would suit a family or group – a large one if the one garden suite is included.
Activities revolve around the battlefield tours, but also include horseback tours of lesser well-known aspects of the conflict, together with walks, fishing and cultural visits.