The Zulu War of 1879 is famous throughout the English-speaking world for the great battles of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift. The spectacular Fugitives’ Drift property, a 5000 acre Natural Heritage Site, overlooks both Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift, and includes the site where Lieutenants Melvill and Coghill lost their lives attempting to save the Queen’s Colour of their regiment.
If one tried to dream up geography and topography for the clash between two great nations, one could hardly come up with a more fantastic scene than this one.
It was here that David and Nicky Rattray pioneered Heritage Tourism in South Africa and created an award winning lodge for visitors to savour this extraordinary saga.
Led by the finest guides in South Africa, thought-provoking and often emotionally charged tours are conducted daily to Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift. Walks, horserides and mountain biking through the reserve to view abundant game and birdlife are offered as well as fishing the 20km frontage on the Buffalo River.
The reserve offers a choice of accommodation in either the Lodge or the Guest House, both owned by the Rattrays and both born out of their extensive experience in the hospitality industry. Evident in every corner of Fugitives’ Drift is the Rattrays’ love of South Africa, its people and its unique history.
Both the Lodge and Guest House have spacious and luxurious en-suite cottages which all have private verandahs and broad views over the plains flanking the Buffalo River Gorge. The Lodge and Guest House both have swimming pools set in their colourful, well established gardens which are home to innumerable bird species.
Because under those heaps of white stones that punctuate the fields of Isandlwana are the bones of many Welshmen who had their homes and families in the southern part of Wales. The inscription on the cross above Melville and Coghill’s graves pertain to all these men, for their Queen and country, Jesu Mercy. – David Rattray (The Day of the Dead Moon part 3)