In 1879 the British invaded Zululand. The central of the three major invading columns forded the Buffalo River at Rorke’s Drift. Within days Lord Chelmsford’s invasion was in jeopardy.
Part of his central column had been almost annihilated at Isandlwana in a battle rated as one of the greatest military disasters in British colonial history.
A few survivors struggled back into Natal across the mighty Buffalo River. Lieutenants Melvill and Coghill died in a gallant attempt to save the Queen’s colours, earning the first posthumous Victoria Crosses in history.
A great wing of the Zulu army went on to attack the British garrison at Rorke’s Drift, and these warriors were beaten off in a battle that lasted all night. More VCs were awarded for valour in this battle than in any other battle in history. There never was another day like this one…….
Fugitives’ Drift has become world-renowned for its battlefield tours to all the Zulu War battle sites in the region, particularly the battles of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift.
Flagship tours to Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift are led by registered tour guides Alastair Lamont, Andrew Rattray, Douglas Rattray and Mphiwa Ntanzi, who are superb storytellers and make the history of that day come alive. Our long family associations with the area and its people allow us to offer you some unique Zulu perspectives.
Learn of the bravery and mobility of the Zulu army that defeated the British Army at the Battle of Isandlwana and listen at sunset to the famous story of Rorke’s Drift, where 139 British soldiers were attacked by 4000 Zulu warriors; a British victory which saw the award of more Victoria Crosses than in any other battle in history.
ISANDLWANA Hear in gripping detail the background to the Anglo-Zulu War as narrated by David Rattray on the Day of the Dead Moon as you are driven to Isandlwana in the early morning. Sit on the battlefield, mesmerised by the remarkable story of this fantastic Zulu victory. There is often some walking involved in the tour. However, arrangements are often and easily made to accomodate guests who are less mobile – please do let us know if this is the case.
RORKE’S DRIFT Listen at sunset to the famous story of Rorke’s Drift, where 139 British soldiers were attacked by 4,000 Zulu warriors, winning more Victoria Crosses than in any other battle in history, returning to the Lodge or Guest House in time for a drink around the fireplace.
On a one night stay, we recommend that you arrive before 1pm in order to join the afternoon tour to Rorke’s Drift. You would then do the Isandlwana tour the following morning and depart either after lunch or directly after the tour.
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.