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Battlefields by Air


Adding a unique areal perspective to your Battlefields experience

15 January 2019 – 15 March 2019




Company Profile

Helivate Helicopter Services was established in 2011 in response to the ever-increasing helicopter charter, training, and hire market within Southern Africa. With an operational base in Krugersdorp, they are one of the leading providers of business helicopter flights and private helicopter charter in South Africa. The Helivate Team has a keen interest in South Africa’s military history, and are proud to partner with the Rattray family and Fugitives’ Drift Lodge to enhance guests’ battlefields experiences.  Adding an aerial perspective of the battlefields and of the beautiful surrounding area is a fantastic addition to a battlefields visit.

Meet our pilot: Phil Birkner.

Phil is a 3900 hour pilot and grade 2 certified flight instructor. Phil’s interest in flying helicopters was sparked when he was doing his practical year of his Nature Conservation diploma, and was lucky enough to get on a flight with one of the National Park’s helicopters, flying back to base after a buffalo collaring mission in the Eastern Cape.

Since then, he has flown all over Africa- including the Congo, South Sudan, Angola, Mozambique, and Madacasgar. He has done VIP charter flights, government transfers, fire fighting, air ambulance missions, and anti-poaching work. We are thrilled to have Phil on our team at Fugitives’ Drift for the next few months; his Battlefields by Air tours are certainly something to experience.



Flight Options

All flights are subject to availability as it is weather dependant

Flight rates are per person

Minimum TWO people per flight

All flight rates include VAT

Fugitives’ Drift Tour Guide available at an additional cost


Fugitives’ Flight – R 2880.00 pp

  • 30 Minute flight
  • Aerial perspective of the battles
  • Depart Fugitives’ Drift through the Buffalo river gorge and over the Hlazakazi mountain where Dartnell camped on the 21st of January and then over the beautiful Mangeni Falls where Chelmsford had his tea while the Battle of Isandlwana took place. Then over the vast plain east of Isandlwana to the Ngwebeni valley where the Zulu’s were first discovered by Shepstone, Raw and party. From here is low level flying following the route the Zulu’s took to Isandlwana over the Nqutu plateau and past the eastern side of Isandlwana and following the Fugitives’ Trail on to Fugitives’ Drift.

This is definitely the way to explore history!

Isandlwana Overflight – R 1560.00 pp

  • 10-15 Minute flight
  • Aerial perspective of Isandlwana & Rorke’s Drift

Buffalo Rapids – R 1560.00 pp

  • 10-15 Minute flight
  • This flight is for the adventurous
  • Fast-paced, low-level flight along the Buffalo river to the crossing at kwaMasondo where the Zulu’s crossed on their way to attack Rorke’s Drift.

Champagne Hop – R 2600.00 pp

  • 20 Minute flight
  • 30 Minute mountain top stop. Sunset option available.
  • Sip on a glass of bubbly and take in the beautiful surrounds.

Dundee Transfer – R 5500.00 pp

  • 20 Minute flight (one way)
  • This is the way to travel!
  • Own car transfer available at additional cost.

Durban Transfer – R 12000.00 pp

  • 1 Hour flight (one way)
  • This is the way to travel!
  • Own car transfer available at additional cost.

Three Trees Hill Transfer – R 9900.00 pp

  • Transfer to Three Trees: 45 Minute flight (one way)
  • Spionkop Tour – Includes return flight after tour (Same day)
  • Approximately 3 hours ground time

Leopard Mountain Transfer – R 12800.00 pp

  • 1 Hour flight (one way)