Fugitives’ Drift Lodge




$ 355 (Pps)


  •  Superb tours of the Battlefields of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift
  •  The original battlefields lodge
  •  Begun by the late David Rattray, an immensely powerful storyteller and historian
  •  Loads of memorablia and artefacts adorn the lodge
  •  Set in its own 5000 acre estate

Fugitives' Drift Lodge is the original Natal Battlefields lodge and is located within its own 5,000 acre Natural Heritage site, close to Rorke's Drift. Guests come to the Natal Battlefields to learn about the Anglo Zulu wars and the fascinating battles of Islandlwana and Rorke's Drift. Survivors of the battle of Isandlwana fled and crossed the Buffalo River at a place known ever afterwards as Fugitives' Drift.

Fugitives' Drift Lodge first became known as the home of the late David Rattray, an immensely powerful storyteller and historian who was passionate about the Zulu history of this special part of KwaZulu Natal. His remarkable legacy is continued by Nicky Rattray, Douglas Rattray,  Alastair Lamont and Mphiwa Ntanzi.

Battlefield tours and other activities

The lodge offers superb historical tours of the Battlefield sites, usually with a visit to Isandlwana in the morning and Rorke's Drift in the afternoon. These tours are the highlight of your stay at Fugitives' Drift and not to be missed. Indeed it would not be unusual to find that they were one of the highlights of your whole holiday!

However, if you have time, we strongly recommend a three night stay at Fugitives' Drift Lodge as the tours are emotionally charged and thought-provoking. On a 3 night stay, you would do the Isandlwana battlefields tour in the morning of your first full day and then the drama of Rorke's Drift in the afternoon of the next day, allowing plenty of time to relax around the swimming pool or enjoy other activities. As well as morning and afternoon Battlefield tours, you can enjoy a nature walk, horse riding or mountain biking on the estate and a guided walk (on the Fugitives Trail) to the historic site of Fugitives' Drift. Here Lieutenants Melvill and Coghill were killed trying to save the Queen's Colour of the 24th Regiment and both men are buried a short walk from the lodge.

Within the well-established and shady garden, there's a spectacularly situated swimming pool overlooking the Buffalo River Gorge. Evenings are spent enjoying drinks around the camp fire before a candlelit dinner is served in the dining room.

Aside from the battlefield tours, Fugitives' Drift Lodge offers immensely comfortable accommodation. The large lounge and dining room houses numerous works of art pertaining to the Zulu War and is full of artefacts, antiques and memorabilia. The nine spacious rooms are decorated in a gentle luxurious colonial style very much in keeping with the ambience of the lodge. Each has a terrace or deck overlooking the plains flanking the Buffalo river gorge. The bathrooms are large with bath and shower. There is also an Annexe cottage with two en suite bedrooms which is ideal for families or couples travelling together.

Children at Fugitives' Drift

Fugitives' Drift now makes the remarkable story of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift more accessible to kids with their own separate tours for kids under 12 years old. The battlefield tours are followed by a game walk and a more cultural encounter. They get to hold a Martini-Henry rifle, a variety of Zulu assegais, they discover the medicinal uses of flora and fauna in the bush and they can visit a Zulu village. Early dinners and babysitting are also on offer so that both parents and children can enjoy the Fugitives' Drift experience.

Fugitives’ Drift Lodge on the map


Fugitives' Drift Lodge

The Lodge is the most luxurious accommodation offered, and was fully renovated in 2017. Spacious and luxurious en-suite cottages have private verandahs, air-conditionning, and both inside and outside showers. The Lodge has a swimming pool with a fantastic view, and is where the Harford Library and Museum are located.


We had a FABULOUS time!

"On arrival we were upgraded to the Lodge. Made so welcome here by all the staff and treated like one of the family. Arrived in time for excellent lunch in the beautiful library. Afternoon visit to Rorke’s drift with Alistair Le Monte. Fantastic presentation! I was certainly in tears as were a number of others. Lovely evening nibbles by the fire then another super meal in the dining room. After early breakfast Donald (son of David) Rattray took us to the hills above Isandlwana. Again a very moving account of this battle. As we couldn’t go onto the battlefield itself (Easter) Donald then took us to the waterfalls where Chelmsford and his men had been based during the battle of Isandlwana. Both Max and Peter and Ges and I had beautiful rooms at the lodge with wonderful views of the valley below. Max and Peter went on the walk to see the graves of the 2 soldiers killed at Fugitives trying to save the Queen’s colours. Really well looked after here especially by Gracie, the cook who took to Ges!! I think it was his dancing ability (or rather lack of it). Also saw baby giraffe. "


"Really very nice, with a wonderful historian. Staff very pleasant. Food good. Would recommend. "

Very friendly and relaxed

"Liked Fugitives Drift best, very friendly, relaxed and enjoyed having dinner together. Liked that we could walk out on our own. Could have stayed for another day. Liked the battlefield tour at Rorke’s Drift led by David Rattrays son. "

Special offers

Winter Offer

Stay for 3 nights and only pay for 2

VALID FROM 01/05/2022
VALID UNTIL 31/07/2022

Upgrade from Guest House to Lodge

Comp Upgrade from Guest House to Lodge (Subject to availability on check-in)

Comp Upgrade from Fugitives Drift Guest House to Fugitives Drift Lodge (Subject to availability on check-in)

VALID FROM 01/01/2021
VALID UNTIL 31/12/2022

Family Offer

One child (aged 12 and younger) per family, sharing with parents is free of charge

VALID FROM 01/05/2022
VALID UNTIL 31/07/2022


Dinner, lunch, bed & breakfast

Family Suitability

Family-friendly all ages

Malaria Rating

Non-malarial area

Good For

Leisure, Birding, Nature, Relaxation, History & Culture, Battlefields