It has been a busy summer for all of us at Fugitives’ Drift.
January, February, and March are traditionally our busiest months of the year and this year was no different. Sharing the stories of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift with so many people at this time of the year is a real privilege, and to see people moved with the power of a story well told is a humbling experience.
There were a few differences this year, however; firstly we had the first decent rainfall in years – 720mm since the beginning of October which is close to the average annual rainfall. This has resulted in the first good grass growth in almost five years! The wildlife is in excellent condition and many of the lambs and calves born late last year have survived. We hope this year’s rainfall continues for the next few years!
The second difference was that from mid-January to mid-March we teamed up with Helivate Helicopter Services and they based a Robinson R44 here for that period. We offered scenic flights over the battlefields and Stewie, our pilot, gave a wonderful perspective of the battles that can only be seen from from the air. We also offered transfers to Durban and other lodges in KZN. It was a great success and Stewie was an integral member of the team, and even managed to teach Andrew to fly. It’s safe to say that the aviation bug has bitten him and he is hoping to complete his license in the not too distant future.
March saw Nicky marry our tame Australian, Micko. It was a fantastic weekend preceded by torrential rain. Pitching tents for a hundred people on the Friday morning was an experience in itself, and a sight to behold with everyone in ankle deep mud and trucks getting stuck all over the place. Thankfully Saturday dawned bright and blue and a fantastic day was had by all. The Australian contingent was rather embarrassed by ‘Sandpapergate’ which happened less than an hour before the ceremony, much fun was had at their expense and it was a fantastic afternoon and evening.
The grass will soon turn brown and the aloes will flower in the next few weeks. The days are getting noticeably shorter, and there is a definite bite in the air in the mornings and evenings. Winter is coming.