The past year at Fugitives’ Drift Lodge and Guest House has been as exciting as ever.
July marked a year since the renovations at the Lodge were completed, and in this time, the team at Fugitives’ Drift Lodge have received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback from the continuous flow of visitors.
One of the major features of the renovations was the addition of a fantastic museum. Previously coupled with the dining room at the Lodge, the museum is now its own entity. The walls are lined with pictures, newspaper articles, woodcuts, rifles, and a replica of the Queen’s Colours, amongst various other things. Tables in the museum display original Zulu artifacts and books on Zulu culture and the Anglo-Zulu War.
At the beginning of the year, two beautiful display cases were kindly donated by the South African National Society, which are now used to display a selection of original artifacts collected by and donated to the Rattray family over the years. Items range from Stone Age tools found on the farm and locally forged iron implements to relics of the battlefields found over the years.
At the beginning of this year, Fugitives’ Drift successfully launched a ‘Battlefields by Air’ tour, which was offered throughout their peak season (from January until March). Guests were able to book any of four carefully tailored scenic helicopter flights of the battlefields. Adding this aerial perspective of the battlefields and surrounding area made for a very new and exciting way to explore the history and really understand the sheer scale of movement, and appreciate the natural beauty of Zululand. The flights were piloted and guided by a former British soldier which added a unique experience by drawing on personal experience of modern warfare.
The tours to Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift are still as popular as ever. Over the winter months, when the sun sets earlier, the tours are beautifully timed such that guests are able to enjoy the spectacular sunset over the battlefields at the end of the tour. Next year, Fugitives’ Drift is excited to celebrate the 140th anniversary of the battles of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift. The team is looking forward to the possibility of hosting thirty soldiers and officers of the First Battalion Royal Welsh to commemorate these dramatic and tragic clashes.
There will also be an evening tour to Rorke’s Drift on the 22nd January 2019, wherein guests will depart for the battlefield just before the sun sets and will then listen to the harrowing story of the battle at night, bringing them closer to the experience of the soldiers and warriors at Rorke’s Drift.