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Fugitives' Drift Guesthouse

Fugitives' Drift is the ford (or 'drift') where many of fleeing British and colonial troops lucky enough to escape Isandlwana alive crossed the Buffalo River back into the Crown Colony of Natal. Just on the Natal side of the river lie the graves of Lts Coghill and Melvill, awarded the first-ever posthumous Victoria Crosses for their ultimately unsuccessful attempts to save the Regimental Colour.

Formerly a farmhouse, the guesthouse is decorated in simple African style, with stone floors, adobe walls and African art throughout. There is a nice sense of space and openness about the public areas, while the rooms all lead off a small, well-tended garden. The rooms are simply, but comfortably furnished, and have private verandas with views over the Fugitives' Drift Reserve, where plains antelope can be seen.

The tours to Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift run daily and are the highlight of a stay here. The guesthouse is owned by Nicky, wife of the late David Rattray who was one of the foremost authorities on the Anglo-Zulu war, and someone for whom the real story lay in the individual human drama. His approach was groundbreaking, in that he spent his life among the Zulu people learning their stories of Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift and talking to people whose parents fought in these battles.

Today the guides at the lodge continue his legacy and it gives their stories a completeness and balance that cannot always be found in the traditional histories. Every guide and member of the guesthouse staff wants to share his enthusiasm and passion with you, making a visit to Fugitives' Drift an unforgettable experience.


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Tour ideas in The Battlefields

Our itineraries are there to spark ideas for how you could include a stay at Fugitives' Drift Guesthouse as part of your trip. Treat them simply as suggestions, because every aspect of the trip we create for you will be yours to define.

Location & places nearby

Places & hotels on the map

    Alternative places to stay nearby

    Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favourite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can't be bettered.

    Experiences while staying here

    The following activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences of the area where you're staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident's eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can also suggest outdoor pursuits and activities, such as cooking classes, that will introduce you to the traditions of the area's inhabitants.

    • Tour of The Battlefields
      Isandlwana battlefield

      Tour of The Battlefields

      Tour of The Battlefields

      As you tour Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift, an expert guide will bring these battles to life, explaining how the numerically and tactically superior Zulu army crushed the better-equipped British at Isandlwana.

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    The Battlefields and nearby places