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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Things to do in South Africa

Relive the battles of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift

Nothing illustrates the spirit and drama of these encounters more beautifully than the art of storytelling…

By Nicky Rattray
Founder and Owner of Fugitives' Drift Lodge

People from all over the world come to Fugitives’ Drift to reimagine the Anglo-Zulu War. My husband, David Rattray, and I built the lodge in 1989 with a vision to bring the story back to life. The property overlooks the battlefields of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift, two locations that played a pivotal part in both South African and British military history. If you’ve seen the movie Zulu, you’ll be familiar with the spirit and drama of these encounters, but nothing illustrates these elements more beautifully than the art of storytelling.

After David’s death, our son Douglas, followed in David’s footsteps. He inherited his father’s wonderful story-telling talents and recites the stories with an equal amount of passion and unique intelligence. The two other lecturers are Zulu men, Bryan Mcube who grew up on Rorke’s Drift, and Mphiwa Ntanzi, whose great grandfather fought in this very war – both Brian and Mphiwa offer authentic and insightful perspectives from the Zulu side.

The heroic events of 1879 play out in two stages. In the early morning, guests head to the Nqutu Escarpment, the high ground from which the Zulus attacked and where you’ll begin the rerun of the battle of Isandlwana. You’ll end in a natural amphitheatre facing the Isandlwana peak where you can relive some 20,000 Zulu warriors descending on the British troop of 1,800 and killing 1,300 of them, making it one of the greatest defeats in British colonial history.

In the afternoon, guests settle under a tree at Rorke’s Drift and listen with sheer anticipation to the sequel to Isandlwana. As dusk falls and the sun slips away, you’ll listen intently to the retelling of the final attacks on the remaining 139 British soldiers by 4,000 Zulu warriors, a battle that saw the award of eleven Victoria Crosses.

Categories

  • History
  • Trips to take

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Alfred & Nicky Rattray

Nicky and David Rattray moved to Rorke’s Drift in 1989 where they built Fugitives’ Drift Lodge. Self-effacing and modest, Nicky’s determination to make a home for her family has never been more evident than in the last several years where she continued running the lodge on her own. Nicky shared the same aspirations for the local Zulu people as her husband and continues their work as Chairperson of the David Rattray Foundation while extensively involved in the activities of KHULA Education

Alfred&

Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Andy, who's travelled extensively in South Africa. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - ex banker who can show you the hottest foodie spots in Cape Town, the award-winning young sommelier who can introduce you to Stellenbosch's finest wines and the walking safari ranger who can guide you to the best game.

Freephone an expert 01306 744 656