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Fugitive's Drift Lodge and Guest House
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All reviewsrattray familystory tellingharford libraryother guestsgame reservebuffalo riverpre dinner drinkswhole experiencenothing is too much troublezulu warslong tablesouth africaunforgettable experiencethree nightsboth sidesbig tableamazing grace
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311 - 316 of 455 reviews
Reviewed January 31, 2014

We have stayed set many memorable lodges and hotels in South Africa , but this will stand out in my memory , I am sure , for its uniqueness and the genuine warmth of the staff. As other reviews have said , it is not a luxury Lodge but it has plenty of home comforts, and the food is good and plentiful – the lunches at the library with a stunning long distance view to Isandlwana are excellent. I would have been happy to stay there just for the landscape and the beautiful reserve the Lodge is situated in. You can go for both short and long walks either on your own or with one of the guides or just one of the lodge dogs to keep you company... You can walk right up to giraffes who just gaze down at you from a distance of 3 feet!
Beyond that the battlefield Tours are ,as other reviewers have said,exemplary ,very moving and thought-provoking. It is a very social place - we met some fascinating people over dinner and around the lodge. Don't miss this experience !

Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
Thank j0gli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2014

First time to South Africa and after Johannesburg, this was our first stop. The excellence of the battlefield tours is almost outshone by the warmth and consideration of the staff. Large airy rooms (we didn't need and air conditioning!) with large baths. Dinner and breakfast are family style and that made for a very interesting evening, meeting guests from other places in the world -- conversation never lagged. The food is good, solid fare with no pretense but very tasty indeed. Gracie and Nelly were so attentive (when I was ill and unable to come to dinner, Gracie brought a tray -- complete with a lovely hydrangea!). She sings (and her voice is lovely) and her smile is always ready. Alastair was our battlefield guide for Islandwana and Charl for Rorke's Drift -- and they made history come alive. A very balanced, historically accurate presentation based on the extensive research of David Rattray. The grounds are extensive, built into the hill, and were pleasant in and of themselves. In the morning I could see impala grazing in the field at the foot of the hill from our porch. This isn't a spa or world hotel, but great accommodation that I would gladly return to for the warmth of the staff, the informality of the evenings and the dedication of the staff to guest comfort.

Room Tip: I don't think there is a bad room, but if you want other than twin beds, ask when booking.
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank celticantique
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2014

What a wonderful place this is. Even without the battlefield tours which are its specialty, the lodge itself is an ideal base to relax. The rooms are spacious and furnished in a very comfortable, traditional fashion, complete with Victorian-style bathroom. A warning though is that there is no A/C and it can get very warm here. The lodge is set in large grounds on the hillside overlooking Islandwana, with many game animals around and opportunities to walk, ride or just laze beside the pool. The food is pretty good, but not haute cuisine, which is fine for this setting. What makes it so special are the Rattray family and their staff. Knowledgeable and engaging, Andrew and others give tours that are not to be missed and brought the events vividly to life even for a non-history buff like me. Without exception, the rest of the staff were the friendliest and most efficient I encountered in South Africa, but special mention has to be made of Grace, who seems to be in charge of everything from morning wake up calls to running the dinner service, all with a smile and a song!

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled solo
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Thank amm1u
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2014

I am sure other lodges in this area do a good job with the Battlefields, but I don't believe any one will do the amazing job that Fugitive's Drift does. The presentation of the history during the tours was amazing and to gain even just a little of the knowledge that the Rattray family has been able to gain over the years was perfect. We travelled with our two kids (7 and 11) and we stayed in the Guest House. Some of the reviews suggest that the Guest House is the 'poor cousin' to the lodge, but I really disagree with this. As it is smaller, it is more personal, very relaxed and very comfortable - and I think much less formal than the lodge - which for our family was just ideal. Our main contact at the guest house - Charl - went above and beyond the call of duty when he spent time with the children whilst we were on one tour, taking them on a game drive, to the river, swimming, way more than he needed to do. Thank you… We also took a private guide for one battlefield tour purely to give the children the chance to also experience this side of the trip and I would strongly recommend that. They couldn't follow all of it - but they took in enough. Accommodation was great, food delicious, service superb, staff very helpful, walking and cycling through the reserve a real pleasure and our children were very much welcomed. All in all a great trip.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Ahtrm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2014

We stayed here for 3 nights while we visited the Battlefields. Our lodge was fine and was close to the reception. The staff were very attentive and we ate too well with members of the family and senior guides eating with us. The food was very good and it was relaxing to meet for a drink round the outside fire before going in "en masse" to dine.
The weather was not too brilliant while we were there, so we did not use the pool, but the views are stunning and the grounds well laid out to allow relaxation. The library and dining areas all have extensive pictures and information on the area and the Anglo-Zulu wars.
The best part are the tours - the vast expanse of Isandlwana and the tight area about Rorke;s drift contrast, but Andrew Rattray has taken on his father's mantle; he and his team of guides bring the whole story to life in an unbiased and at times emotional manner. It is so well done. If you have the time, take the Fugitive's Trail to see where Lieutenants Melvill and Coghill died trying to save the Queen's Colour.
This was a highlight of our SA holiday. Well done to the Rattray family who really love South Africa.

Room Tip: All the lodges were excellent
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Walkeral
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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