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“A view across the plains to Isandlwana from our chalet!”

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Rorke's Drift Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 3, 2010

We felt a bit awkward at first as we were the only guests but it did mean we had a choice of all the rooms available! Also,Charles the manager/chef couldn't have been more helpful and welcoming and the lack of other guests meant we had excellent service and gleaned a lot of information about the local area from Charles. Accommodation was very modern - top of the range furnishings, bedding etc. all with ethnic touches such as locally woven rugs - just a bit chilly on winter evenings although there was a blazing fire built for us in the communal lounge.
Food was outstanding - Charles is a superb chef and our only criticism was that there was too much of it - we had to turn down a course on our first night and from then on only had 3 courses!
Beautiful views from every angle - such tranquillity too which gave us a real sense of the majesty of the area - a place with so much history. Enjoyed our walk on the property too - accompanied (or should I say led ) by Max the gigantic dog!
We had a battlefields tour organised for us by the lodge and Paul, our guide, was an excellent storyteller who really brought the history of the battles to life - sitting on camp chairs by the Buffolo River in the morning sunlight was magical!
Our only criticism - the access road!!!! It filled us city dwellers with terror and although our saloon car did make it, it was a horrible experience each time we had to drive along it! Accommodation was worth it in the end, however, and we didn't regret our choice for a minute - so much better value than the other two famous but extemely expensive local, bigger lodges. Would have been an even better experience if we had had other tourists to chat to at meal times so let's hope this recommendation encourages more guests.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank AlisonandChris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 18, 2009

We stayed as most people do at Rorkes drift lodge to take in the battlefields, Our first take on the place was the drive up to the front door, prepare for a 5km drive to the lodge, it is there and the little signs are welcome on the way. The road is passable at the advised speed limit in any car.

We were met by Charles (chef and lodge boss) and the three dogs (i say dogs although the large one could be mistaken for a lion), they were very friendly though. Charles made us most welcome and helped us to our large suite next to the main building, the rooms were clean and very nicely decorated with the owners own paintings.

The food is served communialy and is of an excelent standard (probably the best we had in South Africa), the honesty bar and the log fire made for a great couple of nights. Breakfast the follwoing morning was of a great standard again and Paul our historian (organised through the lodge) turned up bang on time.

Paul was amazing, my wife is keen on history and this stop off was her choice, however Paul told the history through a long (6 hour) story where the characters came alive. I really enjoyed the experience and would recomend the tour to all, (children will struggle as the story is told by Paul in a monolgue fashion without many breaks).

Lunch prepared by Charles was taken with us on our tour and was again excelent. Charles even gave us restraunt recomendations in other parts of South Africa that we were visiting.

On departure Charles made sure we had some choclates to keep us going.

A great place, a real surprise to me, enjoy....

Charles is a start and the lodge is lucky to have him

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank WalkersOxford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 7, 2009

We stayed for 2 nights, which is probably ideal, as the only things to do locally are the Rorke's Drift and Isandlwana battle sites and the Zulu village (to which I didn't have time enough to go). There is nowhere local to eat or drink, but the Lodge provides such good fare that this isn't a problem. The quality is extremely high, being run by Charles who clearly has a good pedigree in the hospitality industry. I would highly recommend taking a guided tour (Paul Garner charged 600 ZAR per person and was a spellbinding narrator), as a self-guide won't tell you the full history. Charles can arrange all this.
The sunrise and sunset are really something to behold, but in all honesty, if you're not interested in the Rorke's Drift story, this probably isn't the place for you. If, however, you are even mildly interested (I have only a passing interest; I'm not a history buff) then this is unmissable. It is possibly the best guided tour I have ever encountered - and I travel a good deal.
The only thing to be aware of is the road there, which is shocking. A 4x4 would be ideal, although we did it (with care) in a small saloon.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Ginger61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 15, 2009

After many trips to the area,we have at last found not only an ideal location with access to the historical area,but the ideal place to stay. Christine is a wonderful host and Paul's knowledge of the Anglo Zulu Campaigns is second to none.Not forgetting a wonderful chef,Charles with a wonderful sense of humour and delight with his marvellous cuisine We spent four unforgettable days with them and are already gearing up for our return next next year.Oh yes fand very reasonable rates.Yorkshire Tours can vouch for this, as being Yorkshire men we say You have tried the rest,now try the best. Fully Recommended Alex and Derek Lister. Yorkshire Tours

  • Stayed: March 2009
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2  Thank tinpotBingley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 8, 2007

We have travelled widely using B & B's in many countries and have found that warm hospitality and the ambience generated by the owners can smooth over many weaknesses in the accommodation. At Rorkes Drift Lodge this was not the case. My wife and I spent two nights here in January but although we found the accomodation good, although overpriced, the main downside was the lack of ambience. The drive to the remote Lodge is difficult if undertaken in a normal vehicle. The track is really only suited to 4X4 vehicles or SUVs. In our car it took over half an hour to carefully navigate the 7 kms through the fords and over this heavily rutted farm track worrying continously about the rental car excess!! Having reached the Lodge we thought that we may be greeted with the offer of a cup of tea/coffee to help us relax but no such thing just a rapid tour of the accommodation and then on our own! Due to the remoteness of the Lodge a booking there for dinner is the only option and we hoped this might be an occasion. This didn't turn out to be the case as the food was nothing special and the service surly. The owners did not dine with us that night, promising to do so the following evening. Again this proved to be a dissapointing meal as it was basically the same as the night before (we were told a mistake had been made in the kitcken) and the company of our hosts added nothing to the evening,

The only highlight was the battlefields tour given by Paul Garner ,(the owner of the Lodge was unable to do it as was previously planned), however this proved to be a stroke of luck. Paul Garner was an enthusiastic and knowledgable guide who we would highly reccommend. He painted an excellent and thrilling picture of the battles and we came away with a much greater understanding of an important part of South African history. Without his tour we would easily have forgotten our time at Rorkes Drift Lodge.

  • Stayed: January 2007, traveled with family
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6  Thank WGF_BROCK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rdlowner, owner at Rorke's Drift Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded March 16, 2009

Getting the balance between too much and too little is such a difficult task. We are sorry that the reviewer felt we were too absent as management but our service staff were always there for their needs.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2006

As we drove up the rough track to Rorkes Drift Lodge we fell in love with the landscape. When we were shown to our delightful room in a round tower my girlfriend and I looked at each other and decided to stay an extra third night and forego a night in Durban. The setting is lovely and the lodge rather wonderful. However we were surprised to find that dinner takes place with the owners and that we were given no choice in this matter. Never mind we thought, it might prove fun. However we found Paul to be cantankerous and argumentative throughout the dinner. As the only guests we found it rather claustrophobic and unpleasant. Foolishly we said nothing and thus endured the same experience the following evening. I think that if you are going to insist on your (paying!) guests eating with you then you should at least attempt to be charming and pleasant. Wine is included with your meal which is a nice touch - however you will need to remind Paul to pour it for you!
Paul's tour of the battlefields was certainly thorough and I guess if military battles are your thing then it will be very worthwhile. We felt exhausted and drained at the end of the tour with its minute by minute recounting of the battles- I think Paul considered this an accomplishment!
Needless to say we did not extend our stay. This could have been a great place to stay. The other reviewers seem to have loved the lodge so it is obviously a personal thing (although some friends who, unknown to us, stayed there a week later had a similar experience) but I think that guests should be given the choice of eating with the host or not. This may be an age thing and older guest might enjoy the hosts company at dinner. Regardless, if is is going to be compulsory then a little less cantankerousness on the part of the owner is called for!

  • Stayed: April 2006
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7  Thank JPMaputo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 1, 2006

I travelled here with family and friends in February 2006 having found the web site fo the lodge and planning a trip to visit the famous battle field sites at Isandlwana and Rorkes Drift.

We stayed for 2 nights and booked the day long tour.

You need a good 4x4 to tackle the road but believe me its worth it. The lodge is a tranquil picturesque corner and has awesome views over the hills all the way to the slopes of Isandlwana. The welcome was great, both fro the owner and their two fantastic dogs. Rooms were great and food was fantastic. However the best was yet to come. The tour, run by Paul Garner (as the proprietors husband was away) was awesome. he was a captivating and enthusiastic story teller and guide and made the whole trip worth the journey, truly fantastic.

I commend this lodge very highly and their tours and in my humble opinion, the tour was better than fugitives drift's famous outings. We weren't sat down in a cricle and lectured too, we had a great interactive walking tour. Don't visit Zululand without doing this trip. Terrific.

  • Stayed: February 2006
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1  Thank Andrew_M_Charlton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rorke's Drift Lodge

Address: off the P195, Rorke's Drift 3016, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Rorke's Drift
Amenities:
Free Parking Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Rorke's Drift
Price Range: $75 - $111 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Rorke's Drift Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rorke's Drift Lodge is perched above the Rorke's Drift and Isandlwana Battlefields where the mighty Zulu nation and British Empire came to blows in 1879. The Lodge caters to the historical enthusiast looking to immerse themselves in poignant tales of yesteryear. World class guided tours coupled with friendly South African hospitality,superb food and a taste of the African Bush make this an experience to remember forever. We also offer horseriding on the property and can arrange for hunting and bass fishing expeditions in the area. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rorke`s Drift Hotel Rorke`s Drift
Rorke's Drift Lodge South Africa/KwaZulu-Natal

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