If you are interested in seeing a part of South Africa rich in history and thick with stories of heroic battles, then make your way south-east from Johannesburg into Kwazulu-Natal where you find Isandlwana – the hub and heartbeat of the battlefields that took place during the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879.

Set on the Buffalo River at Rorke’s Drift and overlooking the historic crossing that gives the area its name is Rorke’s Drift Hotel, the perfect base to go and explore surrounding areas.

Only 35 minutes from the local town of Dundee, Rorke’s Drift Hotel is easily accessible by approach on a good gravel road.  The first thing you notice about the property is how it fits into the harmony of the region with its unique architectural Zulu idiom design.

The high thatched roof of the main building covers a bar, lounge and dining area, while expansive windows lead out to a deck with views that stretch along the river and across African space to just one of the battlefields in the area.

The Zulu theme extends to the accommodation which in the ‘Fort’ building offers seven large double/twin ensuite rooms and four single ensuite rooms in the main building.  Guest rooms in the ‘Fort’ open to a central courtyard and are individually named after a distinguished character from 19th Century Natal history.

Meals are served in the main building and it is recommended to spend some time enjoying the position of this hotel, with open views of Zululand towards Isandlwana, by dining on the deck.

From Rorke’s Drift Hotel you can explore the following in the area:

Battlefield of Rorke’s Drift, Fort Melville, The Mzinyathi (Buffalo) River, Shiyane Mountain, Bridle Track, Craft Centre at Rorke’s Drift, Ladysmith and environs, Majuba Mountain, Colenso: Battle site, South African War 1899-1902, Luneburg: Battle site, Zulu War, Kambula: Battle site, Zulu War, Hloblane: Battle site, Zulu War, Ulundi: Battle site, Zulu War Site of Zulu capital under Cetswayo, Eshowe:Battle site, Zulu War, Greytown: Staging post for the British invasion of Zululand,  Maria Ratchritz mission.

View From Deck Rorke's Drift Hotel

The view from the deck at Rorke’s Drift Hotel while sipping a brandy is all the African space you can ask for!

Rorke's Drift Hotel Surrounds

Rorke’s Drift Hotel is almost hidden in the surrounding landscapes

Modern Room Rorke's Drift Hotel

After a day of exploring the nearby historical sites you will be please to come back to the comfort of modern yet Zulu style room at Rorke’s Drift Hotel

Fast facts

Distance from Johannesburg:  5 hours drive

Nightly rate:  From ZAR645 to ZAR2370 includes breakfast and dinner

Suited for:  History buffs, families, small incentive groups or conference (22 people), Solo travelers

Recommended stay:  At least 2 nights to explore the region

Noted:  Rooms have open air roof to other rooms so be mindful your noise will carry to the other rooms.  Do not expect frequent mobile phone reception or internet coverage.

Kate Webster is a travel journalist – travel writer and photographer who travels the globe in search of vivid imagery and compelling stories that capture the essence of the places she visits. Born out of a life-long love of travel and fascination with the world around her, is Kate’s inspiration behind her writing and photography. A passion of the ocean has lead Kate to be a part of Global Surf Sounds, as she continues to mix her love of travel and writing to now include surfing. When she’s not bouncing around the world on ramshackle buses, overcrowded trains, or on the back of a rickshaw, you can find her based in Sydney or the Gold Coast, Australia eagerly planning her next adventure.