Our History Day of 13 July was a lively open forum led by presentations on the Victoria Cross Recipients and the Fugitives from Isandlwana. Wonderful stories were exchanged and developed and several key facts challenged and examined.
The afternoon visit by those that stayed after lunch, was to Fort Melvill and to a river crossing point used by the Zulus who attacked the Mission Station in 1879. Spot the experts in the picture (exclude the dog!) Next year we have interesting material being offered, so watch this space for early warning.
Hard on the heels of the Trip Advisor recognition came the new Lilizela Awards from SA Tourism. We were one of just 118 Provincial finalists from the 5000 Star Graded establishments in South Africa. Another smart certificate on our wall behind reception.
Christmas in July bought a capacity booking from Jo’burg to enjoy Roast Turkey and Plum Pudding and have a great party. A guided tour around the battlefields was designed to stimulate the appetite and generate a thirst as well as enthuse for the History. Rated a memorable annual event by the whole group.
The traditionally quiet month in the battlefields found us pretty busy and full to capacity over the last weekend, with guests also in The Deanery. The word seems to be getting about that Rorke’s Drift Hotel is a destination for all seasons.
Memorable were the number from Australia who were all determined to have a good time. This couple joined guests from Ireland which proved quite a cocktail of laughs. Shown with their guide who added to the fun.
We are often asked where our guests come from and a review of this quarter reveals from our registration book that 34% were from UK; 38% from RSA; and 17.6% from Australia. Others from USA, Germany, Netherlands and Ireland.
All of our guests pay a small levy to the Shiyane Community funds which is added to by the Hotel. New fencing for the grazing camps has been the first beneficiary.
We also hosted the Matric year of our High School who wanted to go into hospitality; shown is Office Supervisor Nosipho Mayeni telling the group about her place in the Hotel Team. The group also heard from professionals about work in the Kitchen, Dining Room, Laundry and Bar.
We can now offer guests the chance to overfly the historic trails and battlefields from the hotel grounds. A sculpted a one hour flight covering all the points of interest and our package includes a detailed briefing for guests so that they can fully enjoy the experience.
More flying news about to be demonstrated by this Secretary Bird on the hotel property. Our colony of some 20 pairs of Southern Bald Ibis is starting to nest for their annual family expansion.
Proudly on display in our wall looking towards Fugitive’s Drift is the replacement gravestone of Lieutenants Melvill and Coghill. This dramatic story can now be brought to life from our lobby, together with the dramas that happened over the river and on the other side of the Hill.
We have put a little notice to say that they were not actually buried on ‘this spot’.