Rorke’s Drift Café is the only eating venue to be found in the Rorke’s Drift area and is situated at the Rorke’s Drift Museum. Much needed sustenance is on offer here in the form of light lunches and very welcome ice cold drinks or for the winter months some welcome steaming hot coffee and tea.
The lease for this facility has just been awarded by Amafa, to a group spearheaded by Christine Lamberth of Rorke’s Drift Lodge. The group consists of 6 previously unemployed youth of Rorke’s Drift, who under the guidance of Christine are being trained to manage and run the facility to an exacting high standard. It is envisaged that the group will take over ownership of the facility by 2011 and that it will compare favourably with any other facility of its sort at any of our museums countrywide. Individual travellers can pop in any time from 09:00 to 16:00 for tea, lunch or just a drink. The menu is currently being upgraded and many delicious changes are on their way.
Tour buses can be assured of liquid sustenance of a wide variety and should they wish to have lunches served this can be arranged in advance by calling Christine to make the necessary arrangements. Menus can be adapted from sandwiches through to three course meals. We can serve it as a picnic lunch or accommodate you in our dining hall.
The Art Gallery will feature art and crafts made in the area and is also currently under revision.
Rorke’s Drift Museum now also offers local guides who can take tourists on a quick 1½ hour tour of the battlefield and the ELC Art and Craft Centre. The four guides, Thulani Khuzwayo, Vusi Zulu, Siyabonga Mbatha and Sabelo Mtshali are all local Rorke’s Drift residents and are currently being trained as guides for the Museum by Paul Lamberth.
Tours on offer:
Battlefield and ELC Art and Craft Centre:
This tour covers the establishment of Rorke’s Drift as a trading station and ‘frontier‘ post by James Rorke, an overview of the Battle of Rorke’s Drift where you are given an impartial account of the happenings leading up to 1879 and then you are taken to the ELC Art and Craft Centre that is also an integral part of the fibre of the Rorke’s Drift story. The guest is able to visit the workshops of The ELC Art and Craft Centre where you can view the crafter making their carpets, printing their fabrics and making pottery all of which have an international reputation. Please refer to the ELC Art and Craft Centre for more details.
Visit the SAN paintings on Shiyane:
Siyabonga Mbatha is your specialist guide and custodian of the Shiyane San Painting site. This tour is offered exclusively by Rorke’s Drift Guided Tours. Visitors should prepare themselves for a short hike of about 30 minutes to get to the site. Once there you have a choice of coming back along the same path or for the more adventurous you can do a stiff climb up and over the peak of Shiyane and see the world from a different point of view. A morning well spent seeing some of Zululand in a safe environment.
Bookings for these tours can be made ahead of time or the impulsive and independent traveller can just pop in any day of the week for this tour.
Rates are very reasonable and there are special rates for children.
Each guide also has his own background and character to add to the tours.
Sabelo Mtshali was born at Kwawoza in 1971. He is one of 9 children. Sabelo is Zulu and also speaks fluent English.
Sabelo attended Amoibe Primary School and then went onto completing his education at Oskarsberg Primary and then Shiyane High School.
In 1997 Sabelo went to Johannesburg where he worked for two years. In total he lived in Johannesburg for 8 years.
Then Sabelo returned to Rorke’s Drift and in 2004 he became a participant in a Cultural and Heritage learnership. The purpose of the learnership was to empower the younger generation of the Rorke’s Drift area to participate in the tourism industry of the area.
In 2006, after graduating from the learnership programme Sabelo and the other members of the LVT Triple S group, under the leadership of local lodge owner and tour guide, Paul Lamberth, have been studying to be tour guides specialising in the events around the establishment and history of Rorke’s Drift. Sabelo will be writing his tour guide examination in Mid May.
Siyabonga Mbatha was born in 1980 at Rorke’s Drift where he still lives today. His primary school education was completed at Oskarsberg Primary School and while there he participated in many activities such as soccer, athletics and traditional dancing.
In 1997 Siyabonga went to St. Augustine’s High School where he completed his matric in 2001.
In 2004 Siyabonga went to Pietermaritzburg to attend the S.L.O.T. Skills programme and in 2005 he attended another course at the Midlands Community College near Mooiriver where he obtained a certificate in Agriculture.
In August 2004 he became a participant in the Culture and Heritage learnership programme at Rorke’s Drift.
In 2006 Siyabonga along with the other members of the LVT Triple S group, under the guidance of local lodge owner, Paul Lamberth, are busy studying to become tour guides. The group is specialising in the events surrounding the establishment and history of Rorke’s Drift. In May 2006 Siyabonga will be completing his examination as a Tour Guide after which he will be a registered tour guide for the Rorke’s Drift Site.
Thulani Khuzwayo was born at Tugela Ferry in 1978. He spent his early youth in the Elandsberg area not far from Elandskraal. At the age of six Thulani was sent to the school at the Kwasizabantu Mission.Thulani is one of nine children.
Thulani left school in 2000 and became involved in community projects.
In 2004 he became a participant in the Rorke’s Drift Culture and Heritage learnership. He graduated from this learnership programme in 2006.
As one of the members of the LVT Triple S group Thulani is presently studying towards becoming a specialised guide at the Rorke’s Drift site. Under the leadership of Paul Lamberth, local lodge owner and tour guide, he will be completing his studies and writing his examinations in May whereafter he will become a registered tour guide for the Rorke’s Drift site.
Vusi was born in Germiston, Gauteng in 1980. He attended Oskarsberg Primary school at Rorke’s Drift and then went to Khehlekile Primary School on the East Rand. Vusi’s high school years were spent at Shiyane High School at Rorke’s Drift where he completed his matric in 1998. Vusi then went onto St Oswalds Technical College where he finished with a N5 in Electrical Engineering Studies in 2001.
In 2004 Vusi registered with Unisa and completed a Higher ABET certificate in the Faculty of Education. Also in 2004 Vusi became a participant in the Cultural and Heritage learnership programme at Rorke’s Drift.
Vusi enjoys participating in sports such as soccer and volleyball. He is a keen reader and was a student representative.
Vusi is also a part time teacher at Shiyane ABET Centre and has also worked as a voluntary teacher at Oskarsberg Primary School.
At present Vusi is studying to become a tour guide. Under the leadership of Paul Lamberth, local tour guide and lodge owner, Vusi will have completed his tour guide examination by Mid May 2006. Once he has completed this examination he will become a registered tour guide who specialises in the history and establishment of Rorke’s Drift.