David Rattray

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David Rattray," historian and tour guide: born Johannesburg, South Africa 6 September 1958; married (three sons); died Rorke's Drift, South Africa 26 January 2007....

"His dramatic accounts of the Anglo-Zulu War and especially the battles of Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift, the sites of which are just kilometres from his travel lodge, Fugitives' Drift, drew more than 60,000 visitors, including the Prince of Wales (who became a close friend) and - at last count - 94 British generals and four field-marshals.

"Rattray was a regular guest at the Royal Geographical Society in London where his annual lectures, held over three days, were always sold out. His mesmerising accounts, which would leave even the most august and stiff-upper-lipped audience moist-eyed, drew on a deep passion for South Africa and for the Zulu people among whom he had grown up and whose language he spoke impeccably. He was a Fellow of the society and in 1999 received its Ness Award for broadening understanding of Zulu culture...

"In 1989 David Rattray gave up his job managing the famous Mala Mala Game Reserve and he and his wife, Nicky, returned to his childhood home to build Fugitives' Drift Lodge and host visitors to the battlefields." [1]

"A central theme in all these lectures was reconciliation – and how reconciliation can develop from conflict. David had lectured in America, Antarctica, Hong Kong and throughout Southern Africa and had been acclaimed by major British newspapers as one of the finest public speakers in the world...

"David had an abiding interest in conservation. The Rattray property is a registered Natural Heritage Site. He was a trustee of the WWF, South Africa. He was a trustee of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund which produces some of the finest ornithological books in the world. He was a trustee of the Magqubu Ntombela Foundation which amongst other activities ensures that the historical contribution by Zulu people to conservation in South Africa will not be forgotten.

"He was a trustee of the Siyazisiza Trust which is the largest NGO of its kind in KwaZulu Natal and assists tens of thousands of impoverished people in KwaZulu Natal in the production of craft, vegetables etc. This craft making expertise was recently given an enormous profile in London when at a function, also at Sotheby’s David gave an address, sharing the platform with the South African High Commissioner and the National Minister of Arts, Culture and Technology." [2]

"In 2002 he was asked to be a patron of the British based Wilderness Trust."

He was married to Nicky Rattray.

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. David Rattray, independent.co.uk, accessed June 15, 2010.
  2. David Rattray, fugitivesdrift, accessed June 15, 2010.