In September 2018, co-owner and director Christopher Wilmot-Sitwell will be leading a group trip to South Africa. This journey has been curated by founder and director Henrietta Loyd with Rovos Rail and, will take one of the world’s most luxurious trains deep into the heartlands of the Boer War, following in the footsteps of Sir Winston Churchill.
Below we speak to Henrietta to hear just a few reasons why this one-off journey is so spectacular.
A once in a lifetime opportunity
“cazenove+loyd turns 25 in 2018 and this specialist journey is just one of the ways in which we are celebrating. We were determined to create a journey that delves into South Africa’s fascinating past through the Anglo-Zulu and subsequent Boer Wars, whilst giving our guests a real understanding of the country in the present day. Every element of this journey has been designed to be educational, exciting and above all extraordinary and we have secured unparallelled private access to ensure that the journey exceeds every expectation.
Africa is ever-changing and with so many exciting developments happening in the continent, we feel that now is the time to look back at what was an incredible moment in time.”
Access to the best speakers and historians in the country
“To help us tell the moving stories from the battlefields, we have secured the very best speakers on the subjects of the Anglo-Zulu Wars and the Boer War.
My close friendship with the Rattray family, who own the spectacular 5000-acre Fugitives’ Drift, means we will have special access at this incredible National Heritage Site.
Started by the renowned Zulu historian David Rattray and continued since his death by his wife Nicky and sons, Andrew, Douglas and Peter, Fugitives’ Drift, overlooks both Rorke’s Drift and Isandlwana – the sites of two major battles of the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879. The Rattrays will personally guide guests to where Lieutenants Melvill and Coghill lost their lives attempting to save the Queen’s Colour of their regiment, the 24th Regiment of Foot. Sitting on the old battlefields, listening to their immersive talks is an extremely thought-provoking and emotionally charged experience, which will leave you with a new connection to the Anglo-Zulu wars and South African history as a whole.
On this special day, guests will also enjoy lunch at the family’s home: Fugitives’ Drift Lodge, where they will learn about the vital work the Rattrays’ are doing in the local community. Before his death, David Rattray founded Khula Education, which supports education initiatives in KwaZulu-Natal.
Since its conception, the charity has gone on to work in 19 schools in the Zulu heartland, supporting many thousands of children, many of whom are descendents of those who fought in the war of 1879. Marrying the past and present-day South Africa, we hope guests will find the experience of Fugitives’ Drift as thrilling as we do.”
Sir Nicholas Soames
“We are thrilled that Winston Churchill’s grandson, Sir Nicholas Soames MP, will be joining us on this journey. A fantastic storyteller and vibrant character, Sir Nicholas will regale guests with tales from his grandfather and illuminate Churchill’s formative experiences in the Boer War for us. Through his close relationship with his grandfather, who he knew well into his teenage years, he will be able to give new insights into the man who became a national hero.
Sir Nicholas is delighted to be able to take this once-in-a-lifetime trip retracing his grandfather’s trip, stating “I feel very strongly that much of my grandfather’s life was shaped by his time in South Africa, in particular when he was captured by the Boers, and subsequently made his escape. So much of who he was and who he was to become came through at this moment of great danger and personal desperation. It will be a privilege to lead this trip next September, travelling by train to visit many of the most important battlefields of the Boer War.”
The ‘Real Africa’ and total luxury on the Rovos Rail train
“My longstanding relationship with Rohan Vos and the nature of this extraordinary trip means that we are able to access this one-off routing, allowing passengers to discover the history and landscapes of the Boer War in total luxury.
What we find particularly thrilling about this journey, is the contrast between days spent exploring what can be called the real, unmanicured South African bush and nights enjoying silver service dining on what is one of the world’s most luxurious trains. Many of the Zulu and Boer battlefields lie in totally unspoilt parts of South Africa, where Plains Game gallop untroubled by many vehicles or structures and the settings of the clashes remain largely unchanged.”
Join our group trip to South Africa on board Rovos Rail.