The term strong has always resonated with the word ‘women’ and the women in tourism we have chosen to profile this week is just that -strong.
Working for years with her late husband at the Mala Mala Game Reserve, Nicky Rattray together with her husband founded Fugitives Drift Lodge in KwaZulu-Natal and Fairview House in Plettenberg Bay.
Beginning from a tiny four-roomed lodge with a vision of creating a lodge specialising in tours to the Anglo Zulu War, Rattray and her late husband David have built Fugitives Drift Lodge into one of the most must stay places in KwaZulu-Natal.
“It hasn’t been easy but Fugitives Drift holds a very special place in my heart as David and I built it up to what it is today. More special is the fact that it is in KwaZulu-Natal, an absolute jewel of a place surrounded by beautiful and warm beaches,” said Rattray.
Facing various challenges along the way in her quest to bring forward a huge piece of KwaZulu-Natal history to the forefront of tourism, Rattray said she has had to overcome various setbacks along the way.
“When the global financial crisis of 2008 hit, tourism was one of the sectors most affected but we overcame it,” said Rattray.
Most people in the tourism sector never thought they’d ever have to face a hurdle that big again in their lifetime until Covid-19.
“The Covid-19 crisis has been very difficult for all sectors more so than most, it has really affected the Hospitality/Tourism sector.
“During these uncertain times it is essential to be able to pivot and adjust your business model to suit the current conditions. Having the best team who are committed to the cause makes it that much easier to weather any crisis coming your way,” said Rattray.
Amidst the recent unrest which plagued various parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, Rattray said it was now important to focus on job creation which she believes is critical to our country given the high level of unemployment in South Africa.
Fugitives Drift Lodge is situated on Rorke’s Drift, close to fabulous game reserves and mountains, and the battlefield area of the Anglo Zulu War where Rattray and her family live.