Bahrain This Month - July 2016

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SOUTH Africa Excursion into the Exotic

a Rock



Long-time Bahrain resident Shoba Subrahmanyam writes for BTM on her latest venture, a trip that took many months of planning to blend South African wildlife into one package for a group of like-minded travellers. It was 27 people from seven countries (India, UK, Australia, US, Canada, UAE and Bahrain) who converged on Johannesburg to meet with and get to know each other in a group that would spend the next 14 days together exploring a small segment of South Africa, it’s sights, food and the music so integral to its culture. The excitement was palpable on that first day when we boarded the flight to Nelspruit. On arrival, we

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were met by a convoy of vehicles that transported us to the Manyatta Rock Camp, our first game lodge – a resort that appeared to be carved from the surrounding towering rocks. Impeccable service and genuine smiles made even the odd gecko and insects seem friendly. Three nights of inspiring food and native music was the perfect foil for the daily safaris that included sighting the ‘big five’ at the Kruger as well as a consortium of deer, giraffe, birds and other exotic creatures including springbok, South Africa’s national animal, in the wild. We also got to see the Lisbon Falls, the Mac Mac Falls and the grand Rondevelds, each unique, with stories attached that added mystery to beauty. We were sad to say goodbye as we moved on by luxury coach to Drakensberg, on a long but picturesque drive. We reached our hotel, Champagne Castle, at the very peak of one of the gorgeous mountain ranges, late that evening, to the accompaniment of incessant lightning flashes and pouring rain. The warm greeting and welcome by the staff with efficient porterage made it possible for us to take in all of the beauty and luxurious comfort of the spacious rooms. The next day was concert night when we got to listen to one of the best young choral groups in Africa,