River Bend Lodge is a mere 55 minutes’ drive from Port Elizabeth and is an ideal malaria-free safari addition to a Garden Route holiday. Personalised game drives are led by enthusiastic and experienced guides, who will ensure you have a truly memorable safari experience.
At a time when a whole nation, and indeed most of the world,
awaits, hope against hope, for positive news of a Modern Day icon we at River
Bend Lodge wish to pay our own tribute to Nelson Mandela.
And so, on behalf of all of us, I have been asked to write
something which encapsulates a little bit of something that all of us feel and
the debt of gratitude we owe the man.
If I were asked to use just one word which I thought was his
lasting legacy it would be ‘Forgiveness’. He not only forgave….but in forgiving
he averted a situation which could have lead to catastrophic loss of life,
which in turn, would have created a lasting legacy of ‘unforgiveness’ much like
we see in the Middle East today.
Experience, we are told, is how we learn. And if we learn
anything from the experience of apartheid it should be how not to do
things….how NOT to govern. Nelson Mandela came out of a 27 year imprisonment
and the first thing he did was to Forgive, and by this action showed us all in
no better manner than by his action….how we should behave. He stood by his
famous words, uttered before he was imprisoned and quoted below.
"I have fought
against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have
cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will
live together in harmony with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope
to live for, and to see realised. But my Lord, if needs be, it is an ideal for
which I am prepared to die." The Rivonia Trial
And so, as we prepare for life in South Africa without our
revered leader, let us dwell a while on two more of his many famous quotes. Let
us reflect the legacy of Nelson Mandela and apply what he is saying here to
make South Africa a better place, which is what he lived for and will die for.
Let us, in the same spirit of humility and forgiveness, and by having
experienced the ‘way we should not live’, apply ourselves to upholding and
reflecting the great legacy which will be left to us as a nation and to make
this nation great which the very epitome of his legacy.
“No one is born hating
another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his
religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be
taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its
opposite.” - Long Walk to Freedom.
In applying experience, from this quote we learn how not to
indoctrinate our children.
"Never, never and
never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the
oppression of one by another…"
Inaugural Address, Pretoria 9 May 1994.
And from this quote….it is how not to govern!
We thank you for the enormous sacrifice you made and we will
endeavour to reflect your legacy by our actions and our contribution to a
better society and country….one which you would be proud to be the most
influential contributor to.
This is a Blog written by Neel Patel...he and his lovely wife Reena spent their Honeymoon at River Bend Lodge earlier this year.
Neel had this to say...and sent us all of these photographs he took while here! Thank you Neel and we hope to see you back, it was great meeting you guys!
"After an intense two weeks for our wedding ceremonies and an
18hr trip to PE, arriving at the Riverbend Lodge was beyond words. The stresses
of life in London were put to bed as we entered the gates and began an
incredible journey of luxury outback living, welcoming faces and a powerful
insight into some of the wild animals of SA. Our guide Eve was incredible and
her passion for wildlife was contagious, we learned so much from her. The lodge
itself was fantastic, the food (exceptional!) and the people being the
highlight. What stood out most was that the animals are all wild, there is
little tourist aspect to a stay here as you are expected to travel the plains
tracking the animals. With the help of Michael, I now know how to use my SLR
which I wish I would have done sooner. Any guests who are thinking to stay at
the Riverbend Lodge… DO IT!! To the team, we can only thank you for a
magnificent experience. Neel & Reena"
Photographs courtesy of Neel Patel...to view a larger version Click on an Image