Exercise DRAGON CERTA CITO 22 was multi activity adventure training (AT) in KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa led by Sergeant Samir Rai.
Twenty people from across multiple cap badges, from 1 Signal Regiment deployed to South Africa. As we landed in Cape Town, we were able to visit the city for a couple of hours before our connecting flight to Durban.
Our first stay was in Thendele Camp in the Royal Natal National Park. Our attractive and comfortable chalets had a magnificent view of the Drakensberg Mountain ranges. We divided into two groups and rotated across the activities of mountain biking, hill walking and rock climbing. Not only were the activities challenging and fun, but seeing the various unique wild animals while driving was something that increased everyone’s spirits further. Some lucky individuals even saw lions and giraffes.
After three days at Thendele we moved to Didima Camp. With its stunning mountain range, beautiful scenic rivers and breathtaking sunrise and sunset, no one could ever complain about this place. We took part in the same activities, but the terrain could not be more different. A social night was organised on the last night by Sergeant Samir, cooking a delicious local chicken in Gurkha style.
We left this astonishing place for Giant’s Castle. This time I was not sad, in fact, I had begun imagining our new location in my mind and could not wait to be there. In Giant’s Castle we were hill walking around the area we also had a chance to visit to the ‘Main Cave’ that let us learn something about the history and the culture of the local people.
Our two weeks Adventure Training ended with an educational Battlefield visit. We had a day at Rorke’s Drift giving us the opportunity to gain experience about the history of the station’s defense by the British Army. Wherever we stayed, the wild animals like ostriches, zebras, antelopes, baboons and many more, were always playing around us and it felt like they were our own pets. After two nights in Battlefield Lodge, Dundee. We drove to Durban City for our last night in South Africa. Exercise DRAGON CERTA CITO 22 has been a memorable adventure for all of us. The activities, the beautiful scenery, the lodges, food, and the friendly local people. For me, one of the most memorable things were the sneaky baboons who used to open the doors like humans and steel our food.
By Lance Corporal Jagman Gurung, Queen’s Gurkha Signals