Near the southern tip of Africa, there is a mountain that does a conjuring trick with the biggest tablecloth on earth.
In a sacred forest near the Limpopo river, there is a bird that flies on wings of thunder, flashing lightning from its eyes and bearing rain in its beak.
In between, there is a hauntingly beautiful land and millions of confused people.
When Archbishop Desmond Tutu dubbed his native South Africa the 'Rainbow Nation', he conjured a vision of ethnic diversity and harmony in a country with eleven official languages, two national anthems, and a parliament that shuttled between two cities.
As a foreign correspondent reporting on the last days of apartheid, Gavin Bell thought it was a brave image and wondered how long it would endure.
A few years later, he returned to find out what had happened to Tutu's rainbow.
In his travels he found a country at odds with itself, swinging between hope and despair, buoyed by a sense of freedom and haunted by a fear of violent crime.
SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW is not only a fine travel book by an award-winning writer, it is a compelling portrait of a country in search of an identity.
The leopard stories are good too.