An African safari may seem to be all about the animals and the surrounds, but more and more lodges and camps are upping their game and providing ever more sophisticated offerings. Yoga platforms, air-conditioned gymnasiums and even photographic studios have now started to appear in some of Africa’s finest safari properties, but it is with the cuisine where things have really been taken to the next level.
Michelin stars may not yet have reached the African bush, but the food offerings at some safari camps now match those of the best city centre eateries, which is astonishing given the often remote nature of their location far from a local corner shop, and the difficulties with sourcing fresh quality ingredients. Here we take a look at our top picks for a gourmet safari with all the trimmings.
A by-word for the very best in luxury, Singita’s property in the Kruger National Park, Sweni, has worked with the award-winning chef Liam Tomlin, (of Cape Town’s Chef’s Warehouse fame), to create new menus which introduce a range of experimental, artisanal cooking techniques. Out of a new glass-walled kitchen come lunches comprised of eight different dishes, and dinners which are sharing-plate menus, whilst self-serve deli fridges mean that guests can snack on freshly prepared items at any time of day. If you can tear yourself away from the gourmet food, there is also some of the planet’s finest game-viewing to be enjoyed right on your doorstep….
What better culinary credentials than to be voted in this year’s Safari Awards as offering the Best Safari Cuisine in Africa? An incredible achievement for any safari lodge, made even more notable by Machaba’s remote location in the game-rich Khwai Concession, and by an eco-footprint which dictates that energy-efficient fridges are switched off at night and innovative coal cold rooms are used to store heat-sensitive items. Game drives, night safaris, mokoro trips and bush walks are all on offer, with guests returning to camp to be greeted by spectacular river views and excellent food.
Stay at this iconic historical building and share the exquisite cuisine on offer with some of the extraordinary local residents – the free-roaming herd of Rothschild giraffe. Pellets are left in each room so that guests can feed them directly from their open bedroom windows, but the undoubted highlight is breakfast time - where the lanky locals can eat straight off your plate.
The individual giraffes’ names and personalities are all well known by the staff and the manor aims to expand the endangered Rothschild gene pool and slowly reintroduce them back into the wild. A word of warning though – Giraffe Manor is extremely popular and is often booked out at least 12 months in advance!
At this luxurious safari camp, which has just 9 guest suites but access to over 100km2 of big game country in the Greater Kruger National Park, Kosher is most definitely king. Almost uniquely for a safari lodge, quality gourmet Kosher cuisine is freshly prepared on site, in accordance with Kashrut and Jewish Laws.
All the catering, from bush breakfasts to boma dinners, is supervised by a mashgiach appointed by the Kashrut of the London Beth Din in the fully-equipped and certified Kosher kitchen, and all of the produce used, including the wines, juices and beers is Kosher-approved.
Membership of the Relais & Chateaux association is normally the guarantee of exquisite cuisine, and nowhere is this truer than at Duba Plains, one of Botswana’s very best safari lodges. Under the auspices of chef Tiaan Van Greunen, freshly prepared breakfasts and brunches are served outdoors in the raised dining room, with scrumptious afternoon teas and outstanding dinners enjoyed in the thatched dining room. The extraordinary game-viewing opportunities available often mean that the gourmet goes into the bush, with alfresco breakfasts and on-the-go picnics a common sight – all a far cry from your usual takeaway meal!
Looking to experience some of these culinary delights? Get in touch with us by calling 020 7843 3500 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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