When our guests head to Africa they don’t always ask about the food – luckily we have been spoilt enough to visit all of the properties we deal with, and are very very hot on the food! A lot can be forgiven (although we don’t forgive that much actually!) if the food is exceptional. Just as the rest of the world’s luxury hotels and lodges have done, the luxury safari camps and lodges of Africa have also moved towards cleaner, lighter and delicious food. No longer are safaris associated with stodgy heavy food – you can now not only enjoy the vast wildernesses, the wildlife, the quirky camps, you can also enjoy some of the most delicious, inspiring and inventive food seen anywhere in the world. The produce grown in Africa is amazing, and using this (often bought locally to support the community) the safari chefs are producing incredible things, often from a kitchen that has virtually nothing to cook on. Here are our top food safaris in Africa.
Singita are known as the top safari company in Africa – in fact they’re a conservation organisation which uses tourism to give back to the community and conserve wildlife – it is the most successful of it’s kind in terms of headway made with supporting local families and preserving endangered species. Each of their lodges has a different food ethos which makes staying at a combination of them incredibly exciting. One of our favourites was Lebombo which does the most sumptuous tapas – the menus have huge variety and there really is something for everyone. The tastes coming out of the kitchen are second to none. There are fridges in the main area which are stocked daily with a variety of tasty treats to be taken any time you like. Castleton in the Sabi Sands does good home cooked food which goes along with it’s colonial exclusive use premise, and Ebony in the Sabi Sands does a tea which is to die for. Tiny scones, pastries and delights are there to tempt you before your afternoon game drive. All of the Singita kitchens are fully interactive so one can go in, help cook, or even receive a cooking lesson anytime you like.
DUBA PLAINS – OKAVANGO DELTA – BOTSWANA
Our recent trip to Duba was sensational, not least because of the amazing food our chef Hermann prepared so lovingly for us. Here they also do interactive cooking sessions and you are welcome in the kitchen when you like. The food was unpretentious and utterly delicious with total flexibility as to what you might want. The highlight was bush breakfast, cooked on an outdoor fire – bread was baked, eggs fried and bacon cooked to perfection with homemade granola and muffins. Standing out overlooking a hippo in a channel of the crystal clear delta while eating a freshly baked breakfast roll was nothing short of inspiring. The food was light, delicious and healthy as well as being very natural, fitting in with the stunning surroundings of this new camp.
SASAAB – KENYA
Sasaab is Moroccan in theme and it’s food follows a similar path. The fresh clean spices compliment the hot desert environment this Samburu lodge is built in. Food here is especially delicious as it’s deserved, Sasaab has so much to offer in terms of activites – walking, culture, camel rides and quad biking as well as game drives mean you’ll definitely work up a healthy appetite.
SINGITA SERENGETI – SERENGETI – TANZANIA
We couldn’t have written this article without putting another Singita paragraph in – nothing beats their food, there’s no getting away from it. Colonial and grand Sasakwa has food to match, rich and luxurious – but they were exceptional at providing wheat and sugar free everything for our guests on a recent safari. The sugar free deserts had the sugar eaters jealous and the wheat free baking tasted unbelievable. What a triumph! The local produce grown by the Singita Grumeti community (supported by the fund) is absolutely mouth wateringly delicious and all the Singita Serengeti camps benefit from buying this amazing food locally, and delivering it your plate shortly after. Nothing is too much for the chefs at any of the properties – and the coastal style food at Faru Faru is a complete marvel.
MOBILE SAFARIS – BOTSWANA & KENYA
Our two most favourite mobile safari operators in Botswana and Kenya provide the most amazing food, and it’s all cooked over open fires, and in ground heated ovens, in the middle of no where! Mobile safaris are exclusive and the chef is at your disposal, a lot goes into preparing the food for the safari before you depart – questionnaires about your like and dislikes are sent out and the menu prepared accordingly. Sam Stogdale’s wife Antonia is a renowned chef and so the food on his safaris is unsurprisingly phenomenal – Sam’s mobile safaris in Kenya are wild, exciting and unique. Rob Barber in Botswana is a real foodie himself, and will settle for nothing less than gourmet from his team of well trained chefs.
Safaris no longer have to be filled with eating heavy cakes, meat and two veg for dinner, and crisps at sundowners – now you can really enjoy your safari, feeling fantastic and full of energy from the delicious food you’ve eaten. We’ve named but a few here, but don’t worry you can rest assured anywhere we recommend will have food which will blow you away.