SAFARI DINING IS RAISING ITS GAME: INTRODUCING AFRICA’S NEW GOURMET GETAWAYS
For travelers seeking a foodie escape in Africa beyond the well-known hotspots, there is growing range of exciting gourmet experiences to enjoy while out in the bush on safari.
GO OFF-GRID IN NAMIBIA - A GOURMET ROADTRIP TRAVERSING NAMBIA’S SAND DUNES AND DESERT, LED BY MAVROS SAFARIS’ ‘SAFARI BUTLER’
Accompanied by his gourmet bush kitchen and craft gin bar on the back of his 4×4, foodie travellers can travel through Namibia’s vast landscape, meeting locals and dining at places no person has ever dined at before
In 2018, Namibia as a gourmet destination came into the spotlight with the opening of spectacular lodges and luxe desert camps. For foodie travellers looking beyond these hotel-based experiences, new driving itineraries offer the opportunity to go off-grid and make the most of Namibia’s remarkable landscapes. Exclusively available through Africa specialists Mavros Safaris, travellers can explore Namibia on an off-road foodie adventure with the Safari Butler – in a brand-new itinerary for 2019. Accompanied by his gourmet bush kitchen and craft gin bar on the back of his 4×4, guests will travel through Namibia’s vast landscape, meeting locals and dining at places no person has ever dined at before. Arriving into Walvis Bay, Namibia travellers will be met by Dean and make their way to the NamibRand Nature Reserve – just 430 kilometres (an approximate six-hour drive) from Walvis Bay. Along the way, Dean’s passion for Africa and bush fire cuisine will see guests enjoy entertaining stories around the campfire, while dining on delicious dishes such as thick rump steaks cooked on mopani wood kindling, freshly caught bream and traditional sadza and stew. The expedition-style journey then ends with grand finale in Wolwedans Dune Lodge in the Namib Desert – the oldest desert on the planet, one of the most remote areas on earth and Africa’s first and only International Dark Sky Reserve. During their three-night stay, guests can enjoy guided nature walks and safari drives, scenic drives into the dunes, or take a hot air balloon flight over the landscape.
HOW: Rates for the five-night Namibia Safari Butler Road Trip with Mavros Safaris starts from £5,777 per person based on two people travelling. This includes return flights from London to Walvis Bay, accommodation on a full-board basis at Wolwedans Dune Lodge and all transport with Dean. For enquiries please call +442038246000 or www.mavrossafaris.com
BRING A TASTE OF SAFARI HOME
Leading conservation brand Singita launches its first cookbook to celebrate the brand’s gourmet evolution and how food has positively impacted the lives of Singita staff and the local community through its favourite recipes.
Since its conception, leading conservation brand Singita has strived to redefine the African culinary scene and following an overhaul of their gourmet offerings, the team have completely redeveloped their approach to dining on safari. With the introduction of interactive kitchens, many of the South African lodges now offer cooking demonstrations with the chefs and a constantly changing tapas sharing menu of dishes, which celebrate the produce of the area and offer a more informal dining experience. Singita places great emphasis on supporting adjacent local communities when it comes to sourcing produce to create a sustainable farm-to-table concept. This year, to celebrate Singita’s journey and continuing commitment to food, Singita presents its first-ever cookbook – Singita: Our Food Journey. The 274-page coffee table style cookbook showcases traditional and contemporary African inspired recipes, and aims to bring the taste of safari home, allowing guests to recreate the exceptional food experience at each of their twelve award-winning lodges and camps across five regions in Africa. Signature dishes in the book include Tanzanian specialities like futari (sweet potato, butternut and coconut stew) to South African classics like malva pudding, and Zambezi beer-battered bream inspired by the catch of the day at Singita Pamushana Lodge in Zimbabwe.
All profits from the sales of the cookbook will go towards supporting the Singita Community Culinary School in South Africa and the Singita Serengeti School of Cooking in Tanzania. These programmes work to support and develop the next generation of Singita chefs who reside in the neighbouring communities to Singita Kruger National and Singita Grumeti fulfilling a local need for career opportunities and education.
HOW: Rates at Singita Lebombo start from £1,742 per night inclusive of Rates includes full-board basis, twice daily Land Rover safaris and return road transfers between the airstrip and lodge. www.singita.com
DINE WITH ENDANGERED ROTHSCHILD’S GIRAFFE AND SAMBURU WARRIORS IN THE SAMBURU WITH THE SAFARI COLLECTION
The Safari Collection offers once-in-a-lifetime gourmet experiences across Kenya including afternoon tea with Giraffes, sundowners with Samburu warriors and picnics atop Mount Kenya.
Founded and operated by fourth-generation Kenyans, Tanya and Mikey Carr-Hartley, The Safari Collection portfolio consists of four of Kenya’s most boutique luxury lodges, each selected for their individuality. The lodges create a circuit from Samburu in the north through to the foothills of Mount Kenya, into the heart of the Masai Mara and to Nairobi. Each property offers a unique gourmet experience which is individual to its location and those that inhabit it. At the renowned Giraffe Manor, guests are invited to enjoy afternoon tea where they can enjoy a delicious spread of sandwiches and as they watch Rothschild’s Giraffe saunter to the manor, making for an extraordinary golden hour tea experience. For those in search of a stronger tipple, the property has a dedicated gin bar which serves up artisanal Musgrave Gin with signature flavours of cardamom, African ginger and grains and other African spice routes. Further North, situated on the banks of the Ewaso Nyiro River, Sasaab Lodge offers a once-in-a-lifetime sundowner experience atop Sundowner Rock, led by a member of the Samburu tribe. Here, guests can soak up panoramic views of the expansive arid landscape of the Northern Frontier District, whilst your guide builds a fire to serve up local delicacies delicious refreshments alongside tasty nibbles.
HOW: Rate at Giraffe Manor start from £475, at Sasaab Lodge start from £575 on an all-inclusive basis and per person.https://www.thesafaricollection.com/
A GOURMET SAFARI FOR FOODIES ON THE BANKS OF THE ZAMBEZI AT MATESTI VICTORIA FALLS
Discover a uniquely Zimbabwean menu, inspired by the property’s location on the Zambezi River, including: crocodile ceviche, carrot risotto and smoked brisket with parsley champagne jellyExperiences include: an early morning, pre-game-drive breakfast delivered through each suite’s butler hatch, a mobile ‘Gin Bike’ set up in the bush to accompany game drives and wine-tasting an incredible section of labels in the private wine cellar with a sommelier
Just 45 minutes from the iconic Victoria Falls, Matetsi Victoria Falls is a beautifully designed lodge located on a private 17km stretch of the Zambezi, where dining is a critical component of the safari experience. Each dining experience is carefully thought out by the Zimbabwean Executive Chef, Shane Ellis. Before heading off on an early morning safari, coffee and light snacks are delivered discretely through each suite’s very own ‘butler hatch’. Game drives are a gourmet affair with a surprise visit from a gin connoisseur who delivers snacks and tipples on his pop-up bike direct to the bush. All of the gins served are sourced from South Africa’s impressive craft gin scene. Included in this selection are Inverroche, a spirit made from fynbos botanicals found deep in the Cape Floral Kingdom and Cruxland Gin, which is formulated on a grape base mixed with Kalhari truffles grown in the Namibian desert. Lunch is to be enjoyed on the banks of the Zambezi river, with starters including crocodile ceviche served with harissa mayo, before a vegetarian main course option of carrot risotto with lemon basil oil. Guests’ evening game drives within the Matetsi Private Game Reserve will then end with a sundowner and begin the night time meal. Following this, guests can choose between freshening up in their suites or enjoying a cocktail or glass of wine as they enjoy views over the 55,000-acres. Should they choose a bush dinner, guests’ evenings will end their days with a chandelier- lit bush dinner, lit up by a collection of hurricane lanterns hung from a nearby Acacia tree. Other evening gourmet highlights served at Matetsi Victoria Falls include locally sourced Zambezi Bream, venison with sadza and peanut butter rice paying homage to authentic Zimbabwean cuisine.
HOW: Matetsi Victoria Falls rates start from US$776 (approx. £605) per night, per guest on an all-inclusive basis. Rates include accommodation, meals, house selection of non- alcoholic and alcoholic beverages in the lodge and on safari activities, laundry, safari activities, including game drives, birdwatching, a boat cruise on the Zambezi River, canoeing, and amateur fishing. https://matetsivictoriafalls.com/