The food that you eat on holiday can be the highlight of a trip, the presentation of the dishes worthy of a hundred photos, and the tastes of the different ingredients a happy memory long after you have returned home. But, when you are heading out into the African wilderness, far from human civilisation, supermarkets and restaurants with Michelin-starred chefs, what can you expect? How can the food possibly compete with a tour of Tuscany or the south of France? Well, if you treat yourself to a gourmet safari, the finest ingredients and chefs with a flair for imaginative cuisine will be perpetually at your disposal. The meals you eat here - fine foods in extraordinary locations - will be something you never forget.
Cooking world class cuisine in the heart of Africa demands a particular skill set and effort: fresh ingredients, fine wines and luxury goods have to be flown in specially by light aircraft; vegetable and herb gardens have to be carefully managed and lovingly tended; and everything from home baked bread and cakes to delicious salads and canapés have to be prepared completely from scratch. If you forget to order a key ingredient, there is no chance of nipping out to the shops!
Your dining experience on safari is as much about the unique locations as the flavours: the remarkable sensory experiences are completely indivisible. You can start your day as the sun climbs into the sky, the early morning light falling on your breakfast table as you inhale the fragrant scent of fresh, dark coffee and admire the view. Imagine what this must taste like. With the perfume of freshly baked bread and pastries wafting through the camp, your mouth will certainly be watering and your stomach rumbling, waiting for that first, delicious bite. But if what you really feel like is a complete cooked breakfast, with smoked rashers of organic bacon and your eggs cooked to perfection, your expert chef will surely be able to magic that up for you too.
Later in the day, how about enjoying a gourmet picnic in the bush? On command, your table will appear, set with immaculate white linens and a truly succulent spread to sustain you throughout the day. Later on, when dusk falls and the animals are at their watering holes, you should treat yourself to a drink too. Our experienced safari guides know the perfect spots to stop for a cold, crisp gin and tonic or a glass of fine wine, and you can sit back, relax and enjoy your splendidly isolated surroundings as they bring round exquisite canapés. Trust us, this is just what you need at the end of a long, hard day of wildlife watching!
Come nightfall when you return to your lodge or camp, a superb dinner will be ready and waiting. You might opt for a laid-back barbecue and a local beer or two, but there is the possibility of more sophisticated dining options too. South Africa in particular is famed for its wineries and Garden Route, the lush stretch of coastline running between Heidelberg and Storms River Village, and it has given birth to some of the finest restaurants in Africa. The continent’s leading chefs do their best to outdo each other with the quality of their ingredients (the fruit and vegetables are sublime), their delicious cuts of meat and locally produced cheeses. The competition drives culinary innovation and creativity, and the country’s sommeliers are spoilt for choice when recommending wines from the Cape for your meal.