© Monique de Caro / Garonga

What are the key ingredients to an exceptional dining experience while on safari in South Africa?

When thinking of destinations that food lovers are likely to flock, South Africa might not immediately spring to mind. However, with a rich multi-cultural heritage that is captured in fine offerings and a growing commitment to using local produce, South Africa deserves a little foodie recognition!

While on safari in South Africa and staying at luxury lodges, camps and guest houses, you can count on delicious local ingredients being transformed into meals brilliantly plated and served in stunning wilderness settings with a warm hospitality that the country is known for.

So, what can you expect from your South African safari dining experience? Read on to find out:

The table

Seeing a beautifully laid table gives a good first impression and the feeling that the meal should follow suit. Elements of the bush are often brought onto the table as thoughtful decorations that remind you where you are.

© Garonga

Meal times at a luxury safari camp like Garonga are a chance for guests to gather together, share the highlights of the day and delve into gourmet offerings. Of course, private dinners for you and your special someone can be arranged in an exclusive spot away from the hubbub of the other guests.

© Garonga

Shining cutlery and crockery that speaks to a modern, creative African ethos is part of dining in a South Africa bush setting. For the cooler evenings, each guest can turn around to grab a locally-made blanket from the back of their chair for some warmth.

The ambience

Throughout your safari experience, from breakfast through to dinner, you are meant to feel immersed in the South African wilderness. Meals may be served near watering holes for some added wildlife entertainment, on decks with spectacular views of the bush or indoors on a cold evening.

© Garonga

If that is not immersive enough for you, some camps may set you up in the middle of the bush, although far enough away from any danger of roaming wildlife. Nature’s effortless beauty is complimented by the warm glow of lanterns on the table and other special touches that show attention to detail every time you sit down for a meal.

© Garonga

At the end of dinner, the nocturnal sounds of the bush may be broken for a short while by some form of cultural performance from the staff or local community group. This is a special time to engage with some of the people that make South Africa a wonderful and welcoming place to visit.

The food

South Africans love food and this is exemplified in the cuisine served up at luxury accommodation like umSisi House. Servings of meat, both domestic and game, is always of a high quality, which is complimented by fresh, homegrown vegetables, fruit and other produce in meals.

© umSisi House

You can expect diverse offerings and abundant flavours in the food that is placed before you. Try traditional South African foods, delight in a fusion of various cultural eating customs or a combination of the traditional with a modern flair.

© umSisi House

The quietness that falls over the table while everyone tucks into their food is a sure-fire way to know that everyone is thoroughly enjoying their meal.

Now that you know what to expect, when will you be seated around the table relishing safari dining in South Africa?

Feature image courtesy of Monique de Caro for Garonga.