Food served in Safari camps?

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Jul 8th, 2004, 11:19 AM
  #1
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Food served in Safari camps?

I'm a bit of a picky eater and prefer things quite basic (rarely even eat fish). I'm wondering what type of dishes are normally served for dinner at the Safari camps?

I normally eat beef, chicken, pastas, salads, fruit. Do they serve exotics such as zebra, buffalo, ostrich? I'm quite nervous about offending the locals with my "simple" palate. Since many of the camps accept children, I'm hoping that they have some basic dishes. Thanx
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Jul 8th, 2004, 11:55 AM
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Hello, newyorkgolfer41. I have only been to one safari park (Mala Mala) so I am no expert but from my experience, the food was good but nothing too exotic. I stayed at Mala Mala's Kirkman's Camp. Mala Mala is the oldest but not the fanciest game reserve in South Africa. Perhaps some of the really posh parks like Singita or Londolozi serve more exotic food but from my experience the food was good and pretty simple. Lunches consisted of salads, sandwiches, meat and perhaps a hot dish. I do remember the dinners from Kirkman's which included a number of nice stews, chicken, rice, salads, etc. And you do work up an appetite out there on safari. Most of the tourists are Westerners and I think the camps take great care in making sure the food fits Western taste (with a hint of African flavor).
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Jul 8th, 2004, 12:44 PM
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Most of my experience is at Wilderness Safari camps and they have a policy of not serving game meat with the exception of ostrich. (If you haven't tried ostrich and balk at doing so, let me explain that it's one of the healthiest red meats there is, does not taste in the slightest bit gamey and is very much like the most tender beef steak available).

Their food tends to be things like lasagne, chicken broccoli bake, roast lamb and so on with a selection of side vegetables and salads as well as fresh baked bread. Starters are usually soup (which is always wonderful) or perhaps something like feta and spinach tartlets or tuna crepes.

They are also very good at dealing with allergies or preferences not to eat a particular food if you let them know in advance, for example fish/ seafood and if you are seriously worried you could ask them to prepare simple grilled meats for you and then have the veg and salads.

Jack's Camp don't offer a buffet service but also find out about guest preferences. They do serve game meat but it's meat such as springbok which I'd be hard pushed to distinguish from young and tender beef. It's usually very simply served with fresh vegetables. They also served a wonderful fresh white fish over spinach which was delicious.

The "posher" camps such as Singita may offer a much different service, I have no experience.
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Jul 8th, 2004, 01:48 PM
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My not very vast experiences with Safari camps were at Gomo Gomo and Nottens Bush Camp. The food at Gomo Gomo was standard fare, roast meats, stews, soups, etc. There was usually a fish dish as well. You could easily pick through the offerings to get something you like.
Nottens, being smaller, had less of a selection but the food was excellent. Nothing too exotic but beautifully prepared and presented.
I would stick my neck out and agree with DCtravelgirl that most camps are cooking for western taste and will steer clear of anything too odd. This was a bit disappointing for me because I do enjoy trying local fare.
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Jul 8th, 2004, 05:42 PM
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I'm also a picky eater and found that the food at our lodges (CCAfrica) was excellent. They used a lot of exotic Pan-African spices but the meat and veggies were not at all exotic with the exception of pumpkin and duck - if you can call that exotic. And when we arrived at two of the four lodges the chef actually came out to meet us and ask if we had any dietary preferences.
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Jul 8th, 2004, 05:49 PM
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Rarely will you find "game" meat on the menu. For this experience, one must go to The Carnivore in Nairobi Kenya - and what an experience. And I, allergic to all fish and seafood, and one who can be a tempermental eater, enjoyed everything put in front of me, to my great surprise.

Back to Southern Africa - you will find Continental fare just about every camp/lodge, though some places might add a bit of local traditional spices. However, if you have special diet requirements, all you have to do is advise them of this and they will do their utmost to comply.

If your preferences are beef, chicken, pasta, salads and fruits - you'll be able eat to your hearts content as there is plenty of this. So if it's "no fish" "vegetarian" "kosher" etc. just let them know way in advance and a reminder right before you depart on your trip. No Problem!
 
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Jul 9th, 2004, 08:50 PM
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I am with you newyorkgolfer. I like my food plain and simple. The Wilderness camps were too foo foo for our liking. Too many unusual types of food. I heard many people gain weight on safari, because the food is soooo good. I can tell you from a simple eater - I had the opportunity to drop a few pounds even with 5 eating events per day. Food was okay, put really tried to stock up at breakfast.
They have great oatmeal "porriage".
We actually took peanut butter with us. It was a nice basic lunch when you want something plain. Also took several packages of peanut butter crackers, etc.
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