Food on a safari holiday should be a real highlight. You can enjoy private breakfasts in the heart of the African wilderness, dine out under the stars and eat from the brai around camp fires. Many of our camps and lodges offer delicious ‘a la carte’ menus, others ask for your preferences before arrival so they can ensure you enjoy everything they prepare. Most have terraces that overlook rivers or water holes, or private verandas where you can have an intimate, romantic meal.
Real Africa has always understood the importance of good food. This is one reason why we’ve donated to the only cookery school in Kenya dedicated to training local Masai as chefs capable of running the kitchens of lodges and camps in the reserve.
We also like our clients to try some of the local specialties and delicacies, as much a part of Africa as the animals and birds. Some things however we don’t serve as standard. They are a little to exotic for the menu but are available for the intrepid (and very hungry).
– Mopane worms. Botswana. These grubs are a popular delicacy in Southern Africa and get their name because they feed on the leaves of the wild mopani or mopane trees. They are the caterpillars of the Emperor moth. They are hand-picked in the wild before their innards removed they are dried. These can be eaten raw as a quick snack or soaked and boiled to rehydrate, before frying until crunchy or cooking with onion, tomatoes and spices and serving with sadza. Delicious.
– Termites. A bit crunchy. Have a toothpick handy.
– Ostrich egg omelette. Plenty to go around…
– Biltong – sun-dried meat from various animals that can be very chewy if you get a bad bit.
– Cattle blood. Kenya. An artery is nicked, blood spurts into a gourd and it is drunk hot before it congeals. An important food source for the young herdsmen in the wastes of Norhtern Kenya that gives they sustinence without hurting their cattle.
– Tera Sega. Raw meat. Ethiopia. The ethiopians used to like their meat fresh and would slice it from a still living animal.
– Giant bullfrog. Namibia. Move over the French, these have decent sized legs.
– Nsenene (Grasshoppers) Uganda
– Supu, Tanzania. A soup made with the lungs, heart and liver of a goat, as well as the stomach, intestines and tongue of a cow.
– Mice. Zambia
– Kapenta. Malawi. These are tiny sardine-like fish; originally from Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania, which have been introduced into other African lakes, including Lake Kariba. They are usually sun-dried. The dry fish must be fried gently, otherwise it becomes bitter and smells burnt. In fact the best way to prepare them is probably to make an onion and tomato sauce and then add the fish.
– Flying ants. Zimbabwe
Image credit: Luangwa Bush Camp, Zambia, RPS