Safari Cuisine: What can a foodie expect to experience?
When on safari, you will enjoy all meals from the comfort of your lodge, or a picnic out on the plains. As you may have guessed, there are no other restaurants nearby, and unless you want to "be" dinner, it's best not go exploring to another hotel.
Safari camps each have their own spin on what their guest's food experience should be like -- will it feel like glamorous cook-by-the-fire camping, or instead showcase 5 star dishes that could hold their own in any major city? How much of an emphasis will there be on the local region's cuisine? I walked away from my 2 experiences with completely different, yet equally delicious, foodie experiences.
A focus on local flavors at Lamai Serengeti:
Lamai Serengeti emphasizes the communal element of dining, and connecting with other travelers over a shared meal. So, it went like this: dinner was served at “x time” for the entire lodge (imagine the good ol' days when your mom rang the dinner bell), and then all the guests gathered at an exceptionally large table. We met some travelers who lived on the other side of the world, and others who lived a few streets down from us in NYC. That's one of the parts of travel that always takes me by surprise -- when you have an experience that shows you how big the world can be, or how small and interconnected it already is. Anyways, I digress. To simplify matters, let's just say I made a few new Facebook friends. Back to the food experience!
As a guest at Lamai, you put your foodie-faith in the chefs from the very beginning. I never actually saw a menu. I told the hotel staff ahead of time of my dietary restrictions, and after that every meal was a surprise! The cooks made dishes reflective of the traditional cuisine and it felt like a family serving us dinner.
Breakfast and lunch were not served communal style. We chose to have breakfast one morning on safari, as well as lunch another day. It takes a little getting used to eating out in the wild where you could also become lunch (I constantly scanned the plains around us), but the guides never put us in harm’s way, and most importantly, the food was delicious! We enjoyed cous-cous, cucumber/tomato salads, and locally baked bread (similar to naan). Don't miss the opportunity to picnic in the Serengeti!
5 Star Food at Faru Faru:
Singita Faru Faru offered more of a fine-dining-meets-campfire food experience. Is that even possible, you ask? Yes, it is. I don’t know how, but somehow the chefs accomplished it here, and the lodge provided a personalized menu every day for each guest. Every meal was 10/10 stars. When we arrived we were greeted with a feast on the outdoor patio overlooking a waterhole (the zebras and monkeys also joined us for lunch). We enjoyed tuna and veggie kabobs, fresh squeezed juices, and the most elegant quesadillas, filled with fresh vegetables.
For dinner we feasted on fancy lobster rolls, and an eggplant soup that still makes my mouth water when I think about it. Did I just say eggplant soup?! I'll admit that one also made me think twice. I love eggplant (obsessed). And I love soup. However, I had never heard of this combination. Now I'm sold, and by the end I was licking the bowl.
Additionally, the hotel staff made sure we had snacks before and after a game ride. The snack trays will make your mouth water! Go ahead -- take a few sandwiches for the road, or pop a donut in your bag for a safari sweet snack. To put it simply, no matter where you fall on the foodie spectrum, I promise Faru Faru will hit it out of the park!
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