First time safari goers are always amazed at the quality and variety of food on offer at the camps and lodges in Africa. Some people just can’t imagine how the chefs manage to prepare such wonderfully fresh and beautifully presented food in the middle of the bush – especially at the more remote camps where the logistics include light air craft flights, boat transfers or long 4×4 drives. There is no online shopping, no supermarkets or corner shops to pop into when you have forgotten an ingredient. The camps need to be imaginative and organised when planning their safari meals. The menus are planned well in advance and the chefs will also make use of seasonal ingredients. Some of the camps even have their own herb and vegetable gardens where they grow whatever they can. Despite these difficulties you will be surprised at how accommodating the chefs are when it comes to preparing meals for special diets. You will also be suitably impressed at how calm and laid back the chefs are – making the most of their basic kitchens while maintaining a good sense of humour.
Some of the camps have outside dining areas where the meals are prepared on large skillet sin front of you. On a mobile camping adventure you will be accompanied by a chef who will work magic on a campfire and prepare delicious bread in a make shift oven beneath the ground. Another challenge the chef’s face is keeping the supplies safe from hungry and mischievous animals like monkeys and even elephants that use their trunks to sniff through the kitchen shelves. Even hyenas chance their luck – dashing through the camp with a cabbage or a bunch of carrots clenched between his teeth! All these challenges aside, the chefs do an amazing job at keeping their cool – preparing sublime dishes and sumptuous treats in very basic kitchens. So the next time you are on safari don’t forget to compliment the chef, it will be much appreciated.
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