FOOD and DINING
We want to say that you will definitely eat well at any level of trip we plan for you. First, we can give you an overview of what to expect in Tanzania, and it’s mainly European and Indian in nature. Breakfasts are usually buffet “british” breakfasts, with maybe an omelet station, potatoes, bacon/sausage, toast, cereals, etc. Lunch is a hot meal or if on the road – cold chicken, yogurt, juice, hard boiled eggs, raw veggies, some kind of baked cake/cookie. Dinner is meat, potatoes/rice and veggie. We make great soups here and that will be your starter. Dessert is hit and miss.
Don’t look for American food… no hamburgers, and fries are home cut fresh fried – when you get them. Some lodges have ice cream, but be careful on the road, as unpasteurized milk has been known to cause GI sickness. Also, remember that food is trucked into the tented camps, so it is ‘budgeted’. If he is one who eats two or three helpings, you are going to need to supplement it with store items.
On safari: Eating and drinking
Most safaris in Kenya and Tanzania are full board, which means that breakfast, lunch and dinner are included. Lodges and tented camps have restaurants serving these meals. There are also picnic lunches, usually on for example full day game drives, when returning to the lodge for lunch is not convenient. Camping safaris, which are more basic safaris than lodge or tented camp safaris, may have a cook, or the group may be expected to take part in preparing meals, this is something we discuss when preparing/planing an itinerary in advance.
Meals in lodges and tented camps
The meals are served in a restaurant, dining-hall or dining-tent, depending on the lodge or tented camp where you’re staying. The meals are often served in form of buffets, where you can choose what to eat from a number of dishes. There are always hot dishes available for main course. Some lodges and camps serve à la carte.
The cooking is usually international, but Indian influences and barbeques are common. You may also find some local dishes, for example ugali, a stiff porridge made from maize or cassava usually served with a fish, meat or vegetable sauce. If game such as wildebeest or impala is served, it’s usually meat from a farm. The local fruit is excellent; try the pineapple, mango and papaya.
You shouldn’t expect a safari to be a culinary tour, especially not as you should limit yourself to eating safe food, to avoid stomach problems. If you stay in exclusive lodges or tented camps, you can expect more from the kitchens.
Coffee and tea is usually included, but whatever you drink with your meal is not. Drinks are ordered and paid at the table; you may pay cash or sign the bill, to be paid when later checking out.
Some lunches may be had in form of picnics in the bush, either in a dedicated picnic site, where tables and toilets may be available, or just in some nice spot found along the route. It’s a nice setting for a meal, but it has one drawback: it’s a cold meal, which isn’t good from a food safety point of view. Be careful to avoid picnic food that may cause stomach problems. Sandwiches are mostly OK, as are hard-boiled eggs, fruit, chocolate, yogurt etc.
Vegetarian and special food
There is usually no problem for safari-goers who want vegetarian food or want to avoid certain ingredients, for example because of food allergies. When meals are served in form of buffets, you may choose yourself what to eat. The staff is available to help you identify the ingredients that have been used. Where meals are served à la carte, vegetarian options are available, and the staff is usually very responsive to any requests regarding your dishes.
Picnic lunches are arranged by your driver guide. You should tell him at the beginning of the safari that you eat vegetarian, or have other requests regarding the ingredients, allowing him to order food that’s fine with you. On safaris by air, where the lodge or camp handles game drives and other bush activities, you should instead speak to reception when checking in.
Meals on budget safaris
On budget safaris, where you stay in camping sites or bandas, the arrangements for meals may be more basic. Make sure to stick to safe food.