Enjoy An African Safari Experience With World Class Cuisine

An African safari experience is one that will never be forgotten – and there is no better way to experience the wonders of Africa than at one of the premier game lodges that can be found in countries across the Southern half of the continent. Here visitors can enjoy untamed African wildlife and wide open spaces that simply have to be experienced to be believed.

These lodges have built an enviable reputation for luxury and an immersive African experience that attracts well heeled visitors from across the globe. These visitors will enjoy an experience that will remain with them for the rest of there lives – and it includes some of the best cuisine in the world.

So which lodges provide an authentic game viewing experience combined with exceptional food? Here are some of the best.

#1 Angama Mara – Kenya.


If you have ever seen the classic ‘Out of Africa’ them you will probably be familiar with the vistas that can be seen from the elevated decks of Angama Mara. This lodge on the Rift Valley Escarpment in Kenya is one of the most luxurious on the continent, consisting of 15 ultra lux tents where visitors can really get under the skin of what makes this magnificent continent tick, and the food is world class.

Inspired by ‘Out of Africa’ the menu makes use of the freshest local produce. Guests can look forward to dishes such as Swahili-spiced kuku (chicken) or fresh prawns from Kenya’s coast. The lodge will also produce exceptional picnic baskets for guests. The wine list is exemplary – with offerings from top international vineyards.

#2 Royal Malewane – South Africa.


Royal Malewane has had an enviable reputation for cuisine for many years. With eight suites each with their own private deck this ultra-lux destination is African safari at its best. The food is nothing more than the brightest and best that Africa has to offer. In the words of the head chef this is ‘sunfood’. Using the freshest of ingredients the gourmet offerings include imaginative offerings highlighting salmon, local trout and venison. This is real silver service in the bush. The lodge has received numerous accolades, including from Condé Nast Traveller for the quality of its cuisine.

#3 The Phinda Game Reserve – KZN, South Africa.


The six suites at Phinda overlook the lush green, semi tropical paradise that is Kwazulu Natal, South Africa. Here guests can be transported back in time to an age of exploration and elegance. From the comfort of their suites or their own private plunge pools visitors have birds eye view of the wonders of unspoiled, virgin bush. At the flagship Phinda Rock Lodge visitors can enjoy champagne breakfasts and a sumptuous dinner lineup including fresh local produce and some regional favorites. This is an African lodge experience that should not be missed.

An African game lodge experience is one of the most unforgettable travel experiences in the world. Combine the opportunity to immerse yourself in an authentic African safari ambiance and exquisite food and you have the recipe for memories that will last a lifetime.

Other notable mentions are Selinda Explorers Camp, Singita and Londolozi.

Homemade_Chakalaka (1)

Five Popular Traditional Foods From South Africa

South Africa is packed with rich, delicious cuisine that has been greatly influenced not only by the indigenous population but also from the French, Malaysians, Indians and Dutch this provides an exciting and vibrant cuisine that is sure to excite even the most cultured palate. From delicious barbecued food, custard filled pastries and creamy liqueurs, South African cuisine is definitely worth experiencing.

Here are five traditional South African dishes that anyone living or visiting the area should try out:

1. Boerewors

boerewors-south-african-sausage-2This is a very popular sausage dish in South Africa, it consists of either seasoned pork or beef that has been coarsely minced, there are times that it is made of minced lamb or perhaps a combination of both. It is full of spices such as black pepper, cloves, toasted coriander seeds, nutmeg and allspice. This will usually prepared outdoors grilled is the preferred cooking choice but many times it can be grilled on an electric grill or perhaps baked in an oven.

2. Potjiekos


This popular and traditional food from South Africa is a meat and vegetable based dish of the Boers, it is similar to a stew but it is far from it, it is not even prepared the same way as a stew is. It is cooked slowly in a cast iron pan over hot coals and is a fairly easy dish to prepare, even for someone who is not an expert.

3. Vetkoek


This dough is deep fried in vegetable oil, it is then stuffed with cooked ground beef, it can also be spread honey, syrup and jam. Jam and cheese make a great combination for this crispy on the outside and warm and fluffy on the inside traditional South African pastry. This traditional dish can be considered a dessert.

4. Mealie


This maize meal is generally served on the cob or turned into a delicious beer. This is a staple part of South African cuisine, it is also very inexpensive to make which is ideal for those living within a budget. This can be a sweet or savory dish, it can be made for breakfast as a sweet porridge or dinner served with meat and tomato sauce.

5. Chakalaka

Homemade_Chakalaka (1)This is traditional South African dish is a great way to be creative, it is classically a relish consisting of carrots, tomatoes, chiles, baked beans and hot curry powder. It is a staple that accompanies almost every South African meal. This can be combined with a variety of vegetables, creativity is key. It is however a must have dish with any barbecue.

These are just five of the very popular dishes that can be found in South Africa. It is however a country rich in food culture, there are so many dishes to try and many times a dish can be made in a variety of ways so one dish can be enjoyed in multiple forms. If you are visiting South Africa do not leave without taking some time to sample this delicious cuisine, I guarantee you will not leave disappointed.


Five Top South African Chefs

South African chefs are highly talented in culinary skills and can hold their own among global talent. Five talented chefs from South Africa have secured their places to take part in S. Pellegrino’s major chef competition to find the best young chef in the world. These five chefs are among ten semi-finalists chosen from the Middle East region and Africa. In the semi-final for this region 10 chefs will compete by creating a signature dish to be presented to a jury consisting of independent top chefs. The chef with the best dish, based on the Five Golden Rules of S.Pellegrino (Skills, Ingredients, Message, Genius and Beauty) will qualify to join the top twenty global finalists and head to Italy to contend for the coveted “S.Pellegrino – Best Young Chef In The World 2016” title. The Grand Finale will take place in October in Italy.

The five South African chefs are:

Andrew McKinnon

Jean-Claude Wagener

Dion Vengatass

Dean Jones

Philip Nel.

Five Top South African Chefs

DSC_08471. Chef Adriaan Maree, the new Head Chef at Roots, previously worked at “Rust en Vrede” and at the Michelin Star Hibiscus Restaurant in London under Claude Bosi, eventually joining the Forum Homini team. His cooking philosophy is to present food that is light and simple, but packed with flavor. His preferred ingredients are local and seasonal ingredients including game, such as Springbok, from the Forum Homini Game Reserve, which means that the Roots menu is often changed on a monthly basis. The first dish Adriaan learnt to cook was baked vegetables in salt crusts. He says that his love for simple food turned into amazing flavor combinations comes from the time he spent with Claude Bosi at Hibiscus.

Minette-Smith2. Chef Minette Smith is currently Head Chef at the Saxon Hotel in Johannesburg and has represented her country in several international competitions. She has worked under renowned chefs at some of South Africa’s best restaurants including the Rust en Vrede Restaurant, the Five Hundred Restaurant at The Saxon Hotel and Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient. Her passion for pastry and confectionery has earned her accolades at award ceremonies with amazing combinations such as her Ginger Beer Gel desert with yogurt crumble, compressed apple, meringue sticks, verbena custard and yogurt and apple mouse.

82883d529ec940fea23b088dac0f037c3. Chef Annemarie Steenkamp is Executive Head Chef at Burrata and Bocca in Cape Town and was a former Sous Chef at The Tasting Room, an award winning South African Restaurant. Annemarie has taken charge of the Open Door kitchen at the newly revamped River Café in Constantia Valley. Her culinary passion first led her to work for two years in the Low Wood Hotel kitchen in Windemere in England. After returning to South Africa she completed a two year diploma in culinary arts at Stellenbosch. She also spent five years as Sous Chef under Margot Jans, honing her skills at both the Common Room and the Tasting Room Restaurant (an acclaimed San Pellegrino top restaurant).

Spier-Newspaper4_0006_PJ-014. Chef Peter John Vadas was an award-winning chef in Cape Town at The Roundhouse before joining Camphors at the Vergelegen Wine Estate. Peter comes from a long line of chefs and foodlovers. His parents own and run Pembrey’s a well-known restaurant in South Africa which has been running for 21 years. Peter studied to become a chef as he always knew that was his passion. After graduating he gained international experience at restaurants in New York and London. He has a “farm-to-plate” philosophy that strives to support the local economy by purchasing his ingredients from local producers who use sustainable and ethical practices.

jan-hendrik-van-der-westhuizen5. Chef Jan van der Westhuizen, a South African Chef who owns and runs his restaurant “Jan in Nice”, has received a Michelin Star as part of the French Michelin Guide’s Awards 2016. Jan in Nice is one of 52 restaurants to be granted a Michelin Star for 2016. Chef Jan offers the French his take on favorite foods from South Africa, including biltong, mos bolletjies and other traditional South African dishes.

There are may more top chefs in South Africa who place high importance on eating well using authentic, simple fine-dining dishes that are inspired by the traditional flavors and ingredients of South Africa.


A Culinary Tour De Force – The Top 5 Restaurants In Cape Town, South Africa

A visit to Cape Town, South Africa is a delight even for the most jaded of travelers. This town (often called the Mother City) by locals is set at the foot of the famously picturesque Table Mountain in South Africa’s most Southerly Province, the Western Cape. Victorian styles architecture, a welcoming Mediterranean type climate and some of the most picturesque natural vista in the world have made Cape Town into one of the most visited cities in the world.

There’s also another very good reason to add Cape Town to a list of places to visit when you’re planning your next trip. This is the fabulous cuisine that is available from any of the world class restaurants in the city. The opportunities to enjoy food made from the freshest ingredients and prepared by some of the world’s best chefs is (at least for gourmands) is often simply too good to resist.

There are numerous fantastic dining opportunities in Cape Town, however, here are five of Cape Town’s top restaurants.

#1 The Round House.


Set above the magnificent Camps Bay Beach this 19th century hunting lodge has been re-purposed as a romantic fine dining escape. Only minutes form the city you center you could be in another country. Enjoy a world class stating menu and wines from as little as $70 (exchange rate dependent). For the best effect get there just before the sunset which paints the Atlantic ocean in every color imaginable.

#2 The Test Kitchen.


The meals created by chef Luke Dale-Roberts at this Woodstock eatery are nothing short of a sensual experience. Adding to undoubted attractions of a menu that changes but remains true to the chef’s vision are the excellent wait staff who are both expert and knowledgeable. The restaurant was named as one of the Top 50 in the world and the best in Africa in the 2015 S.Pellegrino and Aqua Panna survey.

#3 Umi.


The Asian inspired menu at Umi is a delight for both the taste buds and the eye. With dishes such as charred asparagus with yuzu truffle egg sauce and the soft shell crab taking pride of place this is a restaurant experience that should simply not be missed. Located on the Camps Bay promenade the view over the Atlantic Ocean (especially as the sun goes down) this restaurant offers exceptional cuisine and an unbeatable ambiance courtesy of that genuinely sublime view.

#4 Willoughby & Co.


This is one of the few restaurants that notoriously impatient Cape Town residents are more than happy to get in line for. This is without doubt the city’s most impressive destination for some of the best and freshest sushi in the world. Located at the world famous Victoria and Alfred Waterfront those in the know take a seat at the bar to enjoy a seafood extravaganza. there are also some African inspired sushi dishes that offer a whole new take on sushi and give it a great dollop of uniquely Cape Town flavor.

#5 De Anker.


Another mainstay of Cape Town cuisine De Anker on the V&A Waterfront seems to have been around forever – but there’s a good reason for that. This Belgian style eatery serves some of the best food in the city. Even in the harsh Cape winter this is a restaurant that will warm the cockles of every diner that enters its doors. With Belgian inspired favorites such as Fruits de Mer and soupe de poisson this is a gastronomic destination not to be missed. Try the Springbok Chateaubriand for a uniquely South African meal.

Cape Town is a paradise for those with a refined palette, as well as those with a hearty appetite. Enjoy some of the most scenic vistas in the world – and exceptional, world class food on your next visit.