Unique Places To Dine On Safari
If you have ever wanted to eat in an out of the ordinary setting then read on. We’ve rounded up some of the most unusual, utterly unforgettable and unique dining experiences in Africa. From lunch on a rock in the turquoise waters off the Zanzibar coast, to toasting your loved one in an ancient cave or on a train overlooking the mighty Victoria Falls… you are sure to blow your dinner guest away with an extraordinary culinary experience.
1.Dinner for two on the Tongabezi sampan, Zambia
A romantic dinner while floating on the spectacular Zambezi River, watching hippos wallowing and a brilliant pink sky, is a great one way to round off a day in the Livingstone area. If you’re planning on visiting Zambia and the incredible Victoria Falls, and you stay any of the three Tongabezi camps (each on the river bank and just upstream from the famous Victoria Falls; Tongabezi Lodge, Sindabezi Island and Tangala House), not only will you be surrounded by pristine wilderness, but will be able to experience dining on a sampan moored in the river. Even better, this unique experience is included in the rate.
2. The Rock Restaurant, Zanzibar
If you’re looking for something truly breathtaking then the Rock Restaurant is for you. Perched on a rock, surrounded by the ocean (at high tide), just off beautiful Michanvi Pingwe beach on the exotic spice island of Zanzibar, you can be sure to satisfy all your senses here. Inhale the sea air, revel in the soft pastel colours and idyllic views while tucking into beautifully prepared grilled fish and seafood or local Swahili dishes. Originally a fisherman’s post, The Rock is Zanzibar magic at its best.
3. Cavern in the Chyulu Hills, Kenya
For the ultimate romantic setting and magical atmosphere – you’ll dine below the earth’s surface with flaming torches, lanterns and local Masai – Campi Ya Kanzi’s Cave restaurant is bound to make a lasting impression. Not far from the camp, there is a huge cavern where, in the past, the Masai hid livestock they raided from the nearby Wakamba tribesmen. The cattle were kept in the cavern during the day and let out to graze at night. Today, guests can walk the 45 minutes to the entrance to the cavern, which is via huge lava tube. Once inside you’ll find a safari fire and a table set with candles for your dinner. The atmosphere is extraordinary – the lighting from the lanterns and the candles combined with the darkness of the cave contribute to a relaxing and almost spiritual experience.
4. The Royal Livingstone Express, Victoria Falls, Zambia
There’s little more magical than sipping a glass of bubbly aboard a vintage steam train while crossing the famous Victorian bridge over the Victoria Falls. For a one-of-a-kind experience, ask us to arrange an afternoon steam train trip from either the Zimbabwean or Zambian side. The Bushtracks Express offers the ultimate pre-dinner-five-star experience onto the famous bridge, constructed in 1905 by Cecil Rhodes, followed by a silver service dinner in the Palm Grove Siding.
5. A Picnic overlooking the Masai Mara, Kenya
Few things in life rival the bonhomie of sharing a picnic with friends and family, and there’s nothing like a summer picnic in the Masai Mara. Angama means ‘suspended in the air’ in Swahili, a fitting name for a safari lodge where the rooms appear to hang above the plains of the Masai Mara below. Couples staying here can live out their Out of Africa fantasies and picnic in the same spot as Meryl Streep and Robert Redford in the film.
6. The Makgadikgadi Pans, Botswana
The Makgadikgadi salt pans are situated in the middle of the dry savanna of north-eastern Botswana, and form one of the largest salt flats in the world. The pan is all that remains of the formerly enormous Lake Makgadikgadi, which once covered an area larger than Switzerland, but dried up several thousand years ago. A number of camps, such as Jack’s Camp, San Camp and Camp Kalahari, offer a dining under the stars experience
7. Beach dining Azura Benguerra, Benguerra Island, Mozambique
You never eat in the same place twice at Azura Benguerra. Dining is all part of the experience, from breakfast at the water’s edge and picnics on a remote sand spit, to dining on a candle-lit beach beneath the stars and romantic private dinners at your villa. The Mozambique hosts take huge pride in their innovative dining set-ups and little touches to make your stay special.
8. Namib desert, Namibia
Deep in the heart of Namibia’s ancient Namib Desert in Southern Africa, Sossusvlei Desert Lodge is a secluded and serene oasis overlooking awe-inspiring dunes and stony outcrops. A world of vast spaces, endless horizons and rugged mountain heights, the utter tranquillity and extraordinary clarity of light make this area one of Africa’s most compelling landscapes. Guests dine by the light of lanterns and are served exquisite meals complimented by a fine selection of wines from an impressive walk-in wine cellar. An enormous al fresco terrace looks out on the desert plains, and in the evening, at the floodlit waterhole where you can watch the passing parade of oryx, springbok, jackal, ground squirrel and hyena.
9. Breakfast with giraffes at Giraffe Manor, Kenya
Situated within 140 acres of indigenous forest and playing host to a resident herd of Rothschild’s giraffe, Giraffe Manor offers an incomparable experience. The building dates back to the 1930s and is modelled on a Scottish hunting lodge, creating a charming yet luxurious spot where animal lovers can enjoy interacting with giraffe and exploring the forest. You find the friendly giraffes in the most unexpected of places; the breakfast table or your room window, vying for your attention and checking out what’s on your plate.
10. The Barranco Breakfast Wall, Kilimanjaro Climb, Tanzania
The Barranco Wall on Mt Kilimanjaro is encountered early on day four for climbers on the Machame Route, or day five on the Lemosho Route. It looks more ominous than it actually is and you don’t need technical climbing skills to be able to scale it. At an elevation of 4,207 meters above sea level, there are great views over the landscape and out towards Mount Meru. Often referred to as the ‘Barranco breakfast wall’ as it has to be scaled before breakfast, Summits Africa carry a breakfast table to the top so you get the best views of Africa from this mountain-side setting.
If you’ve got this far and not found an answer to a question you have that we should have included, please ask in the comments section below, or pop us an email. We’ll be sure to reply and may amend the article to include our answer.
We would be delighted to help you plan a holiday, or answer any questions if you’re at an earlier stage. Our team of experts have travelled widely throughout Africa. They can offer expert advice on every type of safari from family and beach holidays to riding and primate safaris. If you would like to talk to someone who has been there and done it, please just send us an email or give us a call.
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