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While wildlife is the highlight of every safari adventure, food plays an essential part in the overall experience, especially for food lovers.
So, when planning your next safari holiday, look for a destination where you can immerse in the local culture through its delectable cuisines. If you’re looking for ideas, refer below for the best safaris around the world for foodies.
The Best Safaris Around the World for Foodies
1. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Serengeti is Tanzania’s oldest national park and is also the most popular destination for a safari.
The vast national park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to abundant wildlife, including leopards, giraffes, buffalos, lions, and elephants.
A safari in Serengeti is nothing short of a magical experience. And if you’re a foodie, you’ll find many great restaurants to visit during your safari.
Although restaurants in the Serengeti National Park are few and far between, you will find plenty of options to indulge in a delectable sit-down meal.
Several lodges within the park have on-site restaurants serving international and local delicacies.
For instance, the restaurant in Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge specialises in buffet-style meals featuring traditional Tanzanian fare like ugali, a maise dish with a porridge-like consistency.
Most safari tour operators provide boxed lunches to travellers, which they can enjoy picnic-style during their adventure at the Serengeti National Park.
Usually, these consist of sandwiches with drinks and alcoholic beverages.
If you want to experience fine dining during your safari in Serengeti, dine at one of the restaurants of the Four Seasons Lodge, such as the Boma Grill, where guests sit around an open-air fire pit while feasting on African dishes.
2. Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
Rwanda is another popular destination for an African safari, especially if you want to see gorillas in the wild. Planning your trip should be easy since many companies offer excellent gorilla trekking experiences in Rwanda, with the Volcanoes National Park being the best place for seeing mountain gorillas. It is where American primatologist Dian Fossey conducted her extensive study of mountain gorillas.
Aside from mountain gorillas, you could also see several other wildlife when trekking the lush jungles of Volcanoes National Park. The park is also a habitat for golden monkeys, buffalo, elephants, and smaller animals like side-striped jackals and bushpigs.
Foodies who want to discover Rwanda’s local dining scene will find excellent restaurants in Kigali, the country’s capital city. It’s worth spending a day or two in the city before you venture into the lush jungles of Rwanda for gorilla trekking. The Repub Lounge is the best place in Kigali for Rwandan delicacies, such as sambaza, a small fried fish derived from Lake Kivu. Another dish to try is matoke, a traditional stew made of green banana.
3. Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve is another fantastic destination for an African safari. Its vast open plains provide sanctuary for almost a hundred species of mammals, including the celebrated big cats like leopards, lions, and cheetahs. You can also expect to see zebras, giraffes, buffalos, elephants, and more.
Although the animals are the highlight of your safari in Maasai Mara, the food is another thing to look forward to on your safari. The lodges and camps at the Maasai Mara have restaurants serving delectable cuisines, from multi-course fine dining meals to more casual bush barbeque dishes. They can also prepare meals to be eaten picnic-style during your safari adventure.
Those who want to try local dishes should head to Nairobi, where you will find plenty of excellent local restaurants. Ugali is a staple of Kenyan cuisine. It’s a starchy dish made with yellow or white cornmeal and other seasonings and spices. Another dish worth a try is Githeri, a comforting stew popular in various parts of Africa and made of potatoes, red beans, onion, meat, and corn.
4. Ranthambore National Park, India
India is best known for its delicious dishes loved by people from all walks of life. What many are not aware of is that India is also an ideal destination for a wildlife safari. So, if you’re a food lover wanting to discover wildlife, India is the perfect place.
To make the most of your holiday, book some luxury tours around India, an ideal option for those who want to explore more of the country and discover its diverse cuisines.
Ranthambore National Park is India’s top destination for wildlife safari. It’s in the arid hills of north India in the Rajasthan state. Tigers are the park’s biggest draw, and you will have a relatively high probability of seeing these big cats in Ranthambore.
After your safari adventure, take the time to discover Rajasthan’s local cuisine on a food tour. The most popular place for a foodie adventure in Rajasthan is in the streets of Udaipur, a picturesque lake city renowned for its lavish palaces and royal residences. During your food tour, you will sample delectable local dishes like kachori, a sweet and spicy fried snack, gol gappa, crispy water balls, and jalebi, a pretzel-shaped dough immersed in sugar syrup.
5. Pilanesberg National Park, South Africa
Pilanesberg National Park is a vast reserve in South Africa and is one of the world’s most popular destinations for a wildlife safari. It is famous for offering an excellent game viewing experience, with common sightings of elephants and white rhinos, alongside a good selection of antelope. Pilanesberg is only a two hours’ drive from the charming city of Johannesburg. The vibrant cosmopolitan city has a thriving food scene, winning the hearts of foodies worldwide.
Johannesburg is an ideal base for your safari in Pilanesberg National Park. The city is home to excellent hotels and restaurants serving mouth-watering local dishes. Notable cuisines include umleqwa, a chicken stew and boerewors, a sausage made of beef meat.
The best place to immerse in the local food scene is at the weekend food markets of Johannesburg, such as the Fourways Farmers Market, which has a long line of food stalls selling tasty treats every Sunday. You can also visit the Neighbourgoods Market, which takes place every Saturday, and where you can shop for home-cured meats, local cheeses, craft beer, and more.