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Food during an IBEX Tours Safari in Tanzania

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Meals While on Safari in Tanzania

Breakfast in the dining tent - Mobile Tented Camp Serengeti
Breakfast in the dining tent - Mobile Tented Camp Serengeti

Due to the influence of European cultures, western food is available at all the camps and lodges we use. Meals, while on safari, consist of full American breakfasts, complete with eggs cooked to order but often with the addition of link sausage baked beans and a slice of fried tomato. This is complemented with toast, butter, jam, marmalade and Marmite (my favorite) several kinds of fruit, yogurt, and cereals. Lunch is frequently a buffet of pastas, salads, one or two meat dishes, cooked vegetables and cake, pie or custard for desert. Dinner is often served in a somewhat British style, beginning with soup, followed by a roast of lamb, beef or pork, potatoes or rice and two or three vegetables. Dessert is usually a selection of two or three sweet items and/or fruit salad. Once or twice during our safari we may have the choice of two or three kinds of curries and at some time we may have a traditional African meal.

Breakfast buffet at Mobile Tented Camp Serengeti
Breakfast buffet at Mobile Tented Camp Serengeti

There are plenty of items to choose from in order to quench your thirst. Bottled water is available, in addition to coffee and tea (both grown in East Africa). There is usually a selection of juices in the morning and a wide choice of bottled drinks at each destination. Many kinds of liquor, (including many U.S. brands), several varieties of wine, (much of it brought up from South Africa) and several kinds of beer (Tanzania brands include Ndovu, Kilimanjaro, Safari Lager, and Serengeti) are available. There are a few national specialties such as Kenya Cane (resembles an un-aged rum), Kenya Gold (a coffee liquor), papaya wine, Konyagi (a kind of Tanzanian brandy) and a banana brandy (pombe mandizi).

Traditional Meals

East African eating habits are simple and to the point. Most agricultural people have a dish similar to the Kikuyu dish, irio, which is made from corn (maize), beans or dried chick peas and potatoes, all mashed and cooked together. Ugali is the Swahili name for the stiff corn meal mush that forms the foundation for meals throughout most of East Africa. Matoke is another staple made by slowly cooking plantain bananas. Matoke is often served with a groundnut (similar to our peanuts) sauce. Githeri is another corn and bean dish and there is a vegetable dish (similar to turnip greens) called sukhuma wiki, "push the week". At one or more camps we will probably be served a "traditional meal". It's best to get the guides to show us how to eat it in the traditional way, using only the right hand.


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