Food is an integral part of any holiday, and it is no different on safari. Tanda Tula has become renown for the incredibly interesting and delicious meals prepared by our talented group of chefs under the leadership of Head Chef, Ryan. Although the food is always a talking point, we know that it is as much about how you enjoy these meals as it is about what the meal is.
For anyone who has been to visit us in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve you will know we put a huge focus on connections. Connections with the environment, with other guests, with yourself and with our people. As human beings we all possess a profound craving for connections, conversations and companionship, and this yearning is often enhanced by the communal pleasure of a leisurely and delicious meal. It is because of this power of connection at meal times that we encourage everyone who visits us to sit down and enjoy a meal, be it a bush breakfast, a tasting menu or a fire side dinner, with the other guests and our team.
It is part of our history
In South Africa, food and family sharing hold a profound significance that transcends the mere act of eating. These customs are deeply ingrained in the continent’s rich and diverse cultures, and they play a pivotal role in shaping the way people connect, celebrate, and express their values.
Here’s why food and family sharing are integral to African customs and gatherings and part of the reason we uphold the traditions:
- Ubuntu Philosophy: Ubuntu, an ancient African philosophy, highlights the interconnectedness of humanity, emphasizing that our shared humanity is defined by our relationships and our willingness to care for one another. This philosophy comes to life when we share food with our family and neighbours, fostering a sense of community and solidarity.
- Cultural Diversity: South Africa is a vibrant mosaic of cultures, languages, and traditions, and food serves as a powerful means through which these diverse communities express their unique identities. From the piquant dishes of KwaZulu Natal to the flavourful stews of the Cape Malay and the essential grains of Limpopo, the cuisine of each region reflects its distinct heritage.
- Hospitality: Hospitality stands as a cornerstone of African culture, where offering food to guests symbolizes a warm and heartfelt welcome.
- Unity and Reconciliation: During times of conflict or discord, sharing a meal can serve as a potent instrument for reconciliation. It facilitates dialogue and aids in the rebuilding of trust among individuals and communities.
- Sustainability: Traditional African food systems place a strong emphasis on sustainable practices. Many dishes incorporate locally sourced, seasonal ingredients, promoting environmental responsibility and resilience in the face of changing climates.
- Storytelling: South African traditions are steeped in storytelling, and many stories and proverbs are handed down through generations during communal meals. These gatherings provide valuable opportunities to transmit cultural knowledge and wisdom.
Food and the act of sharing it with family serve a purpose beyond simply providing physical sustenance; they also nurture the soul. They act as conduits for preserving cultural traditions, fostering social unity, and strengthening the principles of togetherness, respect, and interconnectedness. These rituals serve as a reminder that, irrespective of our individual distinctions, we are all members of a broader human family, united by our essential requirements for nourishment, affection, and a sense of belonging.
Sharing a meal around a table after an exciting morning or evening safari allows guests the opportunity to tell each other about the amazing experiences they would have had on their game drives, the animal interactions, birds, sunsets, insects, well deserved gin and tonic stops. It allows them to swap stories, share newly acquired knowledge, and offer advice to fellow guests based on their own adventures.
Overall a safari experience is enhanced when shared with others on a variety of levels, from game drives to chats around the fire to bush walks to meals. But, remember sharing meals may not always be what you expect on safari, our camp is surround by the wild spaces of the Greater Kruger and your companions may occasionally be a hornbill at breakfast or elephants at lunch. We have found that they also make wonderful meal sharing buddies!