Change Location

Select your country below for local telephone numbers and guide prices

Book with confidence. Find out more
14 February 2023

For many first-time travellers to Africa, one of the worries is what the food will be like, and the biggest surprise is therefore how incredibly high the standard of fare is. The chefs at the majority of high-end safari properties produce meals that could easily rival some of the world’s top restaurants. This is all the more amazing when you consider that a camp kitchen is often relatively basic and remote, with no supermarket nearby and supplies delivered on a weekly or even monthly basis. These astounding dishes are made all the more enjoyable by the setting in which they are served – from the (albeit luxurious) familiarity of a lodge dining room to an outdoor table in the middle of the bush, dining on safari is not just for re-fuelling.

Whether a super-lavish lodge or a remote bush camp, a safari property is always carefully designed to really immerse you in the bush experience, making the most of beautiful surroundings and resident wildlife. The central mess area or dining room will have a knock-out view by day, often overlooking a waterhole, a lagoon or a vast open plain, so you don’t miss any of the local goings-on while you dine. At night the dining area will transform into an impossibly romantic restaurant, lit with flickering candles or hurricane lanterns, conjuring images of explorers from a bygone age.

~ Quick guide to the YZ top 6 lodges for a romantic dining experience ~

For all-round amazing dining experiences, we've listed our top six lodges and camps below. However, for more specific types of dining, including bush breakfasts, picnics, boma bush dinners, and exclusive dining, keep scrolling to see the full guide. 

  1. Nyasi Migrational Camp, Tanzania
  2. Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, Tanzania
  3. North Island, Seychelles
  4. Loisaba Tented Camp, Kenya
  5. Saruni Rhino, Kenya
  6. Almanara Boutique Hotel, Kenya

If you are at all interested in a romantic safari for two, don't hesitate to give us a call on ​ +1 855 225 1155 or send our experts a message here.

The best private candle-lit dinners

Candle-Lit Secluded Deck at Lion Sands, South Africa

For the ultimate in intimacy, lodges will happily arrange a private candle-lit dinner in your room or suite, or on a secluded deck – and served by your own personal waiter. Some properties go a step further, offering a sleep-out deck (such as Loisaba in Kenya) or a night in a lantern-lit treehouse (such as Lion Sands in South Africa), which includes private sundowners and a full meal, cooked on site by a private guide. Perfect for a honeymoon or anniversary trip!

Nothing quite reflects the essence of safari like true bush dining. This can range from morning coffee arranged on the front of a safari vehicle, or sundowners served in real glasses, to a full table, complete with crisp white tablecloth, fine crockery and silver cutlery, all transported into the middle of nowhere for a unique and unforgettable meal.

Where to go for a surprise bush breakfast

A Bush Breakfast, Africa

At Ol Donyo Lodge in Kenya, surprise bush breakfasts are set up under the shade of a huge and picturesque acacia tree, complete with dangling weaver nests and set in the waving grass of the surrounding plains. A full-cooked breakfast is available, made to order by the mobile kitchen… and you can even arrive on horseback! At Jack’s Camp in Botswana, guests are provided with an explorer-style tiffin tin, filled with breakfast treats – cereal, hard-boiled eggs and the most delicious savory muffins I have ever tasted. You can enjoy the whole feast whilst watching the antics of a group of habituated meerkats.

Our recommendations for bush picnics

A Bush Picnic in the Okavango Delta, Botswana

At Abu Camp in Botswana, we used to create a full bush picnic experience on the edge of a wooded island in the Okavango Delta. Barbequed meat was cooked on site and accompanied by a plethora of fresh and tasty salads and relishes. After lunch, guests could snooze on the picnic blankets and cushions, enjoy a mokoro ride in the lagoon, or keep watch for the elusive Pel’s fishing owl that was sometimes spotted in the area, even during the day.

What is a ‘Boma’ bush dinner?

A Candle-Lit Boma Bush Dinner on Safari Africa

A bush dinner is a truly magical experience, which can be set in a ‘boma’ – a fenced area, traditionally used to keep out predators – on a flat, open salt pan, in the shadow of a huge, majestic baobab tree, or on the shores of a lagoon. A long table is dressed to perfection with china crockery and polished wine glasses, lit by candlelight and Africa’s vast, twinkling sky of stars. A bush dinner is usually a buffet of freshly barbequed local meats, such as kudu or impala steaks and boerewors sausages, and delicious accompaniments. You feast surrounded by the sounds of the night and with a nearby campfire and blankets to keep you warm. If you are fortunate enough to be provided with entertainment after your meal, you are in for treat. To be surrounded by a group of Maasai warriors, chanting and whooping around you in the moonlight, is a spine-tingling experience like no other.

You might be lucky enough…

Whether inside the lodge or out in the bush, some of my most memorable dining experiences have starred the local wildlife. It is common to find that many lodges have one or more resident genet – nocturnal carnivores, about the same size and shape as a domestic cat. These endearing and mischievous creatures become habituated to human contact and happily creep about their business during dinner, occasionally stopping to peer in and satisfy their curiosity, much to guests’ delight.

At Seba Camp in Botswana’s Okavango Delta, we were once lucky enough to witness a leopard slowly passing our dinner table, less than a metre away, as we ate on the camp’s main deck. It was absolutely incredible! We also had to abandon a number of lunches and wait for a curious elephant to finish checking over the table with their trunk before helping themselves or moving off. Large mangosteen trees always made for eventful lunchtimes during the fruiting season, when large groups of vervet monkeys would visit to enjoy their own lunch. It was never wise to place the buffet underneath the tree at that time of the year – we lost a few salads that way!

If you’d like more information on planning a romantic safari honeymoon to Africa, find out about our favorite luxury lodges below. Alternatively, feel free to call us on +1 855 225 1155 or send us an email at [email protected].

Why Trust Yellow Zebra with your African Safari?

"Yellow Zebra are genuine specialists; they know the African bush like the back of their hand."

Brian Jackman, safari expert for The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, Condé Nast, and the BBC

'Europe's Leading Safari Tour Operator' at the World Travel Awards

8 years in a row, since 2015

Receive news & offers from Yellow Zebra