SAFARI LODGES AT PHINDA, SOUTH AFRICA
- EATTV Jul 12, 2007 09:53 AM
I have an opportunity to go to Phinda in late August. Anybody been? What are the food and cooking oppportunities?
I have asked my mother, who is a game lodge old hand, what she thinks. She says that from a food perspective, forget Phinda and go to any of the Singita lodges. The food is significantly better, and what one would EXPECT from a five-star experience in the veldt, which is what CC Africa is charging and promising to deliver.
I don't know how much research you've done, but I am uncertain what you mean by cooking opportunities. The CC Africa lodges are all highly luxurious boutique hotels in the middle of the veldt, where one typically has a separate cottage/suite, morning and evening game drives, your own butler at meals, etc. There is no self-catering options, and certainly no food shops (any shops!) where they are - their remoteness is part of the charm.
While not as experienced as my mother, I have been lucky enough to go to about three or four of the CC Africa lodges - including phinda - and had a simply marvellous time. The food as my mother said isn't the highlight - it's not very sophisticated, and eating grilled meat with the same old salad outdoors gets a bit boring after a while - but it's not terrible food by any means.
I would heartily reccommend it to anyone who can afford to go; the sheer magnificence of the landscape, and getting within metres of some of South Africa's most beautiful animals is an experience I feel privileged to have had. All I'm saying is, if you can choose where to go, on the basis of food, I'd reccommend Singita over Phinda.
Which of the Phinda camps are you considering?
Sorry I've taken so long to respond. Just got back from very hot and humid Italy by way of Philadelphia. We're off to Phinda Forrest, Rock and Mountain next week on a culinary safari witha celebrity Chef. We hope to have the Lodge experience as well as investigating some local ways. After that we head for Cape Town. Any fun foods notes there to share? Also, do you think an antimalarial is advised this time of year?
I'll look at my notes to see which of the Phinda lodges I visited. All were nice, but some were lovelier than others!
I'm not sure what you mean by 'local ways' - are you road tripping outside of the parks? Because in the parks, the lodges are the only human-inhabited places - and thus the only places to eat.
I suggest you contact the lodge and ask their opinion about anti-malarials; I'm Cape Town based, so I cannot advise.
Regarding Cape food suggestions, look at this board. There have been several discussions recently with suggestions. If you have more specific needs or questions not covered by recent posts, ask away!
Gosh, I have, actually! I once went as part of a foreign student orientation program I was assisting with. This was porably 2003/4. Um, from what I remember - lots and lots of meat. Different types - crocodile, springbok, all the usual 'exotics'. The resto was a bit dark and poky, if I recall. Honestly, if you want to try as many different African meats as possible in one go, I'd go to Moyo at Spier if I was you - ambiance is much nicer. If you're not particularly interested in meat, you shouldn't go to either. Because they do meat well, but not much else.