An African Culinary, Wildlife and Fly-in Safari Adventure with le Calabash

On this incredible trip, you will embark on a Culinary and Wildlife experience second to none with two award-winning chefs, Alison and Sidney.

Discover the breath-taking beauty of Cape Town, visit some of the finest wine estates in Stellenbosch, Franschoek and enjoy traditional Cape Malay Cuisine. Experience hands on cooking classes in our new kitchen on the award winning ‘Zevenwacht Wine Estate’ near Cape Town. Home to soaring Table Mountain, golden beaches and bountiful vineyards, Cape Town is sure to capture your heart.

table-mountain-panaorama-dsc09322-edited

We fly into the wonder of Namibia where we stay at prime wildlife locations at some of the world’s finest game reserves where we will enjoy game drives and have the opportunity to see many of Africa’s incredible animals including, The Big Five. You will track cheetah on foot, cook under the African stars with local chefs and meet local tribes. You will be staying in luxurious lodge accommodation.

If you are eager for an even deeper and exhilarating experience, come on our extended trip and enjoy the additional Fly-In Safari that focuses on the Namib Desert, one of the oldest deserts in the world. This scenic flight in Namibia guarantees to be one of the highlights of your trip ! No part of the desert is more stunning than Sossusvlei, with its monumentally high dunes, their sinuous crests and warm colours changing as the day waxes and wanes. You will be mesmerised by the incredible views.

An African Culinary Adventure

IMG_0304.JPG

This was our first le Calabash ‘An African Culinary Adventure’ group and since then we have taken nine groups on this adventure to Cape Town? South Africa and Namibia, where we Cook with Local Chefs, over the coals and under the African Stars. We visit the world’s most natural Game Reserve, Etosha, track Cheetah on foot and enjoy the local culture and culinary offering. All four adventures to Africa are fully booked and we are about to publish our 2017 dates.

The 2017 itinerary will be extended by two days and a Fly-in Safari to Sossusvlie and Seriem Canyon


Sossusvlei has monumentally high dunes; their sinuous crests and warm colours changing as the day waxes and wanes. These gigantic star-shaped mountains of sand are formed by strong multi-directional winds; they are at their highest and most spectacular where the west-flowing Tsauchab River empties itself into the Vlei.

sousssulei

The warm tints of the sand, ranging from apricot to orange, red and maroon, contrast vividly with the dazzling white surfaces of the large deflationary clay pans at their bases. When it has rained sufficiently in the interior for the Tsauchab River to come down and fill the main pan, flamingos and other aquatic birds are drawn to the area.


SESRIEM CANYON

At the park entrance to Sossusvlei is Sesriem Canyon, where centuries of erosion have incised a narrow gorge about 1 km in length. At the foot of the gorge, which plunges down 30 to 40 m, are pools that become replenished after good rains. Sesriem derives its name from the time when early pioneers tied six lengths of rawhide thongs together to draw water from the pools.

12509168_10154148243259796_5719373536673052394_n.jpg

 

 

Experiencing an African Culinary Adventure with Le Calabash, by Bryan Richards

It’s funny how a bowl of fried mopane worms can make a dinner table full of adults giggle like schoolchildren. As the bowl passed around the table at Xwama, a restaurant in Windhoek, Namibia featuring traditional dishes, taunts of “you eat one” were followed by retorts of “no, you eat one.” It seemed like everyone had succumbed to playground antics of daring one another to stick their tongues on a metal flagpole. I think that I even heard a, “I double dog dare you…”

When the bowl finally made its way to me, there was no hesitation. No taunt was necessary. I quickly popped one of the worms into my mouth and bit down. It was crunchy, chewy, and spicy all at once. While this was by far the most outlandish thing that we ate on our African Culinary Adventure with Le Calabash, it highlighted why we had chosen more of a food focused vacation for our African odyssey. We desired a tour that offered not only safari related activities but also a cultural experience.

African Culinary Adventure

Majestic in the best word I can think of to describe the vineyards surrounding Cape Town, which is where we spent the first three nights of our African Culinary Adventure. I couldn’t help but to pass countless hours on our hotel room terrace at Zevenwacht Wine Estate looking out at the lush, green vineyards as they rolled up to the faded mountains in the distance and onto the bright blue sky. I find a peace in vineyards much like others find peace through the crashing ocean surf. Of course, a glass of Cape Town’s famed Pinotage does help to achieve that sense of nirvana…

Table Mountain, Cape Town

The natural abundance of the fair cape and the various cultures that influence her have cultivated a cuisine that is both diverse and world class. Chefs Sidney and Alison Bond who lead the tour make sure that you try it all from the welcome dinner of a traditional South African Braai to classic French and Dutch cuisines found in Franschhoek.

The tour also includes stops at some of Cape Town’s top attractions like Table Mountain and the V&A Waterfront. There are also plenty of winery visits along the way to sample the best of the growing viticulture region.

Zevenwacht Wine Estate in Stellenbosch, South Africa

The Journey Continues with a Safari in Namibia

Words can’t describe the experience of a safari, which is why once you go on one you know it won’t be your last. From the first giraffe you spot on the ride to Etosha National Park to the pride of lions stalking their prey, you develop a deep-rooted addiction to see and experience more. A favorite experience was watching a pack of over fifty elephants descend upon a watering hole. We watched for over an hour as both children and adults alike splashed in their afternoon refreshment.

Elephants at a Watering Hole in Etosha National Park

An African Culinary Adventure also visits the Africat Foundation. Africat’s mission is to “strive towards the long term survival of Namibia’s predators in their natural habitat.” Here, you’ll get so see some of the harder to spot big cats like cheetahs and leopards as they are rehabilitated for release back into the wild.

Leopard at Play at AfriCat

All the excitement works up an appetite that finishes in a lesson on how to cook wild game. It’s the perfect conclusion to an African Culinary Adventure and the journey of a lifetime.

Bryan Richards is a food, travel, and craft beer writer. He has a passion for exploring regional food and drink and enjoys encouraging readers to discover new places and tastes in a way that inspires curiosity and motivation. For more info, please visit The Wandering Gourmand.

My Africa

IMG_0127

I was riding along and listening to an in-depth discussion with regards to the problems faced in Africa on the Radio. As I listened I was intrigued as to who these so called specialists were and from what point of view they were looking into The Dark Continent as one of them named my home continent. Not once during this discussion did any of them mention the West or so called civilised world’s part in Africa’s past and present problems.

I am always amused at home that so many people immediately have negative thoughts when the word Africa is mentioned. They immediately think of Hunger, Drought, Corruption, Poor Children and War.

For me Africa has many qualities and fond memories as this is the continent I grew up in.

Yes, it does have memories that are sad and unfortunate as I grew up in times that were most troublesome, but hopefully young generations of Africans will learn from the mistakes made by our forefathers and most importantly we need to be able to forgive and learn from the past.

But as a Chef, Africa and most importantly its food excites me as it is still so unknown to the western world.

South Africa now boasts 2 of the best restaurants in the world according to the S.Pellegrino listings, but I am more excited byEthiopia, which was civilised before the time of Christ, where the queen of Sheba once ruled.

The open aired market ofAddis Ababais the largest and most exciting in all of Africa for the exploring chef.

Here women make Injera, a unleavened bread, prepared today as it was two thousand years ago.

Kitfo, a Ethiopian ‘Steak Tartar’ was being served before the French even ate off tables, and I love Doro Wat, a chicken stew, Sega Wat a Ethiopian Lamb dish to mention a few.

Zanzibar, the Spice Islandand its M’Chuzi wa Nyama and beef Curry.

Mozambique, a food lovers paradise with Prawn Piri Piri, Clam and peanut stew and my all time favourite Frango a Cafrial a Barbecued Chicken dish.

Eritrean Kicha Fit Fit served with a scoop of fresh yoghurt and berbere.

North African  cuisine encompasses Morocco, Algeria, Libya Mauritania all so diverse with roots to cuisine that can be traced back over 2,500 years; Southern Africa, Home of Rainbow Cuisine, East Africa with its Arab and Portuguese influenced dishes and West Africa with its dishes of Yams, Coco yams, Cassava, Jollof Rice and Sweet Potato.

Africa is not for me the Dark Continent, but a continent that is so misunderstood by those who do not know it.Africa is where I have met the most caring and beautiful people, where I have enjoyed the most amazing meals, the most welcoming smiles and breathtaking landscapes.

It is so easy to find faults and have something negative to say. It is because most of what we hear and see in the press today is about negative reports, rather than the positive side of life. All our continents have challenges, no more or no less than Africa. Yes, war and drought have caused so much pain and suffering as have war and natural disasters in other parts of the world.

For me Africa is beautiful, exciting and welcoming.

“Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika”

Lord, bless Africa
May her horn rise high up
Hear Thou our prayers And bless us.

Descend, O Spirit,
Descend, O Holy Spirit.