An African Safari is a sensory experience. From the moment you step out of the plane onto the tarmac, the smell of earth mixed with heat rises up to welcome you. You are immediately enveloped in its charm, both pure and unrelentingly wild. The thrill of the unknown directs you towards your transfer vehicle, ready to embark on a safari of the senses.
It’s tea-time as you arrive at Hideaways Nantwich Lodge. The dust of the day and the drive settles along with the heat, and the kettle has just boiled. Fresh baked aromas waft from the kitchen, adding to the dreamy nature of day turning to dusk. Light and atmosphere golden, Chef Enoch arrives with the final ingredient to a perfect afternoon; scones. Seated upon the verandah overlooking the vlei, you experience your first taste of Africa. While biting into buttery baked goodness, a herd of buffalo make their way to the watering hole to quench their thirst before sundown; a delicious combination inciting both your tastebuds and curiosity for what is to come.
Chef Enoch has a way of infusing his passion for Africa into each meal. Smells, textures and tastes reflect local essence, embodying the wild flavours of Hwange National Park. Each meal compliments the day’s activities, preparing you for your next adventure. Being on safari requires energy and awareness, therefore sufficient and conscientious meal planning is imperative. Understanding the need for both subtle and substantial sustenance, Chef Enoch creates your dishes accordingly, ensuring the perfect balance for the day ahead.
Rising with the dawn for a sunrise venture, one is greeted by the fresh promise of morning. The sky is coloured in pastels, accompanied by birdsong, singing in the sun. The fire has been lit and the bush kettle is quietly boiling away, ready to infuse the day with hot tea and fresh muffins. This morning morsel will satisfy your cravings while you are on your game drive, keeping hunger at bay until your return to the lodge. The drive is also armed with a tea basket and cooler box filled with water and soft drinks to keep you cool as the African heat rises.
A full breakfast awaits you as you arrive back from your expedition, hopefully as full of stories as full of hunger for your next meal. Yoghurt and muesli set the stage, with eggs of your choice to follow accompanied by sides to suit your palette. Satisfied by experience and flavour, the rest of the morning is at your leisure while Chef Enoch conjures up another delicious dish. Aromas draw you to the poolside table, set up with views of the wild stretching to the horizon. Bush pizza and salad are served paired with Hideaways Nantwich signature gin and tonics, the perfect recipe for an afternoon by the pool.
A sunset game drive is an invitation for further exploration of Hwange National Park. With Hideaways Nantwich being one of the only parks in the area, the wilderness is your own. There are a variety of routes leading to different pans, revealing the variety of the area, in ecosystem and wildlife. A cooler box with snacks joins the adventure, sunset best accompanied by cocktails. A table set up beneath the African sky welcomes you back to the lodge, rich aromas drifting from the kitchen. Chef Enoch enjoys cooking using the open aired stove area, displaying his skill and passion for all to see. One stands mesmerised as flames dance around pots and pans, anticipating the delectable delights within.
Whether it be oxtails stew, roast beef, chicken a la king or a traditional meal of maize meal and beef, each dish is a labour of love and local ingredients. Dining under the stars is a sensory feast, appealing to the eye as well as the taste buds. Food seems to taste better enveloped by the African night, orchestrated by the sounds of the bush. Each mouthful encourages conversation, stories rising into the sky to be collected amongst the stars. Content in cuisine and experience, the finale of the evening is served around the campfire, a nightcap to bid farewell to the day in anticipation of tomorrow.