Updated: Mar 31, 2020
Camping in Botswana has been a real walk on the wild side for us as a family! I watch ‘Planet Earth’ and David Attenborough TV programmes and always wonder quite how much is talented camera work, directing and how much is real… well I now know its STILL a very wild world out there and we have had some very close encounters to prove it!
Of course the big five were high on the list of priorities and food for the 14 of us in the group was not so important, but as you know its always on my mind and we ate well! It was a mainly carnivore diet, but with 9 teenagers mainly boys this was a necessity after tracking game and having long days in the bush.
With some pre-planning and well co-ordinated shopping we used the perishable fruit, vegetables and salad first. So initially suppers were quite grand with meat and accompaniments. We even had savoury biscuits with cheese, pickle, sun-dried tomatoes, and chutney – starters no less! Great salads with spinach as the lettuce had looked so tired in the supermarket, tomatoes, cucumber, waiting for our two giant avocados to ripen, corn on the cob and courgettes then it was down to onions, potatoes and a butternut squash or two… but you know what baked in the open fire wrapped in tin foil with butter and our wonder ingredient a jar of pesto – anything was possible!
I think it showed me you really can make the most of whatever you have, don’t get me wrong we had a great supply of food but really a few key ingredients like cheese and our trusty jar of pesto, you can whistle up a tasty snack at any time of the day!
Breakfast in the bush was tea and rusks – I cannot wait to make these and am waiting for the traditional recipe from family in Africa. This works so well as a warming snack dipping rusks in tea, coffee or hot chocolate. When we had more time in the mornings we did big batches of scrambled egg and we even managed a bacon sandwich a few days.
Meals to sustain us throughout the day and then lots of great snacks for the game drives and journeys across country. I loved the oranges, just the easy peel ones, as you are on the road for a while! The dried fruit and nuts worked very well and Africa have much more of a choice when it comes to healthy snacks packaged for one or a bag to share. Dried Mango was a family favourite!
Back to Johannesburg the cafes, coffee shops, and restaurants offer excellent fresh salads, smoothies, coffee lists as long as your arm and so much choice generally. Like Australia I feel Africa is ahead in its healthy eating options, and I enjoyed choosing from beautiful fresh salad bars and enjoying exotic fruit drinks. As we had eaten so much meat on the camping trip I was happy to eat some fish and my favourite that I remembered from South Africa was Kingklip which means “king of the rock fishes”. It has a firm white flesh and I had it served grilled which brings out its delicate flavour.