When in KwaZulu Natal you will find a huge diversity of food. Whilst on the roads, service stations, and in some of the larger towns you will find a choice of fast food style eateries. These include Steers, Spur, Ocean Basket & Nandos. All of which I have sampled! Burgers with monkeygland sauce and calamari & chips are personal favourites of mine.

I always try and stop off at small markets and stalls selling locally grown fruit. For me there is not much better than freshly picked mangos, pineapples and bananas. When self catering these are perfect to take along.

Durban has a large Indian community so there you will find a huge variety of spices. Durban curry being a specialty. Look out to for Bunny Chow. Beef, mutton or bean stew served in a hollowed out loaf.

If you are staying at an all inclusive lodge and reserve you will be spoiled. Pre-breakfast snacks, morning tea with rusks followed then by breakfast. Breakfast is generally several courses too. There will be a choice to for lunch and dinner served in the evenings is always of a very high quality. It is ironic that the game you have enjoyed viewing in the day if often on the menu in the evenings.

Smaller hotels also offer some great food. You may be lucky enough to be served freshly caught fish or even a carvery style whole sheep cooked on a spit braai.

Self catering and cooking on an open fire or braai is a pure pleasure and will add to the experience of your safari. There are supermarkets to purchase good quality meat, fruit and vegetables from. Weather in the bush at Imfolozi, by the beach at Cape Vidal or looking up onto Giants Castle in the Berg. Steak, boerewors, potatoes and salad, prepared, cooked and eaten under the star filled KwaZulu Natal sky taste so much better. To travel or safari, for me, would not be complete without biltong or dry wors. It’s a perfect accompaniment for trips of any size and real traditional South African speciality. My wife, a vegetarian, would prefer a dried fruit roll!.

Here at home I still enjoy a taste of South Africa by roasting a rib of beef on my Webber barbecue, using a potjie pot to slow cook lamb shanks, or grilling sausages on my Cadac skottle braai.

What South African specialities to look out for:

Amarula: Cream liqueur made with sugar, cream and the fruit of the African marula tree.

Biltong: Lean meat, salted & dried. Available in beef, a variety of game & even ostrich.

Bobotie: Lightly curried mince topped in custard. Served with rice & chutney.

Boerwors: A traditional farm style sausage best cooked on an open fire.

Bredie: A rich tomato stew usually made with mutton or lamb.

Bunny Chow: A hollowed out white loaf filled with curry or stew.

Chakalaka: An vegetable relish, usually spicy, traditionally served with bread, pap, samp, stews, or curries.

Koeksister: A syrup coated platted and fried donut.

Malva pudding: A sweet pudding of Cape Dutch origin. It contains apricot jam and has a spongy caramelized texture.

Melktert: An SA favourite, brought here by the Dutch. The recipe was then adapted by Cape Malays, who added more spice.

Potjiekos: A stew slow cooked in a cast iron pot which can be meat, fish or vegetables.

Snoek: Locally caught fish popular on all South African coasts.

Puthu/Stywe Pap: A stiff corn porridge and a staple food of many South Africans.

Waterblommetjie: A water grown vegetable used in many hearty stews.


About Author

People say that Africa has an effect on your soul and Mark Henson the ‘author’ of this site is no exception. He first travelled to South Africa and the province of KwaZulu-Natal in 1993 and has been coming and going every year since. Twice now most years!

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