One of the key privileges you gain by choosing a private safari is flexibility in how you spend your time. Every day brings choices and one of the most important decisions you can make is whether to have breakfast and lunch at the lodge or rather a picnic box in the bush.
Early morning game drives at the first light of dawn are pure magic, and we strongly encourage you to partake in them! And there will likely be times you want to stay out on safari all day, either for an adventure game drive to a remote area of the park or to simply maximize each golden moment you are in “the bush”. But even the most die-hard safari enthusiast still needs to eat! One way to get it all in without starving is to bring along a picnic *to go*. A picnic allows you to maximize your time wildlife viewing rather than delay your departure from the lodge or be forced to return to the lodge for a meal.
“Picnic boxes” (both breakfast and lunch boxes) are prepared on a daily basis by the kitchens at each respective lodge or camp on your itinerary. A typical breakfast box consists of a hard boiled egg, bacon or sausage, bread or pastries, juice and a banana or apple. A typical lunch box consists of a piece of chicken, bread, hard boiled egg, banana or apple, muffin, juice and bottle of water. These picnic boxes can be picked up from the kitchen before sunrise by your driver-guide.
Feedback from our returning clients suggests the quality of these picnic boxes is falling short of client expectations. Recent complaints include a lack of variety in the food choices, redundancy and over-cooked meats. Although we have committed substantial resources to lobby the various lodges and camps to improve the quality of their picnics, in the end we have little control over what food they prepare for the to-go boxes on a daily basis. We believe our efforts have been successful in working with some of smaller proprietors, though the larger lodges have proved more difficult to influence.
Although you can always choose a hot breakfast or hot lunch at the lodge, we still feel picnics are critical for maximizing the quality and quantity of your wildlife viewing experiences. Let’s face it – a hot meal at the lodge will almost certainly result in a better culinary experience, but you can miss a lot with regards to wildlife viewing! So please keep that in mind when choosing breakfast or lunch (or both) at the lodge versus a picnic box to go.
With that being said, there are some days when it will be easier than others to return to the lodge for a hot meal should you desire to do so, and there is no reason you can’t vary your decisions from day to day. Discuss the plan for each day’s activities with your driver guide the night before so he can make appropriate arrangements. Your guide will certainly have suggestions, but the final decision about how to spend your time is ultimately up to you!
For those individuals who anticipate utilizing more picnic boxes, you may wish to consider bringing snacks (nutritional bars, turkey or beef jerky, dried fruit, granola, nuts, trail mix, etc.) to supplement your picnic boxes.