February 2021

Celebrating life through food at Singita Sabora Tented Camp

in Food

Celebrating life through food at Singita Sabora Tented Camp

Authentic and nourishing cuisine has always been a central part of journeys that speak to the soul, and Singita’s guests have cherished the warmth and authenticity of our farm-to-table food philosophy since our inception.

Reflecting the creativity, traditions and seasons of the continent, each carefully crafted menu is more than a meal – it’s an extension of a guest experience that sees loved ones appreciate the luxury of togetherness, slow down and enjoy the most memorable dining experiences in some of the most exquisite settings on earth.

A beautifully crafted space and fresh new menu welcome guests at the recently reinvented Singita Sabora

Serving modern yet unpretentious cuisine and using the finest ingredients, Singita’s much-revered food offering is prepared by dedicated culinary teams, consisting of handpicked individuals who are passionate about sharing Africa’s unique flavours.

Joining this stellar force behind the scenes, Neelamani Padayachee was recently appointed as Head Chef at the newly reimagined Singita Sabora Tented Camp in the Serengeti. Born and raised on South Africa’s East Coast and boasting a Sri Lankan and South Indian heritage, Vanie – as she’s known to those close to her – grew up surrounded by the flavours and inspiration of many different culinary influences. Not only did this pique her interest in authentic recipes and cooking according to time-honoured traditions, but it also sparked her interest in travelling as a means of experiencing diverse cultures and cooking.

Vanie’s food philosophy is a perfect fit for Sabora’s contemporary and creative culinary approach, which marries global influences and local ingredients in uncomplicated, flavourful dishes.

‘I find myself in the heart of the Serengeti, as part of a team that’s like family – generous and passionate. I’m surrounded by sheer beauty – as well as purposeful, innovative and empowering leadership.’ – Chef Vanie

Fresh new flavours

Aside from the physical transformation of the lodge, Sabora’s reinvention included a fresh way of looking at its cuisine, which is now one of the most innovative elements of a stay at this immersive and leading-edge take on tented safaris. To tie the dining aspect into the theme of timeless simplicity explored throughout the lodge, the culinary team created a concept that’s based on Singita’s well-established farm-to-table philosophy. The menus, which change daily, emphasize fare that is light, refreshingly simple, and exquisitely crafted to make the most of the fresh local ingredients at the heart of every plate. The result is an experience that’s simultaneously sincere and sustainable; elegant and refined.

Vegetables are central to the dishes – in line with a global move towards more sustainable and inclusive dining options for travellers – and are complemented by a variety of wholesome protein choices. Sabora’s dining concept also draws on traditional African ingredients and influences, which are translated into the contemporary menus – an exciting meeting point between modernity and tradition.

A focus on locally grown produce, and a renewed appreciation for vegetables give the menu at Sabora a fresh, contemporary feel

But while the dining experience is guest-facing by nature, the culture behind the food at Singita goes much further than what’s presented on the plate. It goes to the heart of what food is all about – community, sharing and sustenance – and echoes Singita’s enduring reason for being, fully aligned with its commitment to the preservation of the continent’s natural legacy.

An unparalleled setting close to nature and uncompromising service excellence come together in a truly memorable dining experience

The reimagined Singita Sabora Tented Camp allows for life-changing connections with nature and is the very definition of an authentic safari experience. 

More than a meal

Food is a life-giving resource in more ways than one for the many suppliers of fresh produce to Singita’s far-flung lodges across Africa. Encouraging surrounding communities to participate in the economy of lodges’ operations by engaging small-scale farmers and food producers as suppliers, Singita ensures powerful ecosystems of supply and demand that benefit guests, local communities and the environment at large.

These initiatives are part of Singita’s three-pronged approach to conservation – sustainability, community and biodiversity – with a core value system that revolves around environmentally conscious hospitality, sustainable conservation and the empowerment of local communities. Supporting small enterprises helps to fulfil its long-term community partnership goal of working with communities to thrive, both economically and socially, as well as contributing to a more sustainable model of tourism on the continent.

This philosophy of sustainability extends further still, to skills development. Singita’s Community Culinary School, which was established in 2015, is its second such institution (following the success of its counterpart in Singita Kruger National Park), provides a valuable resource for aspiring chefs to develop and nurture their interest and proficiency in a culinary career.

As the tourism industries in Tanzania continue to grow, so too does the demand for qualified chefs, and the Community Culinary School offers a channel through which the food-and-wine minded can pass, acquiring the skills necessary to join the illustrious ranks of Singita’s renowned culinary teams, or spread their wings wider, in so doing raising the level of safari excellence on the continent.

Support the Singita Community Culinary School in Tanzania – donate here >

By Julia Freemantle

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