It’s been a dream of mine to visit East Africa, particularly the birthplace of my mother – Tanzania.
My own northern roots are a world away. Raised in the industrial city of Manchester, we did however grow up on her idyllic and rather exotic sounding childhood Tanzanian tales of her ayah (nanny), making the best Kashata (coconut peanut brittle), picking juicy ripe mangos on the school run and blissful evenings playing with a backdrop of an African sunset and its magnificent orange hues.
Now that I have my own children it would be amazing to travel to Tanzania and experience the country of my maternal heritage. And I’m still working on that little wanderlust plan…
Recently I was invited to the next best thing, a culinary tour of East Africa through a supper club hosted by Yellow Zebra Safari. The multi-award winning travel company launched in 2012 by friends and business partners, Julian Carter-Manning and Rory Walker. They specialise in bespoke, luxury safaris to Africa and the supper club was to celebrate the range of safaris they offer to Tanzania.
The thought of exploring the National Serengeti Park, famous for its Wildebeest Great Migration or the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera, Ngorongoro Crater piqued my interest. Especially, after our first family safari experience to South Africa a couple of years ago.
The venue at Benk + Bo in East London was transformed into a colourful dining space adored with flowers from the continent of Africa – Protea, the national flower of South Africa, Gloriosa Flame Lillies, the nation flower of Zimbabwe and my favourite the Stretliza, commonly known as the Bird of Paradise.
Our foodie adventure for the evening was crafted by Colline from Zimbabwe and owner of Colline’s Kitchen and Culinary Discovery Club. A company which provides a platform for refugee and migrants chefs from across the world.
Rwanda was our first stop with a starter of Matooke and Luwombo. We were entrusted to parcel our own matooke, which are spiced mushrooms cooked in banana leaves and served with Rwandan steamed green bananas.
We made our journey over to Tanzania and Kenya with the main of Mchuzi wa samaki, a traditional Swahili fish curry.
Made with salmon and hake, mine was replaced with tofu and served with brown rice. The coconut milk gives it a creamy texture – mildly spiced the depth of flavour in the sauce was delicious.
Dessert came in the form of Mandazi, an Ugandan coconut doughnut served with a selection of sweet dips and homemade mango sorbet. Light, fluffy with a hint of cardamom they were the perfect end to the evening.
Perhaps…a visit to Tanzania needs to be on the cards sooner than I planned.
Have you been on a safari? Or where would you love to experience Africa’s Big Five? Let me know in the comments below.
Disclaimer: I was a guest of Yellow Zebra Safaris, however, all views, opinions and photos are my own and remain a copyright of the Curious Pixie.