The food at Lion Camp has always been great but our new managers, Vicky and Wayne, are particularly passionate about food as well as being experts in the field. Many years ago Vicky completed some informal chef training courses but what started as a hobby became very handy when she entered the hospitality industry.
Wayne & Vicky subsequently owned two very successful restaurants in Wilderness, South Africa – one was a fine dining restaurant at their property Palms Wilderness Retreat & Restaurant and the other a casual tapas bistro in the historical station building. Once they joined Mantis Vicky was in her element working with chefs to create interesting “rainbow” cuisine, bringing all the elements of Africa into the meals they prepared.
Vicky says “the chefs at Lion Camp are great to work with as they are so eager to learn and experiment with new ideas. Being this remote and having the luxury of a local farmer who is growing all our fresh veggies and salads for us, is an amazing addition to creating fresh, healthy beautiful food.”
“Vicky’s meal selections were incredible and wine pairings superb.”
“Delectable food throughout our stay and we loved the change of the meal times at Lion Camp, to me it makes perfect sense the way it has been planned out. Tea/coffee and refreshments are always available along with cookies and baked goods, the cookies are still discussed at length…..”
“The food was too good ( we ate too much ) – Vicky and the Chef are providing a brought variety of wonderful dishes.”
“The food was amazing and we felt very full!”
“What really sets Lion Camp apart from other lodges is the quality of the cooking. I can say without hesitation that this is gourmet cooking I never had in any African lodge, including more expensive ones in the Serengeti. Healthy, light and refined food, coupled with excellent wines from South Africa which are included in the package. Vicky obviously has brought the cooking staff to new heights.”
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Sourcing fresh vegetables in the Luangwa Valley can be a challenge. Lusaka is a day’s drive away and growing vegetables inside a park full of wild animals is impossible.
In between Mfuwe Airport and the park gates, Thomson Zulu grows the herbs, salad leaves and many other vegetables that we serve to our guests. Thomson’s whole family including his wife Sarah Phiri help him with his small farm. They have 9 children – the photo below shows only half of their large family.
Before the season starts Lion Camp provides the Zulu’s with the seeds and any implements they need and throughout the season we buy the vegetables they grow. Thomson has a well that he has dug by hand and then bricked out. He uses a small petrol pump to fill his water tanks for irrigation.
The relationship works well for the Zulu’s and for Lion Camp and it enables us to buy as much produce as we can locally in a way that benefits the people living in this area. Thomson and Sarah are very good at what they do and the fresh vegetables they produce enable our chefs to prepare healthy, delicious and fresh cuisine every day.
The game-viewing at Lion Camp this month has been outstanding, not only out on game drives and walking safaris but in camp too. Guests have had fabulous wildlife sightings while cooling down in the swimming pool, eating lunch on the front deck and enjoying a gin & tonic in the quiet of their suite.
Lion Camp guest John Starr has kindly shared the below stunning images from his recent safari. He has so many amazing photos from his four night safari that it was hard to choose only a selection to share here.