The modern safari experience is all about delivering the whole package to your guests: superb wildlife, a beautiful camp in a picturesque setting, conservation forward practices, knowledgeable guides leading you on diverse activities and, of course, plenty of delicious food. At Time + Tide Chongwe, we want you to enjoy every bite with us, and leave with a taste of Zambia’s rich culinary traditions. With fertile soils and many rivers, we are spoiled with an abundance of locally grown produce, meats and spices that have led to a vibrant food culture that offers something for everyone.
A core value of an ecotourism enterprise such as Time + Tide Chongwe is supporting local businesses. In doing so, the community is lifted up, and families gain more financial stability so that they can send their children to school or access medical care. One of the best ways to support the rural communities around the Lower Zambezi is through agriculture and farming. In addition to sourcing food from Zambian food specialists in Lusaka, our culinary team work with the local villages to procure garden-grown produce, wild mushrooms foraged from the woods, fresh eggs, bream from the Chongwe River and meat from hand-raised animals. The result is a selection of delicious ingredients that bring the flavours of Zambia to life, support communities and have a minimal environmental footprint thanks to the short transportation distance.
Another benefit of using locally produced ingredients is that our chefs have excellent knowledge of how to take full advantage of their flavours and seasonality. For example, we only use village-raised chicken because it has the most rich and intense flavour after slow-cooking it. We know what time of year the locally caught bream fish are at their best, and when it’s better to use dried fish braised into a homemade stew. We know when the wild mushrooms come into their brief season and the best local markets in which to find them. We know how to simmer bondwe or cassava leaves (types of hearty greens) in a homemade tomato and onion sauce to create an unbelievably tasty and healthy dish. We want guests to feel like they’ve stepped into our personal homes and joined us for dinner as an honoured guest.
As we love showcasing traditional Zambian dishes, many of the recipes have been passed down from generation to generation in the chefs’ families. This gives the menu an air of authenticity and love. As our honoured guests, we want you to feel that love with every dish, from the first eggs cooked over the morning campfire to the last bite of dessert made with luscious, locally grown fruits.
We combine our beloved Zambian dishes with inspiration from around the world to create a menu that is both genuine and appealing to our international clientele. Our culinary staff have been trained by Sylva Banda, a well-known chef who cooks for visiting statesmen and dignitaries. Her Lusaka-based company, Sylva’s Catering, specialises in teaching chefs on how to prepare traditional dishes using modern cooking and presentation techniques to create an elevated experience.
Alongside our traditional dishes, we always serve a selection of more international cuisine and several salads featuring crisp produce and homemade vinaigrettes. All of our breads and desserts are made daily from scratch. There’s nothing better than bread warm from the oven being toasted over the coals of the morning campfire then topped with local eggs that have deep, golden yolks.
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