June 9

Divine Dining at Silvan Safari

June 9, 2022

People typically don't go on a safari for the food. However, having a five-star dining experience in the middle of the bush definitely doesn't hurt! From taking in the incomparable beauty of an African sunrise to feasting on delectable culinary delights, a safari at Silvan Safari is all about celebrating one-of-a-kind, extraordinary experiences. I had the time of my life dining at Silvan, where happiness was served on fine china covered in decadent Amarula ice cream. So, buckle up and get ready, our gastronomic journey is about to begin!

Wine and fine dining at Silvan Safari Lodge in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve

Silvan – the perfect safari for foodies

Entrée: Silvan’s Food Philosophy

Dining at Silvan is a culinary experience that celebrates fresh, local ingredients inspired by the breathtaking natural surroundings. Chef Terror Lekopa takes great care when planning each menu to accentuate the dining at Silvan. As a result, each dish on the menu is carefully considered based on every guest's dietary preferences, as well as appropriateness to the season and weather. Therefore, no detail is overlooked!

A beautifully embossed menu at Silvan Safari Lodge

Silvan's beautifully embossed menu, Image Credit: Savannah St Claire

Chef Terror's personal and approachable dishes are the perfect pairing for Silvan Safari's stunning setting. He spent some time in Nice, France, where he was taught by South Africa's first Michelin star awarded chef, Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen. During this time, Chef Terror learnt the art of transforming local and traditional South African recipes into exceptional dishes. And today, he prepares and presents them in a way that shows how simplistic dishes can be both luxurious and oh-so-tasty!

Mains: Pièce de Résistance When Dining at Silvan

After a Silvan Safari game drive, it would be an understatement to say that you work up quite the appetite. Our lovely butler, Phindi, leads us to our seating under the Jackalberry trees. Here, we find our table laden with a beautiful continental array of fresh fruits, buttery croissants, cheese and more. But that's only the start, as the warm breakfast is still to come! 

The Jackalberry tree-shrouded lower breakfast deck at Silvan Safari Lodge

Breakfast with views of the Manyeleti River bed, Image Credit: Savannah St Claire

Whether you enjoy your meal on the majestic Jackalberry tree-shrouded lower breakfast deck, under the outdoor gazebos, or in the Modjaji dining room, you're in for a treat.

Lunch is light because, let's face it, you can only eat so much – even when dining at Silvan! The options range from a tender chicken and peppadew salad to incredibly crispy lamb chops with buttery vegetables.

However, dinner is the real star of the show. And it's a three-course meal to satisfy all of your sweet and savoury cravings. Perfectly crispy pan-fried calamari, succulent beef fillet, creamy homemade tonka-bean ice cream – it's a foodie's fantasy!

A delectable chicken and pepperdew salad as a light lunch

A light lunch to tie you over until high tea, Image Credit: Savannah St Claire

Palate Cleanser: Dining at Silvan Just Gets Better and Better

But dining at Silvan isn't just about the mains. Each room has its own mini-bar stocked to the brim with homemade snacks, drinks and mixes. I wholeheartedly recommend trying the candied nuts and droëwors – a dried version of the well-known South African sausage, boerewors. It's absolutely delicious… which I confirm since I finished both jars when refilled each day!

Of course, we can't forget about drinks. Silvan's team of super butlers make – hands down – the best gin and tonics in the Sabi Sand! And with over 30 different gins from around the world to choose from, there's something for everyone.

Drinks at Silvan are always delightful

Gin and tonics are the quine-tessential drink on a safari

Also, it's an excellent time to be a wine drinker because Silvan's butlers have a wealth of wine knowledge. They pride themselves on giving the best personalised wine and food pairings to suit each guest's individual taste. And, boy, do they get it right every time!

Each meal when dining at Silvan is given the perfect pairing by their team of super butlers

Each meal, when dining at Silvan, is given the perfect pairing by their team of super butlers

In true Silvan fashion, afternoon high-tea brings an oh-so-scrumptious spread of snacks and divine drinks. For example, you can expect anything from cakes to pastries (and even bao buns!). So, your taste buds are guaranteed to sing!

If you pass on a drink at high tea, you won't be thirsty for long! Sundowners at Silvan is a spectacular affair. The bush comes alive with the gathering of wildlife at the watering hole for a final sip. At the same time,  guests also get enjoy a drink of their own! 

High-tea at Silvan Safari is always an extravagant affair

A high-tea spread to die for

The Cherry on Top

Each moment spent on a safari is special, but some really do stand out. Dining at Silvan is an elaborate affair that will never disappoint. Always served in style, each meal is unique in its own way. And some more so than others!

Did I hear someone mention breakfast in the bush? In a clearing not too far from camp, the Silvan team sets up for breakfast in the heart of the Sabi Sand. And it's so surreal to enjoy a perfectly poached egg while watching a nyala graze only a few metres away.

A true Silvan style bush breakfast

Breakfast in the bush is an experience like no other

Hosted in an exquisite lantern-lit "enchanted forest", we also get the chance to experience Silvan's Moroccan feast! The setting is moody and magical. But, more importantly, the food, oh the food! There's a spread of fresh bread, zaalouk, tagine, hummus, fragrant sauces, and many more tasty dishes to devour. All food fit for royalty!

A Moroccan Feast at Silvan Safari

A Moroccan Feast is just one of the surprises you can enjoy when dining at Silvan, Image Credi: Savannah St Claire

Silvan's meals are usually served at the main lodge. However, you can also enjoy them on your private deck. Or, even better, the Manyeleti River bed. A hop, a skip and a jump from the lodge, and you're out in nature, having the fine-dining experience of your dreams. Furthermore, you have the best soundtrack of hyenas laughing and owls hooting. It's simply spectacular!

Dinner served in an especially fantastical location when dining at Silvan Safari

Meals at Silvan can be served in all kinds of wonderful places

A Second Helping Never Hurt Anyone

Silvan Safari is undoubtedly one of the most exquisite places on earth. Plus, it's absolutely deserving of its title of the World's Leading Luxury Lodge! From breakfast to high tea and sundowners, one thing is for sure. On a Silvan Safari, you will never go hungry. A food coma is guaranteed with food to die for and the perfect drink with every meal.

But there's only one way you will ever understand this. And that's to come to visit for yourself. So, contact our Rhino Africa Travel Experts to make your travel (and fine dining) dreams come true. Most importantly, remember to tuck in, have seconds, and try everything!

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About the author 

Savannah St Claire

Born in the picturesque City of Cape Town, Savannah is no stranger to the beauty and adventure Africa has to offer. With a bachelor's degree in Digital Marketing under her belt and a passion for travelling in her heart, she is taking to her new path in life like a moth to a flame. When not chasing sunsets, you'll find her enjoying the fine things in life and South African wines are no exception!

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