Being vegan whilst on Safari
Booking my first ever Safari
My hubby, Suraj, has been on Safari a few times before but it was a first for me. We’ve been talking it for a number of years and finally, it came about a few weeks ago!
I had no idea what to expect in terms of the accommodation, internal flights, food, culture and so on, but I was excited!
So far, we’ve been vegan in New Delhi, Dubai, Auris en Oisans and Paris in France, Harrogate and Brighton in the UK, Barcelona, Salzburg in Austria, Marrakech in Morocco, San Francisco in California and St. Lucia in the Eastern Caribbean; and we’ve not had any issues.
From what I recall, we were on an all inclusive package in St. Lucia, but the rest were room only, bed and breakfast or half board. Therefore, we didn’t really need to discuss food options with the person who dealt with our booking. However, with our stay in Intrepids being all inclusive, we did speak to the tour company about whether providing vegan food would be an issue, before and after we confirmed where we wanted to stay. I’ve written about this below.
Why we chose to stay at Intrepids
A couple of people told us that Mara Intrepids was a good choice so we thought we’d give it a shot. We saw a few photos and made the booking.
The staff were friendly and approachable. They also got the right balance so that they weren’t over familiar.
The tent was gorgeous! There was plenty of space, the layout was nice, it was clean, comfortable, warm and designed to prevent guests getting bitten.
They combined wake-up calls with bringing us fresh tea or coffee in the morning. Housekeeping staff would manage everything from the wake-up call, delivering a hot water bottle to keep the bed warm in the evening, rolling up parts of the tent to allow for sunlight and warmth and then rolling them down again when it got dark. This was in addition to the usual i.e. cleaning the room, replacing towels, making the bed and so on.
The camp was clean, quiet, well signposted and full of beautiful plants which attracted butterflies of different colours. All of this made walking around the camp a lovely experience.
Before we booked Intrepids, we asked the Tour Company if the camp would be able to cater for vegans. We also asked the company to remind them a week before we left, Looking back, I’m not sure about whether the tour company informed the staff about this or not, but it didn’t seem to matter! They were simply amazing! The entire team seemed to understand what vegans eat, which meant they could easily tell us which of the buffet items were suitable. However, they also brought us veganised traditional African dishes e.g. Mandazi. In addition to all this, they made vegan pancakes, which we loved! Anthony, the chef, volunteered his process of moving the non-vegan batter and the pan used for the non-vegan pancakes away, before bringing the vegan batter and ‘fresh’ pan and spatula to the cooking area.
Julius was the Head Waiter during our stay and he was wonderful. After the first blip, he helped ensure that the person who delivered the hot drinks with the wake-up call, knew not to bring dairy milk, for example. There’s a photo of us with Julius below.
All our meals at Intrepids were delicious, and we didn’t want for alternatives to dairy milk either. They had almond milk and soya milk too. I would definitely recommend staying there.
I can’t sing their praises enough. They delivered over and above what we expected, they inspired confidence that we were being looked after and the entire stay was smooth, effortless and a treat! Here are some of the meals we enjoyed.
Even before being vegan, I remember feeling very sad when I saw animals being held captive, whether they were in a zoo or some sort of cage in someone’s home. Therefore, seeing the animals roaming freely was lovely to see! I do think that they were disturbed when multiple cars parked nearby in the hope of seeing something spectacular. However, it was definitely better than seeing them in a cage or with their movement being restricted in some other way. Here you can read about the actual Safari; researching what to do, the preparation before booking it and the experience.