Bush dining is one of the many highlights during a stay at Mkhaya’s award-wining Stone Camp.
After spotting four of the Big Five including Black Rhino and many more endangered species on one of the reserve’s open Land Rover game drives or guided walking safaris, guests return to discover a wonderful spread served by welcoming Swazi hosts beneath the shade of the camp’s 100+ year old sausage tree.
Diners often get the opportunity to share their lunch spot with an array of rare bird species which are also attracted to the riverine setting, including the Pink-Throated Twinspot, see image below, and the ever-elusive Narina Trogon which nests right in camp.
Mkhaya’s infamous and hearty Impala/Nyala/Kudu stir fries, pies or stews are devoured alongside the reserve’s homemade bread of which many a guest has been delighted to receive the recipe. Other accompaniments include creamy curried pasta, spicy couscous or orange rice, while fresh green/butternut and avocado salad refresh the palate to make room for dessert.
From delightfully-named and delicious ‘dung beetle’ balls to vegetable muffins accompanied by the reserve’s secret Swazi sauce, an Mkhaya starter is anything but ordinary. Freshly-made and creamy butternut, gemsquash, sweet potato or tomato and sweet basil soup might follow, and will be in turn be followed by a hearty main course sizzling before the guests’ very own eyes on the open fire. Venison potjies full of an array of herbs and spices are always a delight for both local and international guests and Wildebeest wors, impala chops or fillet steak are also firm favourites. Delicious seasonal vegetables are either roasted, stir fried or glazed in honey, while garlic, herb and butter potatoes/traditional pap with an apple, tomato and raisin sauce are baked as they should be; on the open fire.
Those with a sweet tooth are certainly not forgotten at Stone Camp where guests might be treated to a sumptuous summer berry mouse, strawberry cheesecake, banana and guava pudding or nutty chocolate brownies and cream. Freshly homemade desserts might include a mouth-watering melba pudding, hearty apple crumble or butternut pudding.
As the night draws to a close, tea and coffee is taken around the fire place while tales are told and the distant whoop of a Hyena or Bushbaby call joins the conversation.