Okavango Wilderness Safaris Mombo, set in the heart of the Okavango Delta, has announced the appointment of Tonderai Chipfupi as its Head Chef, coinciding with the camp’s roll-out of an outstanding new Earth-to-plate sustainable dining menu. Mombo’s food ethos is led by three guiding principles: celebrating regional produce, reducing food waste and collaborating with local farmers and artisans, all combined to create a delicious and exclusive food offering suited for all tastes.
“At Mombo, our guests’ food experience is a journey, and we want them to feel truly indulged as they discover local ingredients and learn about this spectacular wilderness area. We believe that the more food is locally grown, the more we can reduce our ‘foodprint’, strengthen our ties with the community and create a healthier, more harmonious environment for all of us”, noted Tonderai (affectionately known as Tondi).
Mombo’s food culture has always remained relevant to its surroundings, centred around local African ingredients and cultures, offering guests authentic yet refreshing and stylish dining, deep in the remote Okavango Delta. Using indigenous heritage ingredients, Mombo supports its neighbouring communities, as well as celebrates heirloom produce from each region. At Mombo, chief among this is the iconic baobab and the superfood powder produced from its fruit. The 100% organic powder is exceptionally nutrient-rich, providing a wide range of health benefits.
“We source it from a local supplier who picks the fruit that falls to the ground and transforms it into a powder for us to use in our recipes, such as our signature Baobab and Turmeric Dressing – its golden colour adding a touch of African sunshine to our delicious new brunch bowls. We also use it in our Marula and Millet Granola, and our homemade curd-like plant-based yoghurt, and extremely moreish Baobab ‘Nice Cream’”, enthused Tondi.
Other signature dishes include Mombo’s world-renowned Botswana Beef Fillet, Ostrich and Apricot Tagine, Pan-fried African Bream Fillet with Avocado, Vine Cherry Tomatoes and Grilled Corn Salsa, and Honey and Harissa Chicken Skewers served on a Baby Herb Salad. Old Mombo favourites such as made-from-scratch Wild Mushroom Lasagne and hand-chopped Gourmet Botswana Beef Burgers served with Kalahari Truffle Aioli are also on offer. In addition to the a la carte menu, there is a daily chef’s delight/surprise on offer to pique guests’ personal taste preferences.
All Mombo’s dishes are designed to use as much of the ingredients as possible, with the chefs constantly investigating ways to reduce food wastage. One such dish is Tondi’s innovative and flavoursome banana skin chutney, served with Mombo’s traditional curried dishes. Almond skins and residual pulp from traditional madila cheese are dehydrated to create tasty crackers for game drive snacks. Menu choices are also consistently designed with conservation in mind, consciously reducing the use of imported food items. Achieving a balance between meat- and plant-based options directly contributes to Mombo’s mission to operate with as light a footprint as possible.
Guests can look forward to many other home-grown ingredients being celebrated in their fare, including ditloo, a local black-eyed pea that is transformed into an appetising and nutritious Tomato and Rooibos Stew, served with morogo spinach and delicious phapa, the staple maize-based starch of Botswana.
The guest dining experience at Mombo is embraced by the camp’s Food & Beverage team, who craft memorable moments in the most imaginative locations – from a meal under the stars in the boma, to a candle-lit dinner for two in the privacy of a villa, an African braai where their private chef grills steak over glowing coals, or an artisanal pizza baked in an oven against one of the wildest backdrops in Africa. Out-of-camp dining affords guests quality time in the bush, savouring local African ingredients.
“Despite my years of experience, I love learning new skills and never miss an opportunity to try a new technique. Now happily settled at Mombo, I greatly appreciate the opportunity to embrace these indigenous flavours and processes to enhance our superlative menu and food journey for our guests”, concluded Tondi.