Visiting the Victoria Falls in April with the Zambezi in full spate and the Mosi oa Tunya living up to its thunderous reputation, there is, among the many waterholes and dining opportunities available, one “must do” experience that is as exotic as Kandahar island straddling the glittering Zambezi, an experience with all the colors, sounds and tastes of Zimbabwe, an extravagant culinary opportunity for the whole family, that is the “Boma Experience”.
The Boma Experience is a treat, an evening feast for both the eyes and the palates of every discerning gourmand looking to taste Zimbabwean fare away from the mainstream.
The well-appointed thatched paradise of Lokathula Lodge located a short distance from Victoria Falls town, adjoining the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge hosts the Boma Experience. We had checked into Lokathula and were able to benefit from the 10% discount on the all in dinner cost (excluding drinks) of US$40 per head when booking at the restaurant. Given the terrific array of food and a full evening’s entertainment, this has to be the best value for money at the Falls and the service, variety and quality of food did not disappoint.
The evening is a light hearted affair and every diner will be left with some delightful memories of the fabulous entertainment, as the smell of the wood smoke and embers fade. The Boma’s extensive menu caters for all and the evening entertainment has been carefully thought through, so as to compliment and not intrude on the extraordinary African feast.
Its menus peppered from the variety of amuse bouche starters: delicate garden vegetable, cheese and garlic bakes served in a potje (little black kettle pots), rough impala knuckle terrines (Ikheke LaMmpala) and slivers of home smoked guinea fowl hen breasts served with a red wine infused and a wild berry compote. The starters sensibly leave room for the buffet beautifully presented on one side of the vast thatched dining area, which on different levels affords everyone a view of the energetic African dancers, drummers and singers that punctuate the evening with melodic sounds and pulsating starbursts of color.
|Fast facts about the Boma:|
|‘The Boma’ means||‘Place of eating’|
|Opens for dinner||19h 00|
|Types of food||Traditional|
|Expect to pay||$45.00 per head|
Fresh Zambezi bream, pasta dishes and a cauldron of tomato soup with a welcoming selection of salads follow the starters, before the main event; loaded platters of kudu stew, tender warthog, braised guinea fowl, delicious boerewors, steak and chicken all cooked to your liking.
Even the most jaded local Zimbabweans looking for dishes on the wild side will find reason to be impressed by the succulent slabs of warthog and the slices of tender lamb roasted before the open fire. The peanut butter rice and sadza with different garnishes provided perfect accompaniments and so much so that when the caramelized BBQ sauce ran out, the unphased chef whistled up a plate of BBQ sauce especially for the table.
While sampling the delectable delights of Mopane worms might not be to everyone’s taste, it is the night’s prize that earns the more adventurous a Boma badge of honor and a certificate of culinary courage! The smallest worm I was able to eat was not unsurprisingly more akin to eating tree bark.
The desserts looked amazing and were creative works of art. The craftsmanship and decoration however did not live up to expectations, but having said that, extra helpings of ice-cream were called for in the finale.
The ambience of the Boma was delightful, the delicate face painting works of art and the Zimbabwean ethnic wraps when greeted upon arrival with singing dancers, is a special touch and all had us in the mood for a special evening.
Expect to spend US$45 per head including drinks
Victoria Falls Safari Lodge
Date: 20 May 2013