Planning a Kosher Safari Holiday?

By - Jo Wagner
05.08.15 06:05 PM

Planning a Kosher Safari Holiday?

Thanks to a fairly healthy sized Jewish community in 2 of the largest cities in South Africa, namely Johannesburg and Cape Town, Kosher catering is readily available in these cities. However once you leave these cities Kosher is hardly available, and at best you have a handful of items in grocery stores that are mostly Pareve items.
Mashgiachs and fully installed separate Kosher kitchens are available in these cities, BUT there are hardly any Mashgiachs available outside these 2 cities, and if they are required to travel up to a lodge to supervise the Kosher food preparation, then it works only for larger groups who can cover the costs of the Mashgiach to travel up and stay for the full period of time with the clients on safari, or for wealthier individual family units, who are happy to pay the costs, because they can afford to cover the Mashgiachs costs to travel with them.

We have therefore worked tirelessly to find solutions for different levels of clients who have different expectations of Kosher whilst on safari.

In general its safe to say that you can order Kosher safaris with us at 4 different levels

Kosher basic safaris:

This is the lowest form of Kosher, and generally involves clients only wanting fish and vegetarian meals, and do not require anything more than these two items to satify their Kosher needs.
Kosher basic safaris:
This is the lowest form of Kosher, and generally involves clients only wanting fish and vegetarian meals, and do not require anything more than these two items to satisfy their Kosher needs.
Kosher medium safaris:
Here we order Kosher food from our various suppliers, who are Beth Din approved, and the food is sent up to the safari lodges without breaking the cold chain. Some items are pre prepared meals, other items are freshly prepared on site, and there is clearly demarcated areas with the kitchens, as well as brand new pots, pans, cutlery and crockery, which has been set aside for the Kosher clients usage. There is no Mashgiach on site to supervise preparation, however the chefs follow the Kosher guidelines, and the clients themselves, are welcome to turn on ovens, and approve the preparation by having access to the kitchen to inspect the processes followed.
Kosher strict safaris without a Mashgiach:
All food is pre prepared at a Beth Din approved caterer in Johannesburg, plated and frozen, sealed in tinfoil with Kosher certification stickers on the tinfoil exterior of each and every meal. This is shipped to the lodge again without breaking the cold chain, and the food is stored separately in a dedicated area of the kitchen.

The food is then heated and served without any seals being broken at the lodge, and the clients are the first to break the seal.

The 3 options above, tend to be the most cost effective for groups travelling under 8 people in total, who cannot afford to fly a Mashgiach with them.
Kosher strict safaris with a Mashgiach and a set apart Kosher kitchen:
All food is sourced by the Mashgiach himself, through his approved Beth Din employer, and he travels with the food up to the lodge. If the lodge has a dedicated Kosher kitchen, the Beth din door seal is broken on the day of the clients arrival, the kitchen opened for the Kosher preparation, and the Mashgiach and Kosher chef prepare all food within this kitchen.

After the clients leave, the Mashgiach will seal off this kitchen again, lock the door, seal it, and return back to Johannesburg.

There are only 3 lodges in the whole of Southern Africa who provide a totally separate, locked Kosher kitchen, and they are all 5 star plus category, and often fully booked.

This 4th option tends to be the most expensive, and very few of our clients require this level of Kosher, however it is easily arranged, and we have excellent Mashgiach’s who have a sterling reputation in the industry for top quality Kosher.

Tourism that Cares has built up a superb network of like minded lodges, whom we have built up a great working relationship with, to ensure our Kosher guests feel well cared for, and respected for their beliefs and their requirements around Kosher.

Behind each safari experience, we have sourced Beth Din approved Kosher caterers, cold chain logistics managers , Mashgiachs and Chefs who have learnt to deliver a wonderful experience to our most discerning of Kosher guests, including Rabbis from Israel, and Kosher families from all around the world.

The key when planning a Kosher safari really amounts to this: You need a one stop travel company shop who is capable of planning the intricate details of a Kosher safari, able to provide you with the Beth Din certification and verifiable supply and also able to take care of the complex logistics to send food into remote safari areas.

Jo Wagner