Ever wanted to dine in a one-of-a-kind setting that offers something different from your usual run-of-the-mill dining experience? We’ve rounded up some of the most unusual, utterly unforgettable and unique restaurants in Africa. From dining out on a big rock in turquoise waters off the coast of Zanzibar, to toasting your loved one in an ancient cave or in a train overlooking one of the Seven Wonders Of The World … you are sure to blow your dinner guest away with an extraordinarily unique culinary experience.
1. Dinner for two on the Tongabezi Raft, Zambia
What could be nicer than tucking into a romantic dinner for two while floating on the spectacular Zambezi River with hippos wallowing in the distance whilst you gaze into a brilliant pink sky? If you’re planning on visiting Zambia and the incredible Victoria Falls, we suggest that you stay at either Tongabezi Lodge, Sindabezi Island or Tangala House (all situated on the banks of the Zambezi and in close vicinity of the famous Victoria Falls). Not only will you be surrounded by pristine wilderness, but the experience of dining on African cuisine on Sampan the floating raft is included in the rate.
2. Get hands-on at One Ingredient, Cape Town
What could be better than watching a master chef create beautiful, mouthwatering dishes whilst you sip on one of South Africa’s renowned wines? At One Ingredient international private chef, Matt Manning has created an interactive dining experience that is truly magical! Each month he picks one ingredient and showcases its versatility by creating five different dishes (all paired with a beautiful wine). In between sampling the dishes, diners can try their hand at recreating a couple of his dishes for themselves. The English chef has worked under Gordon Ramsay and Marcus Wareing to name but a few, as well as at celebrated local restaurant, La Colombe.
3. The Rock Restaurant, Zanzibar
If you’re looking for something truly authentic that will take your partner’s breath away with its pure simplicity and raw beauty, then the Rock Restaurant is for you! Perched on a rock surrounded by the ocean (when the tide is high), just off beautiful Michanvi Pingwe beach which forms part of the exotic spice island of Zanzibar, you can be sure to satisfy all your senses. Breathe in the salty sea air, whilst revelling in the soft pastel colours and idyllic views and tucking into a beautifully prepared, fresh feast. Originally a fisherman’s post, The Rock is Zanzibarian magic at its best!
4. Calling all meat eaters to The Carnivore, Kenya
If you’re a meat-lover and don’t shy away from trying the more unusual cuts of meat, then The Carnivore is perfect for you! Set in lush tropical gardens, just outside of Nairobi’s bustling city centre, this unusual and infamous meat speciality restaurant offers a variety of joints of meat including skewered kidneys, camel, ostrich and even crocodile, all roasted on traditional Masai swords over an enormous charcoal pit in the restaurant’s entrance. Served with an array of interesting sauces, soups and vegetarian dishes, diners can expect an electric atmosphere that is entirely different from any food experiences you’d have ever had.
5. A special occasion in the sky, Johannesburg
Taking dining to new heights is South African-based company Sky Events that brings you one of the most unusual restaurants under the sky or stars suspended 50 meters in the sky from a crane! For this extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime dinner in the sky experience with uninterrupted views all around you, Sky Events is currently hosting this experience from the picturesque Val Bonne Country Estate in Johannesburg in the heart of lush country living.
6. Ali Barbour’s Cave, Kenya
For the ultimate romantic setting and magical atmosphere, Ali Barbour’s Cave is a unique restaurant that is bound to make a lasting impression as well as memories to savour. Set inside a natural coral cave about 10 meters below ground level and 30 kilometers south of Mombasa, Kenya. The cave which is thought to be as around 120 000 to 180 000 years old, is filled with hundreds of candles and has holes in the roof crust that are open to a wondrous star-lit sky (protected by sliding covers in poor weather). Only the stone floor, lighting, furniture and fittings have been added to the restaurant which specialises in mouthwatering, freshly-caught seafood and other African cuisine.
7. Waited on by sharks! At uShaka Marine World, Durban
Dine in a replica ship with captivating views of one of the ocean’s most feared predators at the Cargo Hold restaurant situated in the famous uShaka Marine World, one of Durban’s most spectacular settings. The restaurant lies nestled in the stern of the Phantom ship with tables set right next to a wall-sized shark tank with incredible views over the ocean. Soak up the unique ambience in this underwater-wonderland while you dine on flavours from around the world, as well as the spicy and exotic food that Kwa-Zulu Natal is famous for.
8. The Royal Livingstone Express, Victoria Falls
And last but most certainly not least … what could be more magical than having a glass of bubbly aboard a vintage steam train travel while experiencing a brilliant hued sunset from the famous Victorian bridge with incredible views over Victoria Falls? For a one-of-a-kind experience, ask us to arrange an afternoon steam train trip from either the Zimbabwean or Zambian side. The Bushtracks Express offers the ultimate pre-dinner-five-star experience onto the famous bridge, which was constructed in 1905 by Cecil Rhodes followed by a silver service dinner in the Palm Grove siding.