You know that whole “tastes like chicken” thing that was popular back when The Matrix came out? Yeah, I thought it was annoying too. However, when it came to eating guinea fowl (also known as bush chicken), I was eager to put that old adage to the test. My opportunity to dine on this fowl came in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and perhaps the best part of eating guinea fowl for dinner was the fact that I saw flocks of wild guinea fowl wandering the grounds of the restaurant earlier in the day.
Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls National Park has one restaurant. It’s called Rainforest Restaurant in reference to the incredible rainforest across the Zambezi river from the falls that only exists because of the mists of the falls. In truth, it should be called a mist-forest, but that is neither here nor there. What is there is a little restaurant with a decent variety of options. Well, sort of.
Sometimes you travel somewhere and despite every fiber of your being, you realize you simply have to be a tourist. And I don’t mean going to Paris and seeing the Eiffel Tower. The Eiffel Tower was built, and people came. No, I’m talking about places that exist for the sole purpose of attracting tourists. In Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, one of these places is the Boma.
Have you ever accidentally swallowed a fly and been told it’s good protein? Well, it’s true and flies aren’t alone in the bug world as a good source of protein. And in some places the bugs are eaten deliberately. I’ve seen scorpions and tarantulas eaten in China, heard about eating silkworms in Korea and now have my own bug-eating experience in Zimbabwe.
Although they border each other and both speak English, South Africa and Zimbabwe couldn’t be more different. Granted, my only basis for comparison are Cape Town and the town of Victoria Falls, but you know, they seemed pretty different. Essentially, Victoria Falls and Zimbabwe are poor. Like dirt poor. As in, so poor that their own currency has no value and they use American dollars instead. So with all this poverty, we were surprised to find a tapas restaurant called Lola’s in the middle of Victoria Falls.
Typically one can expect prices to go down when traveling to a country in abject poverty, such as Zimbabwe, yet when we arrived in Victoria Falls, we were greeted by prices that rivaled fancy pants restaurants in LA. The people certainly could have used the money more than us, but I was still shocked when I sat down to eat lunch at the Buffalo Bar in the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge and found myself staring at a $15 burger.
It’s not often you get to eat one of your favorite characters from childhood, but on my trip to South Africa and Zimbabwe, that’s exactly what I did. I took down Pumbaa, at the first possible chance. And I didn’t just do it once, it was so good I kept coming back for more.