Culinary or Adventure Safari

Thor Kirchner

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I have been thinking of doing a kind of culinary safari to supplement the trophy safaris.

We recently hosted a team from Denmark that do a Danish TV show called “Whack n Munch”. There are two hosts: one is an older gentleman from the countryside and a hunter, the other is a (slightly) younger famous TV chef from the capital city Copenhagen.

The basic concept of the show is that, in each episode, they set out to hunt one animal; this animal is never a rare or endangered species and not always of trophy quality. The hunter shoots it and the chef then prepares the meat with a variety of common vegetables and some harvested from the surrounding wild/bush. The obvious themes are hunting and cooking but subtler themes include the comradery between the two hosts, conservation and biology of the animals they shoot, and how both hosts simply enjoy being in nature.

The fact that these guys do not hunt for trophies but for venison, despite the fact that they have no objection to trophy hunting, made me think there might be an opportunity to do something else with a hunting quota.

The great thing about this TV show is it has changed views on hunting in Denmark with marked increases in the number of people acquiring hunting licenses in the past 8 years since the show started. Not only that but the younger generation in urban areas is a large part of that shift, it’s now a social “thing” to have a hunting license and use it. I believe this is because of the “Whack n Munch” TV show. This is what the world needs if hunting of any sort is to survive.

The majority of hunting in Africa is for trophies with a small amount of local venison hunting in South Africa and Namibia where there are sufficient commercial markets. The problem with trophy hunting is that you have a limitation on how many individuals of each species you can harvest without damaging the quality or genepool. In many cases it will only be 1-2% of the population because you are harvesting animals past, or almost past, breeding age. For certain, easily breeding, species it would be possible to add younger animals to your quota without unbalancing the population.

At a place like Munyamadzi we struggle to make ends meet from income generated solely from trophy hunting, with running costs and the cost of sufficient anti-poaching not being low. Really, we use that as an excuse to keep hunting going in some countries – the cost of conservation is too high without it – but it is hard to combine consumptive and non-consumptive tourism in a place like Munyamadzi.



So, I have been thinking of advertising some culinary safaris if I may call it that. It won’t have too much to do with hunting.

We get a group of say 4 – 8 clients above 12 years old for a 6 – 8 safari. The purpose of the exercise may vary, depending on the group, but a bush survival course for a group of friends, quality family time doing something different or a kind of children’s bush survival trip are some ideas.

The team would fly into our main camp and spend the first one or two nights there learning firearm handling and how to shoot. After that the safari group will be packed up and we will walk to the next camp location carrying all of our personal kit ourselves but larger items will be taken by vehicle. Clients set up their own tents and plans for the next day made; this is when two of the clients will be chosen to do the hunting.

The following day clients will go out looking for venison animals to shoot, this will be impala and warthog as they are both delicious but also common and reproduce easily.

The clients then learn how to skin an animal and handle meat in the field before carrying it back to camp. Butchering skills will be learnt and methods of preserving meat in bush without cooling facilities.

During this period, clients also learn about the bush and how to behave around dangerous animals. They learn about survival and what they can eat from the bush and what they can’t. There would also be a bit of fishing on the Luangwa River. Learning how to cook world class meals on an open fire and how to bake bread without an oven are also part of the package.

After all this the group returns to the main camp for the two last nights of the safari to reflect on what has been learnt and to relax before going back out into the world.

What does everyone on AH think of this? Is there a demand for this type of safari? And would people get any good out of it?

This is not meant as a way to phase out trophy hunting. It is meant to compliment the trophy hunting and add to the sustainability of these areas that cannot do photographic safaris successfully. For us to justify what we do in these free ranging wildlife areas in Africa we need to prove that it is sustainable both to the wildlife and to us financially. But there must still be a place for every kind of hunter. Trophy, meat, bow or sport we all need to work together because at the end of the day we all want to continue doing what we are doing.

Good hunting season to everyone!
 

PeteG

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Thor, sounds like a good idea, something that could get groups of people who are not all necessarily hunters by our definition, involved and interested in hunting and the activities surrounding the hunt.
Whether or not there is a demand, is difficult to say, this is something new to me and i am sure to many others so it is something that could gain traction given a bit of time.
I hope it comes together.(y)
 

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Interesting concept, agree with @PeteG , hope it comes together for you!
 

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Hello Thor Kirchner,

I think yours is a very good idea, especially as you have already pointed out, to gain awareness among the general public that, are not hunters but, are likewise not really anti-hunters either.
There is an American TV show called "Bizarre Foods", hosted by Chef Andrew Zimmern that, might be interested in your concept.
He recently has begun another show that is a bit more "tame" called, "Delicious Destinations".
If you could contact his outfit with your idea, I would not be surprised at all if he wanted to film a half hour segment with your "Culinary Safari", for one or the other of his shows.

One time Zimmern did one of his episodes on a small South Africa game breeding farm.
During this particular segment, he shot a non-trophy impala, by means of the Land Owner's suppressed rifle then, showed how the meat was prepared, etc. (watching it made me hungry).
I'm not sure but it seems like this farm was primarily in the business of supplying meat to local restaurants and skins to a tannery, not so much for hunting as we normally think of it.
Your scenario would be that much more interesting because of the remoteness and wildness of your concession.
Not sure how to contact him but www.travelchannel.com would be my first guess.

Good luck,
Velo Dog.
 

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Sounds like a great idea to me.
 

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As a Chef by trade I find this and interesting concept
 

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interesting thor. i spoke to a michelin star chef i know who writes books and does tv, and asked him about what he thought putting a series together where he flew into hunting camps in different countries and prepared meals using the different game animals, and he thought it sounded like it might work, but as happens it never got followed up. i might get hold of him again. its different to your idea which i think is worth trying, but as pete said it could take a while and think it would be a struggle to start with, but go for it (y) :D Beers:
 

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I did something along those lines a couple years ago when I shot my eland. I was prepared and helped skin/butcher the animal and saved the brisket and then prepared it the next day over coals with my own rub. It amused the kitchen staff that anyone would want to but the P.H. had explained it in advance. It turned out well, helps that I have 20+ years in the restaurant business. Sounds like a good idea, kind of a small niche market but I think with proper marketing it could fly. How about a crude name like some of the T.V. shows here use - "Whack and Snack?"
Not quite ready to fix hippo lips yet, might have to watch it done first.
 
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I think it is a great idea. I think you could offer varying levels of involvement to grab a larger segment. For example, all may not shoot, or some may not butcher. But, all will still get the experience, and understanding the field to table experience.

Good luck!
 

Paul Edwards

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I have been thinking of doing a kind of culinary safari to supplement the trophy safaris.

We recently hosted a team from Denmark that do a Danish TV show called “Whack n Munch”. There are two hosts: one is an older gentleman from the countryside and a hunter, the other is a (slightly) younger famous TV chef from the capital city Copenhagen.

The basic concept of the show is that, in each episode, they set out to hunt one animal; this animal is never a rare or endangered species and not always of trophy quality. The hunter shoots it and the chef then prepares the meat with a variety of common vegetables and some harvested from the surrounding wild/bush. The obvious themes are hunting and cooking but subtler themes include the comradery between the two hosts, conservation and biology of the animals they shoot, and how both hosts simply enjoy being in nature.

The fact that these guys do not hunt for trophies but for venison, despite the fact that they have no objection to trophy hunting, made me think there might be an opportunity to do something else with a hunting quota.

The great thing about this TV show is it has changed views on hunting in Denmark with marked increases in the number of people acquiring hunting licenses in the past 8 years since the show started. Not only that but the younger generation in urban areas is a large part of that shift, it’s now a social “thing” to have a hunting license and use it. I believe this is because of the “Whack n Munch” TV show. This is what the world needs if hunting of any sort is to survive.

The majority of hunting in Africa is for trophies with a small amount of local venison hunting in South Africa and Namibia where there are sufficient commercial markets. The problem with trophy hunting is that you have a limitation on how many individuals of each species you can harvest without damaging the quality or genepool. In many cases it will only be 1-2% of the population because you are harvesting animals past, or almost past, breeding age. For certain, easily breeding, species it would be possible to add younger animals to your quota without unbalancing the population.

At a place like Munyamadzi we struggle to make ends meet from income generated solely from trophy hunting, with running costs and the cost of sufficient anti-poaching not being low. Really, we use that as an excuse to keep hunting going in some countries – the cost of conservation is too high without it – but it is hard to combine consumptive and non-consumptive tourism in a place like Munyamadzi.



So, I have been thinking of advertising some culinary safaris if I may call it that. It won’t have too much to do with hunting.

We get a group of say 4 – 8 clients above 12 years old for a 6 – 8 safari. The purpose of the exercise may vary, depending on the group, but a bush survival course for a group of friends, quality family time doing something different or a kind of children’s bush survival trip are some ideas.

The team would fly into our main camp and spend the first one or two nights there learning firearm handling and how to shoot. After that the safari group will be packed up and we will walk to the next camp location carrying all of our personal kit ourselves but larger items will be taken by vehicle. Clients set up their own tents and plans for the next day made; this is when two of the clients will be chosen to do the hunting.

The following day clients will go out looking for venison animals to shoot, this will be impala and warthog as they are both delicious but also common and reproduce easily.

The clients then learn how to skin an animal and handle meat in the field before carrying it back to camp. Butchering skills will be learnt and methods of preserving meat in bush without cooling facilities.

During this period, clients also learn about the bush and how to behave around dangerous animals. They learn about survival and what they can eat from the bush and what they can’t. There would also be a bit of fishing on the Luangwa River. Learning how to cook world class meals on an open fire and how to bake bread without an oven are also part of the package.

After all this the group returns to the main camp for the two last nights of the safari to reflect on what has been learnt and to relax before going back out into the world.

What does everyone on AH think of this? Is there a demand for this type of safari? And would people get any good out of it?

This is not meant as a way to phase out trophy hunting. It is meant to compliment the trophy hunting and add to the sustainability of these areas that cannot do photographic safaris successfully. For us to justify what we do in these free ranging wildlife areas in Africa we need to prove that it is sustainable both to the wildlife and to us financially. But there must still be a place for every kind of hunter. Trophy, meat, bow or sport we all need to work together because at the end of the day we all want to continue doing what we are doing.

Good hunting season to everyone!
Fantastic idea! May help get the next generation off the latest video game and away from the microwave and give them a 'hunger' for real adventure!
 

IA Monsterbuck

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Whack n' Munch. I love it.

How about a culinary hunt where the hunter shoots an animal and there are 3 or 4 chefs in camp that must then each prepare a meal from the animal the next day in the style/variety of their choosing. The hunters then judge the different dishes to decide who prepared it best.
 

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Whack n' Munch. I love it.

How about a culinary hunt where the hunter shoots an animal and there are 3 or 4 chefs in camp that must then each prepare a meal from the animal the next day in the style/variety of their choosing. The hunters then judge the different dishes to decide who prepared it best.
Masterchef - the Luangwa special!!!
 

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Whack n' Munch. I love it.

How about a culinary hunt where the hunter shoots an animal and there are 3 or 4 chefs in camp that must then each prepare a meal from the animal the next day in the style/variety of their choosing. The hunters then judge the different dishes to decide who prepared it best.
Sign me up
 

Rob404

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On my First Safari I tried to stick my nose in the kitchen to see if I could help, but if you have ever hunted with CT Safaris you know that Sabina will have none of that, even though I brought her some Persian Saffron, I didn't get kitchen priviliges to get my own beer til Thursday
When I pull the plug in a few years,and go on one last Safari I plan to get permission to spend a day in a working Safari Kitchen, like Music and Math Food has a Universal Language. I will of course bring my own Kitchen Knives and gift them to the Chef when I leave, I can't see good knives winding up in a garage sale after I check out.
 

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I think there are certainly possibilities.
There are plenty of people looking for new experiences. Sell the conservation angle and how they are helping the Munyamadzi ecosystem survive.
I can imagine a group "tour" being put together as a side trip on a larger excursion. An add-on to the Photo Safari.

Why not give it a try.
 

Thor Kirchner

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Thanks for the comments everyone. I already have a few good ideas now and I'm sure we will make it work somehow.
 

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Hi Thor,

I think you have a great idea, but I believe you have multiple types of adventures mixed into one.

Hunting
Survival course
Culinary course

To me, it would be difficult to teach all of these together in an affordable setting to most safari goers. Hunters or not. You're trying to reach most mainstream people, and most have no real desire for the hardcore hunting or survival.

The culinary course, tied to a bit of hunting, would likely hold the most interest to the non-hunter. The focus being on culinary arts in the native country and dishes made from wild game. The actual hunting portion would just be a means to an end for the culinary course.

This only applies if you're trying to attract the non-hunting clientele. The average hunter would enjoy a bit of cooking with mostly hunting.

Good luck.
 

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There is an American TV show called "Bizarre Foods", hosted by Chef Andrew Zimmern that, might be interested in your concept.
One time Zimmern did one of his episodes on a small South Africa game breeding farm.
During this particular segment, he shot a non-trophy impala, by means of the Land Owner's suppressed rifle then, showed how the meat was prepared, etc. (watching it made me hungry).
I'm not sure but it seems like this farm was primarily in the business of supplying meat to local restaurants and skins to a tannery, not so much for hunting as we normally think of it.
Your scenario would be that much more interesting because of the remoteness and wildness of your concession.
Velo Dog.

Dear Thor
Kowas Hunting Safaris was privileged to host Chef Andrew Zimmern when filming one of his segments for his show in Namibia, Africa.
He conducted the hunt on our property with our PH Matheus Theofelus while Selma Kalumbu prepared the food for him after his successful hunt.

Your concept would be very popular since game meat preparation always receive attention and sometimes provides a challenge.
We wish you best of luck with fulfilling your dreams.
Namibian greetings from Africa.
Ansie
 

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