Saturday evening, January 31st ~ The Boma Restaurant
The Boma Restaurant is one of those places that every tourist that comes to Victoria Falls gets invited to experience. And to top things off, we are celebrating Ben’s birthday.
A combination of dance hall, local flare, warm welcomes, huge buffet dinner with offerings that can only be found in Africa, enthusiastic drumming where diners participate, a witch doctor, special drink of the evening, and the chance to eat fried Mopani worms – who would want to miss out on all of this????
“An essentially African experience not to be missed. The Boma is a celebration of the continents tastes, vibrant song, dance & time-honoured customs.”
Upon arrival, we are greeted in the local languages of Shona and Ndebele. Then properly draped with a traditionally colored chitenges tied over one shoulder, as well as a touch of face paint.
Immediately invited to dance, we paid our dues, and with our lack of rhythm, stumbled along as best we could. Then master Rob, showed us all up, as only the showman he is can do, and wowed everyone with his moves!
Seated at two large tables, in a room that holds 230 – 300 people, we were offered drinks and a choice of crocodile or impala as an appetizer. The food was tasty, nicely presented, though not gourmet.
There was a drink of the day, offered up by a colorfully gowned man, who seemed to love his job.
The buffet itself could be called a gastronomical safari.
Now I am one that is normally quite adventurous, but the before dinner offering to try the fried Mopani worms, did not go well. I mean, come on, I have eaten boiled silk worms, fried grasshoppers, roasted star meat (rat) in Thailand and rattle snake in Death Valley.
But the Mopani worm got the best of me. I tried, Lord knows a tried, but it just would not go down. I did get a small bit down the throat, but the rest came back up, and then I did not know what to do with a hand full of partially chewed worm.
Not a problem I often have to deal with…
For the main meal, there were three distinct serving areas: salads, main entrée selections with sides, and desserts.
The choices of meat offered was what made the meal most remarkable. You could choose from warthog, impala, kudu, guinea fowl, game stews, and ostrich, besides more traditional choices like chicken, beef or lamb. There were also plentiful side selections for vegetarians, but the meat was obviously the big draw here for an unusual experience.
Throughout the evening we were entertained by Amakwezi traditional dancers. We were also invited to visit the tent of the local fortune-teller/witch doctor who shook a pile of bones and declared our future.
Someone clued the staff in that it was Ben’s birthday, and the crew came to our table to sing happy birthday and extend best wishes.
The most fun part of the evening for me was when they passed out drums to each person and invited us to join in – with a bit of coaching along the way.
Certainly a memorable evening. Happy birthday Ben!
Gratitude Moment: Today I am grateful that I did not have to eat more worms…