I love safari! Pete and I are fortunate to have been on several over the last two decades and have particular soft spots for the wildlife parks of Botswana, Kenya and South Africa, to name a few.
There’s something utterly captivating about observing birds and animals in their natural habitats, up close and personal. Of course, there are the poster animals – sleek and powerful lions and leopards, lithe and speedy cheetahs, elegant-necked loping giraffes, portly hippos, grinning hyenas, wild dogs, buffalo, zebras, wildebeest – all of which are a delight to see.
But we find just as much joy in the smaller or lesser known wildlife – a family of silver-backed jackal pups playing in the dawn light under the watchful gaze of their parents, colourful lilac-breasted rollers or malachite kingfishers taking to the wing in a flash of colour, a fighting gaggle of vultures competing fiercely over the remnants of the latest unfortunate, a sniffling porcupine shuffling through the grass with quills-a-quivering, two bat-eared foxes cautiously poking their heads up from the entrance of their den, blinking bush-babies sitting high in a tree watching us watch them, a dung beetle laboriously rolling his ball of dung along the ground, the shimmer of sunlight against the iridescent plume of a glossy starling or ibis, the striking facial patterns and horns of the mighty oryx, the tight grip of a tiny reed frog clinging to a tall stem jutting out of the waters in the Okavango Delta… There is even excitement to be found in the footprints of animals long since departed, imprinted into the earth and now a challenge to our skills of identification – elephants and lions are much easier than the many ungulates!
Someone once declared that if you’d seen one wrinkly grey elephant’s arse you’d seen them all and he couldn’t see the point of going on more than one safari in one’s life. To say that I was flabbergasted is an understatement!
There are many ways to safari, from budget self-drive to remote luxury camps with private guides. We’ve done and loved both – each has its advantages and disadvantages.
Luxury safari camps are places of such beauty – gorgeous full height canvas tents with comfortable furniture, en-suite bathrooms and open air dining rooms where guests and guides come together for delicious meals. Of course, the focus is the wildlife viewing activities but we certainly enjoy the catering and accommodations in between!
It was at one such safari camp that I was first offered Jungle Juice, a jolly name for a mixed fruit smoothie. Usually featuring a banana base with a range of additional fruits depending on what was available, this quickly became a favourite for me, especially as I’m not a wine or beer drinker. Indeed, when we later visited camps that didn’t offer anything similar, I was happy to describe Jungle Juice, and they would kindly rustle some up for me. (In the same way, I have introduced more African safari guides to shandy than I care to think about!)
Of course, as Jungle Juice is simply a mixed fruit no-dairy smoothie, it’s a drink many people make and enjoy.
Jungle Juice Sorbet
Recently, I was sent an Optimum 9400 Blender by Australian brand Froothie. It’s a super powerful blender, with a very sharp blade which means that as well as making quick work of smoothies and sauces, it can also grind nuts and seeds and crush ice. What I can tell you is that the motor and blade make quick work of chunks of frozen fruit and the advantage of blending them straight from frozen is that Jungle Juice becomes Jungle Juice Sorbet!
I make Jungle Juice Sorbet with nothing but fruit – no honey or sugar, no dairy, no oats – so it’s a very healthy alternative to dairy ice creams and sugar-laden sorbets.
For the first few moments, I thought the frozen chunks of banana, pineapple and mango I had thrown into the jug were simply too solid for the blade to handle but after a few seconds more, the blade started to reduce the fruit to a thick cold paste. Pete used the tamper tool provided to push the chunks at the top down towards the blades and a few minutes later, the sorbet was done.
Of course, you’ll want to eat the sorbet the moment it’s ready, so be prepared and have your bowls, spoons and eager diners ready and waiting.
As there is no added sugar or preservatives, this sorbet is best eaten fresh.
Jungle Juice Sorbet
- 1-2 bananas , peeled, chopped and frozen
- 200-300 g mixed fruits , peeled, chopped (if necessary) and frozen
So that you can make smoothies and sorbets quickly whenever you feel like it, I recommend you keep chunks of frozen fruit ready to hand in your freezer. Banana is best frozen already peeled and chopped, likewise larger fruit such as pineapple and mango. Berries can simply be washed, hulled and frozen as they are. Make sure they’re fairly dry when you put them into the freezer, so the liquid doesn’t cause them to freeze into a solid block.
Place your chosen fruit chunks straight from the freezer into your blender. (You’ll need a really robust blender to handle this. Alternatively, a high quality food processor will also work).
Blend until the fruit has been broken down into a thick, creamy puree. Pause once or twice to push solid chunks down closer to the blades if necessary.
Kavey Eats received an Optimum 9400 blender from Froothie.