Slow Travel - Baking bread on a campfire in Botswana

When you are in the bush in Botswana you hear all these different noises. It is the sound of the African bush. So many people talk about this amazingly magical bush music that it almost feels like kitsch. But trust me it isn’t kitsch at all. It truly is mesmerizing to hear this constant chirping, chipping, whooping, croaking, growling, and all these sounds you would probably never think of. Did you know that baboons can sound like an excited barking dog, or that a Jackal meows like a very annoyed cat? It never gets boring, and it differs depending on the time of day and season.

Camping in the bush is as much about the sound, as it is about being close to nature and it is literally about becoming part of nature for a few days. It sounds very new age-ish, but in a way, you really become part of the bush. You wouldn’t dream of having siesta next to a lion, would you? I mean you can, but I cannot recommend it. To truly immerse yourself in this world, why not make your own bread in the bush? With making something from scratch with your own hands, you automatically become part of your surroundings. You might wonder right now “hanging out very far from any form of civilisation and baking bread, how should that work?” I can see where you are coming from. Do you picture a squeaky clean kitchen? You have that, in a different way of course. Making your own bread in the bush is the easiest thing ever and it gives you a sense of belonging.

Wherever I travel in Southern Africa I do this with my Land Rover. He is a very loyal friend of mine, so far we drove a whopping 46.000 kilometres on and off-road, and all the time my humble kitchen equipment travels with us. It happens that I journey rather basic, and there is no fridge in the Landy. You really need no massive gear to be self-sustainable and
travel completely independent.

Slow Travel - Baking bread in the bush

Before you start you would need to build a campfire with firewood to cook the bread (you hopefully brought wood). Please build the fire using common sense, clear away all wood, branches, leaves, and grassland. The area should be as clean as possible, and as far away from everything that burns. You wouldn’t want to be the person starting that bushfire in a National Park in Africa? If there is a designated area for a campfire, use it. Together with your wood you hopefully brought something very dry that starts the fire easily. As soon as the fire burns, leave it …

Ingredients: 1) 340 ml bottle of beer. 2) 500 g self-raising flour. 3) Pinch of salt.

Preparation: Mix 3 ingredients. Form dough. Grease loaf tin (or pot) with oil. Place dough in a loaf tin (or pot). Put loaf tin (or pot) in the embers of wood for 35 to 45 min (you will see when it becomes golden brown and crusty on top).

When the bread is ready, cut it and have it still warm with homemade jam and a nice hot cup of Rooibos tea. Sit down, take a bite, hold the steaming cup of tea in your hand, and do absolutely nothing. What better way to enjoy the sound of the African bush?

Do you like camping in the bush? Would you want to try it? Where have you done it? Can’t wait to hear from you. And, don't get me wrong, when I am back in Cape Town, South Africa I also love to visit amazing restaurants in this foodie heaven.

From Berlin with love