You don't want to embark on gorilla trekking in Uganda or big game viewing on the Masai Mara on an empty stomach. So get a good meal inside you before you set off. Local fish, meat and vegetables are prepared traditionally or with a more modern spin at restaurants in safari gateway cities across Africa.

Try African tilapia fish stuffed with herbs, or goat brochettes - the Rwandan take on kebabs - at Chez Lando Grill, Hotel Chez Lando, Kigali, Rwanda (00 250 582050;

At Ekitoobero, 21Yusuf Lule Road, Nakasero Kampala, Uganda (00 256 41 3 46834) you'll find matooke (steamed plantain), cassava (a local root vegetable), nakati or Ethiopian eggplant and omubisi (banana juice).

If you want to taste the local delicacyof truffles from the Kalahari desert head for Gathemann Restaurant, 175 Independence Avenue, Windhoek, Namibia (00 264 61 2 28853) where the Swiss-born chef Urs Gamma serves them as a carpaccio, sliced raw and dressed with virgin olive oil.

Stop for lunch en route to the Kruger Park at The Pinotage Restaurant and Wine Cellar, 245 End Street, Clubview, Centurion, Pretoria (00 27 12 654 7040; The bobotie with yellow rice and sweet chilli saucecomplements the fine pinotage wine.

Zambian specialities made from produce from the hotel's own farm appear on the menu at Le Soleil, Zambezi Road, Roma, Lusaka, Zambia (00 260 1 212 437;

Feast on locally caught West Coast lobsters at The Tug Restaurant, Jetty Area, Promenade, Swakopmund, Namibia (00 264 64 402356).

According to the restaurant's website, Richard Branson has dined at Wandies, Dube, Soweto (00 27 11 9822 796; .za), where dishes include mogodu (tripe) and samp (chopped and ground dried corn kernels).