Catering to food preferences and allergies vital part of travel experience these days

Catering to food preferences and allergies vital part of travel experience these days


MIAMI – Catering to food preferences and allergies is a vital part of the travel experience these days, no matter where you go in the world.

At Lion Sands Ivory Lodge in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve in northeast South Africa, one kitchen is under lock and key. It’s kosher, with two different sets of utensils for meat and dairy and all prepared food conforming to Jewish dietary regulations.

“It’s not a section in a kitchen that is kosher,” says the lodge’s former manager, Andrew Temblett. “It’s actually a complete satellite kitchen that’s fully equipped.”

CBS News Correspondent Wendy Gillette got a special rate to see the workings of the kitchen with Timeless Africa Safaris, which caters to kosher guests.

“We are a Jewish company so the natural combination of pleasing and meeting all of our guests’ needs was an easy match with having an understanding of the culture and the religion and all the diversity that it takes from being extremely kosher to kosher light,” says marketing manager Casey van Embden.

Only about 5% of guests who book Timeless Africa Safaris are kosher, but about 95% have some sort of dietary request.

A recent survey from Statista finds more than 4 in 10 Americans now follow some dietary rule. Other surveys show the figure is as high as 6 in 10 Americans.

For travel advisor Jim Bendt, journeys used to be challenging for his family after his son Andrew was diagnosed with celiac disease 17 years ago.

“We used to have a suitcase and we would pack it full of gluten free food that you couldn’t buy at the market because it just wasn’t available in packaged goods, so we actually made all of his food and traveled the world,” he says.

Bendt offers a few tips for travelers with dietary needs:

Let the hotel know in advance what you require

Meet with the chef if you’re in a remote location

Try to get the same waiter at meals.

Bendt says, “Today it’s a lot easier to manage travel and dietary preferences that are out there.” So all you need to worry about digesting is the view.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *