25 AFRICAN DISHES & Foods To Try While On Tour With Nomad
Traveling and trying local food in Africa is an incredible experience that allows you to immerse yourself in the culture of the country through your taste buds. Each country in Africa has its unique cuisine, which is often reflective of its history, climate, and natural resources. Whether it’s the spicy and flavorful, or hearty and grilled, there is something for everyone… and certainly something for every one of your senses to enjoy.
Trying the local food while on tour with Nomad also gives you the opportunity to interact with locals and learn about their customs and traditions. You can explore the street food scene, visit local markets, and sample traditional dishes for an unforgettable culinary adventure unlike anywhere else in the world.
We’d love to know which locals African food do you remember enjoying on your tour? Let us know in the comments section…
Stonetown is alive with the enticing aromas of freshly grilled seafood, including fish, squid, prawn, lobster, crab claw, and seafood kebabs, all displayed in rows upon rows of grills. The air is filled with the mouth-watering scent of hunger-inducing delicacies. In addition to the seafood, there are other tempting treats to choose from, such as freshly squeezed juices, like sugar cane juice and cassava, crispy fried potatoes, warm chapatis, refreshing salads, savoury beef skewers, delectable falafel, and the famous Zanzibar ‘pizzas’. Here are 3 popular foods to try when walking the streets of Stonetown:
Octopus Curry: Octopus curry is a popular seafood dish in Zanzibar. The octopus is cooked in a spicy tomato-based sauce with coconut milk and served with rice or chapati, a type of flatbread that is made with flour, water, and oil and is usually served warm.
Urojo: This is a popular street food in Zanzibar, also known as Zanzibar Mix. It is a soup made with a blend of different ingredients such as lentils, potatoes, mango, and banana. The soup is served with a sprinkle of crispy bhajia (fritters) and a squeeze of lime juice.
Zanzibar Pizza: A popular street food in Zanzibar that resembles a savory crepe or pancake. The dough is made from flour, water, yeast, and sugar, rolled out thin, and cooked on a hot griddle. The pizza is filled with ingredients such as minced meat, egg, vegetables, cheese, and spices, folded into a pocket, and cooked until crispy and golden brown. It is a delicious and flavorful snack that can be enjoyed on the go.
South African cuisine is a diverse fusion of indigenous and colonial influences. Traditional dishes often feature grilled meats, stews, and porridges made from maize or sorghum. Popular foods include bobotie, bunny chow, biltong, boerewors, chakalaka, pap and wors, vetkoek, koeksisters, malva pudding, and the braai – a social event centered around a barbecue or grill. Here are 3 popular foods to try when touring South Africa:
Bobotie: A baked dish made with spiced minced meat (usually beef or lamb), mixed with dried fruit, onions, and a creamy egg custard topping.
Biltong: A type of dried and cured meat, similar to beef jerky, but with a distinctively South African flavor. It’s commonly made from beef, but can also be made from game meats like ostrich and kudu.
Boerewors: A type of sausage made with beef, pork, or lamb, flavored with coriander and other spices. It’s often grilled and served as a main course or used as a filling for sandwiches and wraps.
Tanzanian food is influenced by the country’s diverse ethnic groups and proximity to the Indian Ocean. Staple foods include ugali (a maize porridge), beans, rice, and plantains. Popular dishes include pilau (spiced rice with meat), samosas, and nyama choma (grilled meat). Coconut milk and spices like turmeric, cinnamon, and cardamom are commonly used. Here are 3 popular foods to try when on tour in Tanzania:
Nyama Choma: This is a grilled meat dish that is popular throughout Tanzania. It can be made with a variety of meats, including beef, chicken, or goat, and is often marinated in a mixture of spices and herbs before being grilled over an open flame. Nyama choma is typically served with a side of vegetables or ugali, a dense, starchy dish that is similar to polenta or grits made from cornmeal and water.
Mshikaki: This is a popular street food in Tanzania, consisting of skewered and grilled meat (usually beef, chicken or goat) that has been marinated in a mixture of spices and herbs. Mshikaki is often served with a side of kachumbari, a tomato and onion salad.
Chipsi mayai: This is a popular street food in Tanzania that consists of french fries (chips) mixed with eggs and fried together into an omelette-like dish. It is often served with kachumbari or tomato sauce for dipping.
Namibian cuisine is influenced by its German colonial history and the country’s location on the Atlantic coast. Meat, particularly beef and game, is a staple of the Namibian diet. Other popular dishes include potjiekos (a meat and vegetable stew), kapana (grilled meat), and oshifima (a porridge made from maize meal). Seafood, including oysters and crayfish, is also a specialty. Here are 2 popular foods to look out for when on tour in Namibia:
Kapana: This is a popular street food in Namibia that consists of grilled meat, usually beef or venison, that is seasoned with a mixture of spices and served with a variety of dipping sauces. It’s often served on skewers or in bite-sized pieces.
Phane: This is a delicacy made from the mopane caterpillar, which is found in the mopane tree. The caterpillars are collected and cleaned, then boiled with salt and dried in the sun. They are then fried in oil until crispy and served as a snack or as part of a meal. They’re high in protein and are said to have a nutty, meaty flavor.
Mozambican cuisine is a fusion of Portuguese, African, and Indian influences. Seafood, including prawns and fish, is a major component of the country’s cuisine due to its long coastline. Other popular dishes include peri-peri chicken, matapa (a dish made with cassava leaves and peanuts), and feijoada (a bean stew). Coconut milk and spices such as piri-piri and turmeric are commonly used.
Piri-piri Chicken or Prawns: A grilled prawns or chicken that’s marinated in a spicy piri-piri sauce made from African bird’s eye chilies, garlic, lemon juice, and oil. It’s often served with chips (fries) and a salad.
Caldeirada: A hearty fish stew made with a variety of seafood, vegetables, and spices. It’s cooked slowly over low heat until the flavors meld together and is often served with xima, a porridge made from maize flour and water.
Malawian cuisine is characterized by its reliance on staple foods like maize, cassava, and beans. These are often prepared into dishes like nsima (a thick porridge made from maize flour) and chambo (a type of fish found in Lake Malawi). Other popular dishes include thobwa (a maize-based drink) and nyama (grilled meat).
Chambo: This is a type of fish found in Lake Malawi, and is a popular local delicacy. It is usually grilled or fried and served with nsima and a tomato and onion relish.
Mandasi: These are similar to doughnuts, but are denser and have a slightly sweet taste. They are often eaten for breakfast, and are sometimes served with tea or coffee.
Ugandan cuisine is diverse and reflects the country’s different regions and cultural influences. Staple foods include matooke (steamed mashed bananas), cassava, and millet. Popular dishes include ugali (a thick porridge), matoke stew, and posho (maize meal). Ugandan cuisine also features grilled meats and fish, often served with a side of vegetables.
Matooke: Matooke is a staple food in Uganda that is made from steamed green bananas. It is usually served with a stew made from groundnuts, beans, or meat. The matooke is often wrapped in banana leaves and steamed to give it a distinct flavor.
Rolex: Rolex is a popular street food in Uganda that is made from a rolled-up chapati (flatbread) filled with vegetables and eggs. It is often eaten as a quick breakfast or snack.
Zimbabwean cuisine is heavily influenced by the country’s southern African roots and colonial past. Staple foods include maize, sorghum, and beans, which are used to make dishes like sadza (a stiff porridge) and maputi (a type of roasted maize). Popular dishes also include beef and chicken stews, and a vegetable and peanut butter-based dish called muriwo unedovi.
Guests on tour in Victoria Falls can enjoy some of these wonderful dishes cooked by The Lusumpuko Women’s Club, a community trust project that is close to Nomad’s heart.
Muriwo Unedovi: Muriwo Unedovi is a popular vegetable dish in Zimbabwe that is made from collard greens and ground peanut butter. The greens are boiled until tender and then mixed with a thick peanut butter sauce that is flavored with garlic, ginger, and onions. This dish is often served with sadza, a finely ground cornmeal (maize) that is cooked with water to create a thick porridge.
Huku ne Dovi: Huku ne Dovi is a popular chicken and peanut butter stew that is made by cooking chicken pieces with onions, tomatoes, and garlic until the chicken is cooked through. Peanut butter is then added to create a creamy and flavorful sauce. Huku ne Dovi is typically served with sadza or rice.
Zambian cuisine features a variety of foods, with staples like maize, cassava, and sweet potatoes. Popular dishes include nshima (a thick porridge), which is usually served with vegetables and meat or fish. Other dishes include ifisashi (a peanut-based stew), and bream fish, which is a local delicacy. Zambian cuisine also incorporates elements of Indian and Chinese cuisine.
Kapenta: Kapenta is a small freshwater fish found in the Zambezi River and Lake Kariba. It’s usually dried or salted before being fried or stewed and served with nshima, which is made from ground maize meal. It’s cooked in boiling water to create a thick, dough-like consistency.
Masau Fruits: The Luangwa Market is a bustling hub where local Zambian vendors showcase their wares. Among the treasures on display are masau and masaku, delectable fruits that are available year-round and renowned for their mouthwatering taste.
Kenyan cuisine is diverse, reflecting the country’s various ethnic groups and regional differences. Staple foods include maize, beans, and potatoes. Popular dishes include ugali (a stiff maize meal), nyama choma (grilled meat), and sukuma wiki (a dish made with kale and onions). Kenyan cuisine also features Indian and Arab influences, with dishes like pilau rice and chapati.
Kenyan Pilau Soup: A hearty soup made with vegetables, chicken, or beef, and flavored with a mix of spices such as cumin, cinnamon, and cloves.
Mahamri: A sweet, fried bread that is made with coconut milk and cardamom. It is often served with tea or coffee and is a popular breakfast item in Kenya.
Botswanan cuisine is centered around beef and goat meat, which are often grilled or stewed with local vegetables. Other staples include sorghum, maize, and beans. Popular dishes include seswaa (a meat stew), pap (a type of porridge), and bogobe jwa lerotse (a sorghum-based porridge). Botswanan cuisine also features some South African and British influences.
Seswaa: This is a traditional dish made from beef, goat or lamb. The meat is boiled until tender, then shredded and pounded with a heavy pestle and mortar until it is a fine texture. It is then served with pap (maize meal) or rice and a vegetable relish.
Morogo: This is a dish made from various types of wild spinach, which are collected from the bush. The spinach is boiled and then fried with onions and tomatoes. It is usually served with pap or rice.