Africa for Vegans and Vegetarians

by Sandy Salle on July 24, 2018

Despite the continent’s reputation for braais (barbecues), boerewors (sausages) and other carnivorous delights, it actually is possible to vegans and vegetarians to travel in Africa without starving.

Although success in that endeavor largely depends on which countries you decide to safari in.

South Africa, for instance, boasts hundreds of restaurants with hearty vegan and vegetarian dishes. The greatest concentration is in big cities like Johannesburg and Cape Town, as well as the wine country of the Western Cape. Cape Town in particular is renowned for its vegan-friendly dining scene. But places are starting to pop up in beach and rural areas as well.

Cape Town Three Boutiques Hotel breakfast buffet

With its large South Asian population, Kenya is another safari destination with a good selection of vegan and vegetarian eateries, especially in the capital, Nairobi.

The North African diet — influenced by the Mediterranean and the Middle East — is also ideal for those avoiding meat, fish and/or dairy foods, with Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia at the top of the list.

Risotto with fresh vegetables and tofu

With its many pureed vegetable dishes and a wide selection of breads, Ethiopian cuisine is also well-suited for vegetarians.Indian, Chinese and Italian restaurants with a selection of veggie edibles can be found in nearly every African capital and other large cities, as well as popular tourist areas like the Kenya coast and the island of Mauritius.Even if you’re traveling in places that don’t have vegan or vegetarian restaurants, local cuisine often includes many grain, tuber and vegetable dishes.

Porridge dishes — made from sorghum, millet, cassava and plantains (green bananas) are one of the staples of the sub-Saharan African diet. Flavor is added via steamed or boiled vegetables, and a wide variety of sauces relishes and chutney-like condiments.

African porridge

On Madagascar — with a culture that traces its roots back to Southeast Asia — rice is the prevailing grain and the base of many local dishes.

But what about out in the African bush? Can a vegan or vegetarian please their palate on the Serengeti Plains or the Okavango swamps?


Breakfast options at Ngala Safari Lodge

The key to eating right on safari is asking Hills of Africa ahead of time about the culinary offerings on your trip or safari.You want to make sure before you even arrive in Africa that your safari — even if it’s camping in the proverbial middle of nowhere — offers a selection of vegan and/or veggie dishes for each of the three main daily meals and snack time.

Botswana — renowned for the Okavango Delta, the Kalahari Desert and Chobe National Park — is one of the pioneers of the vegan and vegetarian safari.

Vegan African Stew

One of the best resources for vegans and vegetarians headed to the region is the Africa section of a website called Happy Cow. Which lists vegan and vegetarian restaurants and stores in more than 30 African nations.

So, rest easy: You can visit Africa and go on safari without compromising your conscience or dietary requirements.  Now that you know that you won’t starve when you go, let’s start planning your African journey, please contact us here at Hills of Africa at 1-800-940-9344.










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