Africa is the sort of destination that is alluring for any kind of traveller, especially the kind who is looking for a real adventure. The continent is home to spectacular landscapes, vibrant cultures, and, of course, a rich culinary history that blends traditional cooking with methods, ingredients and flavours from the various people who have settled here over the years.
While it’s true that many African cuisines have a strong tradition of meat-centric dishes, there’s a delightful surprise awaiting vegans who venture to the continent
Veganism in a Meat Loving Culture
The notion that a plant-based diet is challenging to maintain in Africa is just that, a notion. Africa is rather welcoming to vegans, although the locals might be intrigued by a fully plant based diet.
Africa is really well known for its savoury stews, grilled meats, and exotic game dishes, However, the continent’s culinary scene has evolved to embrace diverse dietary preferences. From bustling markets to sophisticated restaurants, vegan options are on every menu, offering a unique blend of flavours that showcase Africa’s agricultural bounty.
Menu Options for Vegan Travellers
- Vegetarian Stews and Curries: Many African countries boast an array of vegetarian stews and curries that have become an important part of local cuisine. These dishes often feature a medley of fresh vegetables, legumes, and aromatic spices, providing a burst of flavours that are unique to each region.
- Plant-Based Street Food: Street food is a vibrant aspect of African culinary culture, and vegan options are abundant. Whether it’s falafel wraps or spicy roasted nuts, street vendors often cater to a variety of dietary preferences.
- Indigenous Grains and Vegetables: Indigenous plant-based ingredients have been sustaining African communities for centuries. Things like millet, sorghum, cassava, and a variety of leafy greens are staples that contribute to a nutritious vegan diet.
- Fruit Markets and Tropical Delights: Africa’s tropical climate provides an abundance of fresh fruits. You can visit local fruit markets to savour juicy mangoes, pineapples, papayas, and exotic varieties that are not only delicious but also a refreshing way to stay nourished while on the go.
- Vegan-Friendly Restaurants: In urban centres and tourist destinations, especially places like Cape Town and Johannesburg, vegan-friendly restaurants are becoming more prevalent. These establishments often offer a fusion of international and local flavors, with creative plant-based dishes that cater to vegan tastes.
Indigenous Vegan Foods to Try
- Injera (Ethiopia and Eritrea): This destination might not be on your map but if you find yourself in this part of Africa, look for this dish. It is a sourdough flatbread, that is a staple in Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine. What makes it a vegan option is that it is often served with an array of lentil stews, vegetables, and spicy sauces.
- Jollof Rice (West Africa): A beloved dish in West Africa, Jollof Rice is a flavourful one-pot dish made with rice, tomatoes, peppers, and a variety of spices. It can be customised with an assortment of vegetables.
- Chakalaka (South Africa): A spicy vegetable relish, Chakalaka is a popular accompaniment to bread, rice, or pap (maize porridge). It typically includes tomatoes, beans, and a mix of flavorful spices.
Book Your African Adventure Today!
Don’t let your worries about whether or not you’ll have vegan options when travelling to Africa stop you from booking a once in a lifetime trip. African menus are full of delicious things, including all sorts of veg inspired treats. To find out more, you can contact ATC today to find out more about what Africa has to offer vegans.