Uganda as a safari destination is not only good for game viewing and mountain climbing and gorilla trekking, the pearl of Africa is also a fruit basket! The variety of fruits is heaven for any fruit lover.
Uganda has fertile soils, very pleasant climate and lots of rain perfect conditions for tropical fruit. Fruit here grows almost without labour; at least that is what Winston Churchill thought.
Where can you buy fruits in Uganda?
There is fruit everywhere you go in Uganda, roadside fruit vendors are a common sight, although they are more cautious these days especially in Kampala since street vending is illegal. But the markets both rural and urban markets such as Nakasero are full of fruits, all beautifully displayed and mouth watering. You can find fruits in the roadside markets as well especially along highways like Namawojjolo on the Kampala-Jinja highway on your way to visit the source of the River Nile in Jinja.
What are some of the fruits found in Uganda?
The fruit basket that is Uganda contains the following fruits;
Pineapples in Uganda are perhaps the sweetest and juiciest you will find. They also have very low acidity which makes them even tastier. They are cheap and are not only found in the market, but are served in hotels, restaurants, lodges and tented camps.
The centre of the pineapple in most other parts is not eaten because it is usually hard, but with Ugandan pineapples, the entire pineapple can be eaten, save for the peels.
These juicy fruits can found in markets across Uganda all year round, although the very best pineapples are found in the peak season.
The country grows more bananas than any other country on the African continent.
Bananas in Uganda come in different shapes sizes, and taste but they are all amazing. There is matooke which is a staple food for the Baganda, menvu which are small sweet ready-to-eat bananas, Ndiizi, which are quite large and commonly found in the western part of the country. Eating bananas are also used to make kabalagala –local pancakes.
Matooke is not the only kind that is eaten cooked; Gonja is also eaten cooked or roasted. Some people even use it in stir fry chicken dishes and vegetables.
Mango trees are a very common sight across Uganda. The fruit of these trees is juicy and delicious. Many Ugandans however prefer to eat their mangoes when they are still green rather than ripe and yellow. There is a mango everywhere you go and when in season you can buy a lot of mangoes at very low prices. Mangoes can be eaten like an apple without cutting them, they can cut be cut into salad, blended to make mango juice and also used to make mango ice-cream. Some more daring people use them to make muffins and cakes.
Ugandan mangoes are juicy, sweet and bursting with flavor!
Watermelon: like most fruits, watermelons are found here all year long. Watermelons in Uganda are usually smaller in size, but that doesn’t affect their taste. Seedless watermelons are a rarity in Uganda. Watermelons in Uganda are very tasty and can be bought markets across the country. The sellers usually cut a small triangle so that you can see for yourself how ripe the melon is, which is a good thing is because you can be sure you are taking home a fresh ripe watermelon.
Passion Fruits: passion fruit juice is very common in hotels and restaurants in Uganda. This is because there are passion fruit trees all over the country. Some of them produce purple passion fruits others produce yellow passion fruits but the juice is always great. It is close to impossible to visit a market in Uganda and not see passion fruits on sell. They are cheap, and you can buy and make the juice for yourself or buy juice from hotels, restaurants, or supermarkets.
Citrus Fruits: citrus fruits in Uganda include oranges, lemons, and tangerines, and there are different kinds of each of these. Citrus fruits can be found in the markets all year round. All of these are mostly green in colour and are often used to make juice in restaurants, hotels, and in people’s homes. The flavors are quite tasty and are worth a try.
Is there any fruit unique to Uganda?
Jackfruit: this is perhaps the most unique fruit found in Uganda. Most foreigners who visit the country have absolutely no idea what it is, how it tastes or how it is eaten. The jackfruit is perhaps the size of a water melon, most times larger, is a bit sticky and has a taste all its own. People compare it to various fruits they have tasted but there is nothing quite like it. Jack fruit trees grow all over the country. Most people consume it in their homes, and few markets and shops sell it. If it is your first time in Uganda and you have never tasted jack fruit, make it a point to try it you will be glad you did.
There are many more fruits such as apples, papaya, and Valencia oranges to be found in this fruit basket, one of the many reasons why Uganda safaris are a good vacation plan. You need to visit and try all of these delicious fruits.