It is only natural for someone to worry about what they will be eating when planning to visit a strange place, after all food is a basic human need. But if you are looking to shed a few pounds or kgs, it probably will not happen on your safari in Uganda. You will probably gain a few more instead.
Africa is filled with all kinds of food and a safari is the best time to experiment with the various dishes and delicacies the continent has to offer. If you are very particular about what you eat, say you are vegetarian, it is important for you to inform your tour operator, so they can make proper arrangements for you- arrangements such as notifying the lodge where you are booked to stay of your special needs.
Vegetables and fruit are very easy to come by in Uganda. Some lodges even grow their own produce, while employ local residents to grow for them vegetables and fruits, or simply buy from the locals. Most of these are organically grown. However there are some vegetables that are not popular among Uganda’s and are rarely grown by the locals. These include; vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, lettuces and many others including herbs. Lodge owners usually grow these in their gardens or get some locals who grow them to supply to them.
Where do I find the best food?
According to most people the best food is found in the high end hotels and lodges. High end hotels and lodges employ well trained chefs and so the meals prepared are impressive to the visitors. However you can still find great food in the lower budget lodges. You will of course find some familiar dishes on the menu, but many of these will be prepared with an African twist that makes them even more delicious.
Be sure to check the itinerary provided by your tour operator to see that the package you are paying for offers accommodation with meals not just breakfast. Full board lodging with breakfast, lunch and dinner is what most safari lodges offer but it is quite possible to find yourself booked into one which offers half board. Going for a gorilla trekking expedition without lunch is one thing that could definitely ruin your trip.
What is the meal structure in safari lodges in Uganda?
Most lodges offer a very big full and satisfactory breakfast. Fruit freshly baked bread, toast, rolls, eg dishes, coffee, tea, juice. The larger lodges usually provide a breakfast buffet with a variety of snacks and foods to choose from. Freshly brewed or instant coffee, very good tea, and juice, ham, bacon, pancakes etc. You can rest assured that your breakfast will be pretty good.
Lunch in some lodges is ala carte off a provided menu, with a couple of main dishes, while in some accommodations you might a plate of food with some soup or salad. The food varies with lodges, though most menus are quite similar. Where you eat your lunch might also matter sometimes.
Dinner in Uganda is usually served much later than it would be in North America. But in many lodges and campsites, dinner is done with candlelight or around a campfire and this can be a beautiful experience. Add some traditional music and dance to the picture, and you have a very lovely African evening.
In the up market accommodations, you will probably get a three course dinner, lower budget accommodations offer you the meal without the extras, but the portions are quite substantial.
Do the safari lodges only serve Ugandan dishes?
There is a variety of dishes served in the various lodges in Uganda. Local dishes, Indian dishes and a number of western dishes due to the fact that majority of tourists and people on safari are from the west. So you can never fail to find food that works for you, while on safari in Uganda.
How about the meats?
Fish is very available and is served in various dishes, chicken ti is readily available. Beef from Ankole cattle which has the lowest cholesterol levels is just as a available. Some dishes such as steak although not common and popular with locals are served in the high end hotels.
Muslim tourists need not worry. Most of the butcheries that sell chicken, beef or goat meat are Muslim, and they operate in the time honored hallal way.
Pork although sold everywhere in the country is very rarely sold in the same butcheries as goat and beef or chicken.
Safari lodges in Uganda do not serve exotic meats. Meats such as zebra, antelope or crocodile can only be found in a select few restaurants in Kampala. But you might be able to try crayfish from Lake Bunyonyi, or grasshoppers during grasshopper season.
During your Africa safari in Uganda, do try out some new and interesting dishes that Uganda has to offer, food tourism, it’s called. Do not forget to enjoy all the delicious fruits that the pearl of Africa has to offer.