Prospective visitors to Tanzania often wonder about the quality & safety of food in continents such as Africa. Please be assured that the preparation and quality of food in all the luxury camps, lodges, and budget safaris we offer strictly adhere to strict sanitation and high food hygiene guidelines. All our East African destinations offer a delightful and colorful selection of local dishes alongside European cuisine prepared by experienced chefs knowledgeable in international standards and preferences. There is nothing like the smell of freshly baked bread on safari, a full English breakfast, with options to suit all tastes and preferences; be it meat lovers, vegetarians, or vegans.
Tanzania is a great destination for Vegetarian Food. The country is rich with an amazing assortment of fresh vegetables and tropical fruits, with a varied assortment of delicious recipes that you are sure to enjoy.
According to the latest research on travelers visiting Tanzania, it has been found that nearly 40% of the total visitors are vegetarians. The assortment of African, Indian, and European vegetarian options offers a huge assortment of tasty, spicey (if that is your preference), colorful, healthy, and delicious meals – as well as vegan.
Effective Communication Is Everything. Tanzania offers huge diversity in food and culture. It is also considered one of the best vegetarian and organic food locations. After all most vegetables and fruit are grown naturally and sourced locally to support local communities and ensure quality and freshness.
Here are some tips for vegetarians or vegans planning a Tanzania Safari:
1. Book with an Experienced Vegetarian Catering, Safari Operator such as ourselves
Booking with a vegan catering tour operator such as us will make your experience in East Africa all the more enjoyable and relaxing. Lets us know your personal food preferences before booking your Tanzania Safari – so we can ensure your needs are met and if necessary advise you if there are any particular properties (i.e camps or lodges) that may ask for further details to best serve you. Typically, on a safari, you will be 3 meals including, breakfast, lunch, and dinner (often with a delicious pre-dinner snack).
2. What Food to Expect on Safari?
Continental or Full Breakfast options (as indicated): Early morning you will be served tea, juice, and pastries.
Brunch or Lunch: This is a combination of breakfast and lunch. This option may be an option on certain days of your safari.
Lunch in your Camp or Lodge: This may be a buffet and will consist of a variety of colorful salads, a hot or cold soup depending on the altitude and the season’s weather, a variety of cold meats or hot dishes, with a selection of desserts. This will differ according to your dietary needs.
High Tea: Usually served before your afternoon game drive, it includes biscuits, cake tea, or coffee.
Dinner: After returning to your camp or lodging most visitors clean up before enjoying a cold drink whilst watching the sun go down. Dinner is usually served at approximately 7:30 pm and consists of three courses, including a starter or soup, a main course, and a dessert – with tea and coffee to order.
3. How to Plan a Trip to Tanzania if you are a Vegetarian or Vegan?
As mentioned above, you should advise us immediately of any allergies or preferred dietary choices concerning vegetarian or vegan options, so we can ensure that your choices are taken into consideration when planning your Tanzania Safari Adventure. A great variety of alternatives are available for vegans and can easily be arranged with prior notice. There are a huge variety of choices and East Africa is well known for its excellent cuisine and culinary expertise, meeting international standards.
Even meat-eaters have preferences – so don’t be shy to mention what you want, and don’t want to eat.
4. Suitable Accommodation and your Unique Dietary Needs
Safari Lodges, Luxury & Budget Camps, and Coastal Hotels in Tanzania vary from excellent/luxury 5-star properties to good, value-for-money 3-star properties. Most hotels offer high-end to comfortable accommodation (with special dietary needs available with advance notice). It is wise to book with a tour operator that is experienced and dedicated enough to ensure that your dietary needs and choices are a priority and well taken care of. If any particular ingredient is unavailable we will do our best to advise you in advance.
5. Choices Galore
Here we mention some of the common, local products vegetarians and vegans alike can enjoy either fresh or in cooked meals:
Fresh and dried fruits- nuts include, cashew, almonds, peanuts, and macadamia (to mention a few), dates, sultanas, and dried fruits including delicious Banana crisps
Vegetables & Fruits – are endless, (including many you are used to eating back home), as well as a variety of spinaches, baby & large avocados, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and everything you can think of putting in a salad or soup. Our tropical fruits are bountiful and include pawpaw, melons (of numerous varieties), gooseberries, blueberries, mangos, pawpaw, strawberries, red and white grapes, apples, 2 wonderful varieties of passion fruit as well as local oranges, tangerines, and, several banana varieties including the small, sweet banana (nicknamed the Ugandan banana) which are ideal on safari because of their particularly high protein content.
Alternatives to dairy products: Both Almond and Coconut milk, as well as Soya milk is available for cooking, as well as for tea/coffee and desserts. For those who enjoy specific cheeses, East Africa offers superb organic Goat Cheese and milk. Vegetarians that eat dairy products have a huge choice of cheeses including mature & standard Cheddar, Camembert, Brie, Feta, Mozzarella, Edam, and sofcreamyam cheeses.
Indian Cuisine – is famous in East Africa. Our culture and history seeped with a vibrant Indian presence in trade, which over hundreds of years has included herbs & spices. Hence many of our best chefs have links with India, making a huge assortment of delicious dishes, both saucy and dry, with many exquisite, authentically original vegetable dishes. These include saucy Masala, creamy vegetable Koorma, Vegan Palak Paneer, Indian Naan Bread, an assortment of tasty Daal dishes, Bombay potatoes, and appetizing lentils, to name but a few.
African Dishes for vegetarians and Vegans that are also popular include: Maharagwe made with red beans and a tasty sauce with added spices, Kachumbari consisting mainly of diced, ripe tomatoes, onions, basil, and coriander (served cold) Sucumawiki which is a spinach dish (the KiSwahili word meaning ‘The stretch to push!”, roasted Sweetcorn and delicious Samosas’ – a lightly fried pastry with a filling of vegetables and spices. Freshly made bread and awesome homemade-style soups are legendary.
The list is endless and you are sure to enjoy the many vegetarian and vegan-styled dishes available.
European Cuisine: Tanzania (like most of East Africa) has been hosting professional safaris for Europeans, Americans, and Russians for many, many years, and, the camp & lodge kitchen staff and chefs are very apt at producing all the favorite dishes from these countries. Gluten-free Pasta is available if necessary, as well as Pasta containing no animal-derived ingredients.
In this article, we have just hinted at some of the many choices available to vegetarians and vegans wishing to holiday in Tanzania. This information is to help reassure you that your Tanzania Safari can fit your culinary needs. We do advise that you select a trusted tour operator that pays attention to detail and can deliver on their promises. The Face of Africa Adventures is a well-known and trust Safari/African Holiday Operator in Tanzania.
We look forward to designing your ideal, safe, dream adventure in Africa.