Travel Vegan in Morocco

Vegan Morocco Travel

To start with is better to keep in mind that not everybody understands what vegan means so make sure they get it. I did struggle a bit when I was there in the beginning, mostly because my French is very poor and let’s not talk about my Arabic that is non-existent 🙂 

Keep in mind that sometimes for some strange reason hummus can have milk, they sometimes add chicken stock to veggie tagine, and beef broth will be used to flavour the couscous. Well, it can be hard and unfortunately, sometimes we can’t really be sure if what you are eating is 100% vegan.

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When ordering you need to be clear that it is a vegetarian dish you are ordering, because from my experience no one was really familiarized with the word vegan.

I had some screenshots from google translate in Arabic and French of what I wanted to say and ask. I also used my vegan passport.

Vegan Moroccan Food – Some options for vegan meals
How to eat Vegan in Morocco

The vegetarian tagine is probably the easiest and safest choice while in Marroco.

Tagine is a traditional Moroccan meal cooked inside a clay pot, with potatoes, carrots, turnips and zucchini topped tomato, preserved lemon and olives.

Couscous with veggies is also quite common and easy to find. If you want a break from couscous you can ask for vegetables and rice, that is literally the same dish but with rice instead of couscous.

For breakfast is common to have bread with jam or “msemmen” that is a thin, fried bread. These crepes ingredients are all vegan (sugar, salt, yeast oil, flour), but occasionally is cooked with butter. So just check how they are cooked.

The bread is known as “khobz” is served at every meal, and is absolutely divine with olive oil and olives.

It’s easy to find “Zalook” a dish made of roasted mashed eggplant with spices, or even dishes made of lentils (3eids) and beans (loubia)

Dishes with lentils and beans are easy to find in the majority of Moroccan restaurants all over the country.

You can also ask restaurants to grill some vegetables for you and have it with rice or potatoes.

The harira soup is also delicious, but some people add meat or cook harira in the broth. You should ask prior to ordering how it was prepared.

Salads are delicious in Morocco, they have a great variety of them. They make the salads mostly with zucchini, eggplant, carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, peppers and beans.

Are you a fruit lover?

Morocco’s fruit markets are unbeatable for both price and quality. You have a massive range of fresh fruit to chose from but also wonderful dried fruit options, from dates to figs, and apricots.

Olives are another highlight of travelling to Morocco. I LOVE olives so I couldn’t be in a better place. They have a great variety of olives with different seasoning, they are just delicious and high quality. Just be careful they are addictive 🙂

If you want something on the go

It’s easy to find small stalls selling food on the street, and many of the food that is served is vegan.

You can buy things like corn, roasted chickpeas, bread with chickpeas, fried potato cakes on bread and also dried and fresh fruit and nuts.

Vegan Desserts

If you are on a diet just stay home, because you will love all the cookies they have.

Mostly made from nuts, seeds and of course sugar… they are really tasty and also quite beautifully designed. (just double check if they have used honey if you don’t eat it).

Other kinds of desserts are unfortunately not vegan (they add butter and dairy). But you always have fresh fruit as a safe dessert option.

Moroccan doughnuts are called Sfenjs and are basically fried dough rolled in sugar.

Drinks: mint tea, fresh squeezed juices and coffee

I highly recommend trying the Moroccan mint tea or like the locals like to call it “Moroccan whisky”. However, sometimes it will be extremely sweet. Order it sugar-free to be safe and add your own sugar if you want it!

If tea is not your thing the coffee is also delicious.

You can also get freshly squeezed juices – I would recommend taking your own cup to avoid disposable plastic. Freshly squeezed fruit juices are common and are not to be missed. The orange juice and pomegranate are my favourites.

You can’t miss

You can’t miss wandering around the markets where they sell fresh produce and spices.

I recommend using the app HappyCow and make some research about vegan/vegetarian-friendly restaurants that are on the rise now in Morocco.

As you can see there are options and they are easy to find, but if you are spending a long time travelling through the country it can get repetitive.

Animal welfare

So foodwise you will be fine but get ready to have your heart broken because there is a lot of animal exploitation, and can get quite hard to see some things.

Moroccans treat animals differently for western standards. Snake charmers and monkeys on leads are common in touristic areas.

While there isn’t a large variety of local Moroccan foods that are vegan, it is definitely possible to travel in Morocco as a vegan. You might find it more difficult in rural areas compared to the larger Moroccan cities.

I hope this is helpful if you’re planning to travel to Morocco💚

photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha

Vegan in Namibia

Namibia is a stunning country in Southern Africa. Well known for the Namib Desert, the Atlantic Ocean coast and the diverse wildlife.

To travel around Namibia you can take an organized tour or rent a jeep and drive on your own. Public transports are nearly non-existent and are not a solution for travellers.

Namibia’s food scene

It’s not easy to travel as a vegan in Namibia. For most Namibians, the idea of vegetarianism or veganism is slightly bizarre, to say the least. So expect the following at restaurants, “Do you have any vegetarian/vegan options?” or “are there any dishes without meat?” Staff: “We have Chicken and the fish is good” and when you say you don’t eat either, there will be a shocked look followed by a hummmm.. 🙂

Namibia is a ‘meat-eating-country’ with lots of restaurants selling game like oryx and kudu. Some places even offer you to hunt your own meat, there’s also a big market for fur and leather products.
Meals in Namibia tend to be heavy on meat with no avoidance of animal products.

How to Eat vegan in Namibia

If you chose a tour, you need to make sure they will cater adequately to your needs, and you will not need to worry about it for the rest of your trip.

On the other hand, if you travel independently, you need to have a few things in consideration.

Namibia’s capital, Windhoek, is a cosmopolitan place where it’s wise to stop at the supermarket to stock up on supplies.

Windhoek also has a couple of Vegan & Vegetarian-friendly Restaurants, but definitely nothing like a big vegan scene with loads of alternative restaurants.

Larger towns will have at least some restaurants that will be able to adapt something to suit your needs, but not always with the same understanding as you about butter, milk, honey etc. Namibians are kind and generous and will work to accommodate you as possible.

In Windhoek and other larger towns, you can find most things you have at home like cereals, soy milk, fruit, peanut butter, jams, baked beans, fresh vegetables, pasta, rice, chickpeas, dried fruit and nuts, olives, bread, granola, chips, rice cakes, etc..

If you can cook your own meals from larger town supermarkets then the choice is pretty decent. So cooking your own meals is probably the best option you have.

I would go even far and say if you want to eat well…and keep costs low, your best option is to head to the grocery store and cook your own meal.

On the street and open markets you can sometimes find people selling tomatoes, carrots, oranges, fat cakes (fried dough, usually vegan), ice pops, and Oshikundu.

Oshikundu or Ontaku is a local drink made from fermented millet. Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic varieties exist.

Vegan awareness Namibia

Travelling vegan in Namibia is far from ideal, but the country is starting to open to the concept of a vegan lifestyle. VAN’s (vegan awareness Namibia) is a non-profit organisation creating awareness about cruelty-free living in Namibia.

Responsible tourism in Namibia

Although the food may not be the highlight of your trip, remember that you will be surrounded by animals and nature on its best.

Namibia has vast areas of wilderness and an extraordinary variety of unique landscapes and ecosystems. As a traveller you should support conservation projects and the communities.
Refusing to take part in any activity that goes against the protection and wellbeing of the animals and ecosystems.

Namibia has dug deep to protect its outstanding natural heritage, making it easy for travellers to choose sustainable ways to travel around the country.

photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha

Have a plant-based diet in Angola.. is it possible?

Angola, land of contrasts, music, dance, earth smells, nice people and colorful landscape. Angola is still a difficult country to visit and lacks in touristic infrastructures. The differences between the capital city Luanda and the rest of the country are abysmal in all aspects, so food is no exception. Angola is in south-central Africa, from its past Portuguese cuisine has significantly influenced Angolan cuisine.

Luanda is one of the most expensive cities in the world and has some imported vegan and vegetarian products in some supermarket at a very prohibited price and some restaurants with vegan/vegetarian options available.

But if you are visiting or traveling to another place in the country the story is completely different. You might struggle to eat, because there is not enough options if any available.

The big markets are busy places and you will need help to find them, they are located in the middle of a shanty town, where you can find seasonal fruits, vegetables, roots, some cereals (rice, flour, corn, etc..) and beans, but they don’t have much variety. In town you will find women’s selling fruits and vegetables in the street.

Outside Luanda will be quit difficult to find a supermarket with vegan options due to the lack of supply and demand, or even a restaurant that has a vegetarian or vegan option available.

If you are staying in a hotel you can make a special request, for a vegan meal, but don’t expect anything too fancy. If there is a possibility just cook your own meal, that will be the best solution!

Typical dishes/sides/snacks/deserts that are vegan:

  • Funge: Plain carbohydrate made from cassava with a texture like mash potato, generally served with a full-flavored spicy sauce.
  • Farofa: Toasted cassava flour with a salty and smoky flavor.
  • Feijão de óleo de palma: Stewed beans in a palm oil sauce.
  • Mukua: Dried fruit from the baobab tree, often used for ice cream.
  • Kussangua: Traditional non-alcoholic drink made from cornflour.
  • Chikuanga: a bread made from manioc flour, served in a wrap of banana leaves (from northeast Angola).
  • Cocada amarela, yellow coconut pudding made with sugar, grated coconut, egg yolks, and ground cinnamon. (vegetarian)
  • Doce de ginguba, peanut candy.

photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha

 

Vegan in Mozambique

I don’t really want to demotivate anyone, but if you’re a vegan traveling in Mozambique you’re going to have a hard time.

1383915_10200673552109384_560808564_nAs you know they have a famous cuisine and are one of the best countries in Africa foodwise, but is all about tiger prawns, seafood, fresh fish and, chicken.

I traveled from north to south only by public transports and thought lots of rural areas, where there isn’t any infrastructures, restaurants, cafes, food stall or surprisedly not even many street markets. So you are asking the same question I did, where and what to eat?

If you are in a rural area, you need to rely on the local people and what they can do for you, but communication can be a big problem, because if they don’t speak Portuguese (what is possible and probable) they will speak one of the 43 languages spoken in the country (yes you read well 43..)

If you are in place that has a “restaurant” you will do all your meals there and again, struggling with communication, try to explain what you can eat and understand what they have. Maputo is the exception,  has good options, and its easy to find your way around.

Mozambique was colonized by Portugal in 1505, their cuisine has been deeply influenced by the Portuguese. One of the most eaten dishes is ncima a thick porridge made with ground maize and water, in my opinion just serves the propose of giving you energy.. it’s tasteless, but vegan 🙂

Here is a list of some vegan dishes that I came across:

  • Mucapata– rice with coconut, absolutely delicious, very common in Mozambique island.
  • Xiguinha – Made with cassava and cacana leaves, common in Inhambane province.
  • Pão – white bread rolls, you can find it in any market baked in wood-fired ovens in villages.
  • Matapa – made from stewed cassava leaves, ground peanuts, garlic and coconut milk, more likely to get it if you end up staying with locals.
  • Collard Greens in Oil – it’s a sauté of onions and collard greens.
  • Chamusas – triangle shaped pastries, asked for the potato ones.
  • Cassava with Red Sauce – sauce made with fresh tomatoes, green peppers, onions, garlic and  oil
  • Rice and Beans – its a very common dish.
  • Mucuane – with boiled cassava leaves, tomatoes, coconut milk, ask if is made with shrimp or Cashews.
  • Quiabo a Zambiana  Okra
  • fresh sugarcane juice
  • pão de sura – it’s a coconut sweet bread more typical in the Inhambane province
  • Cashews  – they have nut trees growing all over the place. You’ll see people selling bags of cashews on the side of the road and on the beach. they sell while plain, roasted piri-piri, roasted salt.
  • Fruits and vegetables– fruit and veggies are available at markets and on the sides of roads all over the country, depending on the season you can find good papayas, coconuts, mangoes. Avocados okra and collard greens are also seasonal, avocados only in season for a few short weeks. Others, like tomatoes, cassava or beans, are available year-round.  Green peppers, onions, and bananas seem to go through recurring phases.

    photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha

🚌 If you are planning to visit Mozambique, or if you are just curious.. check the post about my trip – Mozambique.. it’s maningue nice 

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