Eating Vegan in Windhoek

Namibia is on my top 10 destinations of all time. Its a country that has it all in terms of nature, wildlife, culture and tradition. But because nothing can be that perfect, Namibia doesn’t really stand out for its abundant vegan food options.

But this is not a good enough reason not to visit this stunning country. There is always a way around, and being true that is difficult to travel Through Namibias as a vegan, it’s also true that is possible.

The only thing is that you will not remember this country for its outstanding food and flavours, but you will, I assure you, for other reasons.

With time I hope that Namibia will become a more vegan-friendly country, if not for anything else, to conserve their ecosystems, environment, and wildlife.

For a piece of more comprehensive information about being vegan while travelling independently in Namibia, you will find this article interesting.

Windhoek

Have lived in another Sub-Saharan country,  some people would say that Namibia is Africa for beginners. I’m not sure they are right but the capital city of Namibia, Windhoek is quite modern and in a way kind of ‘Western’ when compared with other African countries.

Windhoek is far from being the highlight of a trip to Namibia but can be a great place to begin and end your journey. In contrast with other parts of the country, Windhoek has more accommodation choices, cultural sights, an urban buzz and food variety. So let’s discover where you can find vegan food in Windhoek.

Where to eat Vegan in Windhoek

Plant’d

Is the first vegan restaurant opening in Namibia and as far as I know its the only one. They serve delicious buddha and granola bowls, pizza, pasta, scrambled tofu and refreshing freshly squeezed juices. The food is super tasty and they use quality ingredients.

Restaurants with some vegan options:

Olivia’s Kitchen

They serve a divine mushroom pasta with vegan cream, lots of vegan smoothies, sandwich with vegan cheese, salads with vegan feta and plant-based milk for coffees. Their food is locally sourced and freshly prepared.

Bonsai Bistro

This Bistro serves vegan sandwiches, baked goods, juices, smoothies and have daily vegan/vegetarian specials. I can’t recommend enough the Morrocan bowl, vegan omelette, vegan cakes and tarts.

Garnish Indian Restaurant

For some authentic Indian flavours, this is the right place to go. They serve delicious spiced food and cater for vegans and vegetarians.

The vegan options are well marked on the menu. The food is really tasty and filling.

Do you know any other good places in Windhoek serving vegan food?

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

Angola, land of contrasts, music, dance, earth smells, nice people and colourful 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.

Vegan restaurant in Luanda

The Healing Space it’s the first vegan, vegetarian and alkaline restaurant opening in Angola’s Capital and so far the only one. They serve delicious food using quality ingredients with Angolan, Brazilian, Mexican, and Lebanese influences.

If you are visiting or travelling to another place in the country the story is completely different. You will struggle to eat out because there are no options available.

Markets

Going to the markets will be your best option. Here you can buy ingredients to prepare your meals.

If you don’t need many things you will find things to buy on the roadside. It’s very common to see mostly women and children selling fresh vegetables and fruit.

For a wider range of choice, the markets are the place to go. Just keep in mind that Angolan markets are massive and busy and you will need help to find them. Most of the time they are located in the middle of a shantytown.

In the markets, you can find seasonal fruits, vegetables, roots, beans, and some cereals (rice, flour, corn, etc..) but they don’t have much variety.

Outside Luanda will be quite difficult (if not impossible) to find a supermarket with vegan options due to the lack of supply and demand, or even a restaurant with a vegetarian or vegan option.

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

Traditional Angolan food that is accidentally vegan:
  • Funge: Plain carbohydrate made from cassava with a texture like mash potato, generally served with a full-flavoured spicy sauce.
  • Farofa: Toasted cassava flour with a salty and smoky flavour.
  • 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

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.

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 vegan food scene

It’s not easy to travel as a vegan in Namibia. For most Namibians, the idea of veganism is slightly bizarre, to say the least. So expect the following at restaurants, “Do you have any vegan options?” or “are there any dishes without meat?” Staff: “We have delicious chicken and also fish..” and when you say you don’t eat either, you will see a shocked faced followed by a hummmm.. 🙂 at least that was my experience.

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 like I did, 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. 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 outside the capital city…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

Vegan in Mozambique

Mozambique is an extraordinarily beautiful country, that amazes with its stunning beaches, reefs and sea life, landscapes, national parks, nice welcoming people, lively atmosphere filled with music and dance, colonial architecture and art. But if you’re travelling in Mozambique as a vegan don’t expect much.

Vegan food is not a thing in Mozambique and even in the capital Maputo, you can only find one vegetarian restaurant called KRU.

Vegan MozambiqueAs 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 travelled from north to south only by public transports and through lots of rural areas, where there isn’t any infrastructures, restaurants, cafes, food stalls, or even many street markets. So you are asking the same question I did. Where and what am I going to eat?

If you are in a rural area, you need to rely on the local people and on what they can do for you, but communication can be a big problem if they don’t speak Portuguese.

Where to eat vegan in Mozambique?

Maputo is the exception, has some good options, and it’s easy to find your way around. There are also a few places around the country mostly linked with accommodation or some kind of recreative activity that also cater in some way for vegans.

A great example is a vegetarian place in Tofo, called happi located in the Liquid Dive Center.

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 traditional  vegan dishes:
  • Mucapata– rice with coconut, absolutely delicious, very common in the 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 – a sauce made with fresh tomatoes, green peppers, onions, garlic and  oil
  • Rice and Beans – it’s 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. 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 this post – Mozambique.. it’s maningue nice 

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