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

 

Angola.. cuia bué

Angola was my home for 2 years of my life, and I have great memories about that somehow magic and not yet well known county.

Here are few photographs from  places I have been so many times, where I spent my days, went shopping, for a walk or to the beach… despite so different from my european reality after leaving there this place is part of my deepest being.

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photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha

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Benguela – Huambo -Bie (in the route of Angola’s up-country)

We drove from Benguela to Bié stopping in many remote villages and towns. Hope you enjoy the photos, and get to know more about this beautiful and unspoiled country still far away from the tourist routes. I remember to read somewhere that Angola is one of Africa’s last great travel mysteries 🙂

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During our trip people where nice but always suspicious, what is perfectly understandable once the country still remains closed off for travellers. I need to say that being a portuguese speaker helped a lot.

Angola’s up-country, is still very unspoiled and rural, outside the big cities houses are made of natural materials like grasses and mud bricks, there is no electricity or sanitation.

Populations live from what the land gives, they lack in access to school and health care. They have big matriarchal families.
Angola’s up-country has an astonishing natural beauty, strong colour, smells and a great warm weather.

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🌱 Information and testimony about if it’s possible to have a plant-based diet in Angola🌱

photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha