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
17 thoughts on “Vegan in Namibia”
Thank you for this insight. I met a youn woman from Namibia once. Before then, I hadn’t heard of it at all. I haven’t traveled as a new vegan outside of my job, and I have wanted to visit Namibia; this was all good to know. Thank you!
Thanks 😉 hope you get to visit Namibia, it is an extraordinary country
I wish I had read your post before and I’ve learned the hard way how to travel in Namibia being vegan :/ you’re absolutely right cooking is by far the best option
I’m sorry you didn’t have the best experience there, but as I said on the post even if you know what to expect, Namibia will not really be a memorable trip because of the food.. but will be memorable despite of it
Exactly what I was looking for, I’m going to Namibia in a month, and I was slightly worried about vegan options there, thanks for the tips.
Hi Louis I’m glad you found it helpful 😉
This is so great! I am going to be traveling there next year for wedding!
that’s great 🙂 hope you have a lovely time
I’ve heard Namibia is fantastic. Still (somewhat) preserved from modernity.
Obrigado pela viagem (vitrual)
Namibia is truly a magnificent country to travel, as well as other countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
I lived west and east in Africa. Not South. I do have cousins still in South Africa. Might visit them one day.
So you know well how magical are the landscapes, colors and smells 🙂
Africa é magia mesma. 🙂
I know exactly what you mean. Enjoy the magic.
you shouldn’t miss the opportunity, is great when you have family or friends in different countries (where did you live if you don’t mind me asking? I lived in Angola for 2 years)
Yeah, it’s on my list. Though I am more inclined to go back to Asia. I was really… impressed 18 months ago. Where? I kinda lost count. Born in Pakistan, then Cambodia, then Africa, the US, Latin America… I’ve lived in maybe… 10-15 countries? (Aprendi “Portunhol” na rúa no Brazil…) 🙂
Angola acredito que é bem bonitinho. (E falam Portugués!)
Wow that sounds like a well lived life
Not sure about well lived. Well traveled at least. 😉