Namibia Food and Drink
The cuisine of Namibia is a combination of traditional methods of cooking and German and South African influences. Corn is the most frequent ingredient used in Namibian dishes. The country is known for having some of the best free-range beef in the world because farmers allow cattle to roam freely and the cattle aren’t fed antibiotics or growth hormones. Other popular meat dishes include games like gemsbok, springbok and kudu. Fish is also incredibly popular and readily available. Most fish offered in restaurants are caught on a daily basis. Oysters are a particular specialty of Namibia. With eleven distinct ethnic groups, there are various favourite dishes available.
Popular dishes include:
Biltong: Although originating in South Africa, many people considered Namibian biltong to be the best due to the high quality of meat on offer. Biltong is dried meat (can be kudu, springbok or gemsbok) that has been left to marinate for days and then is spiced and hung to dry for 2-3 weeks.
Mieliepap (maize meal): This is a traditional porridge that is considered a staple of the Oshiwambo community, but is actually enjoyed throughout the country. It can be made into a thick consistency that can be eaten with hands and often accompanies a braais (a barbecue). It can also be served with a meat dish and tomato and onion soup.
Pluck (Harslag): Pluck is an African cuisine that involves the heart, lungs, kidneys and liver of animals cut into small pieces and prepared with onion and sweet potatoes. The dish is seasoned with sweet and sour sauce or with cloves, cinnamon, peppers and chillies depending on how spicy one wants it.
Potjiekos: Like Biltong, this dish originated in South Africa. It is meat or chicken-based stew with vegetables that are cooked for 3-4 hours in a cast iron pot.
Mopane worms: This dish is not for the faint of heart, but belongs to the Oshiwambo community who live in the northern part of the country. The caterpillars are cooked and fried to get a crispy coating. The dish is highly nutritious.
Local beers like Windhoek Export, Windhoek Premier Lager, Windhoek Special, Windhoek Light, Urbock and Tafel Lager are popular while international beers are also available. Namibia does not have a strong winemaking culture, however, there are two notable wineries, Kristall Kallerie near Omaruru and Neuras Wineries located in the southern part of the country. South African wines are readily available. Tap water in Namibia’s major towns as well as borehole water used in remote locations is usually safe to drink, however, bottled mineral water is available in most supermarkets (if unsure, just ask guides).
Things to know:
A 10% tip is standard in restaurants
Namibia Travel Information
At Goway we believe that a well-informed traveller is a safer traveller. With this in mind, we have compiled an easy-to-navigate travel information section dedicated to Namibia.
Learn about the history and culture of Namibia, the must-try food and drink, and what to pack in your suitcase. Read about Namibia's nature and wildlife, weather and geography, along with 'Country Quickfacts' compiled by our travel experts. Our globetrotting tips, as well as our visa and health information, will help ensure you're properly prepared for a safe and enjoyable trip. The only way you could possibly learn more is by embarking on your journey and discovering Namibia for yourself. Start exploring… book one of our Namibia tours today!
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