Eat, drink and be merry in Namibia

Namibian Cuisine: What to expect when you visit Namibia

When you visit Namibia, you will find that the cuisine is very different and varied. Local specialities worth sampling are Swakopmund green asparagus (September to April), Luderitz oysters (all year round), Kalahari truffles (May and June if they appear), and Omajowa, the large fleshy mushrooms that appear for a brief period at the foot of termite hills north of Okahandja shortly after the rains in February.

A wide selection of home-made cheeses are made by Danis Kuche near Otjiwarongo and the production of Namibian olives — the Kalamata (black) variety as well as the green —has taken off well.

Because Namibia’s cattle live entirely off savannah grasses and shrubs, Namibian beef is entirely free from harmful residues, hormones and antibiotics, as is Namibian lamb. Venison is becoming increasingly popular, especially ostrich, springbok, and gemsbok, while birds, crocodile and seafood such as kabeljou, rock lobster and oysters are highly regarded. Outdoor cooking is part of the Namibian way of life. The traditional braaivleis (meat barbeque) is a tasty meal, as is potjiekos, a spicy stew of meat, chicken and fish cooked in a cast iron, three-legged pot over an open fire. As you travel throughout the safari lodges in Namibia you will find that many of the lodges serve traditional braaivleis and potjiekos.

In Swakopmund, Luderitz and Windhoek you can indulge in traditional German-style confectionery including classics such as Schwarzwälder, Kirschtorte, and Apfelstrudel as well as the renowned Springer chocolates produced in Windhoek. A favourite breakfast and light lunch are crisp bread rolls, referred to as Brötchen, filled with cheese, eggs, meat or salad. Snacks include Southern African specialities such as biltong (spiced dried meat) and droewors (spicy dried sausage) as well as Landjäger, a smoked port and beef sausage, a traditional German snack.

Travel to Namibia and you will see that Namibia is well known for its local beer, brewed by Nambrew in accordance to the traditional purity law, the Reinheitsgebot issued in 1516 in Bavaria. The beers have won several international awards. From the much sought after draught beer that is light and refreshing to various stronger brews, the beers are a good accompaniment to a meal. Whether you're a first-time traveller or frequent visitor, we challenge you to try it!

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