I can’t say enough about how much I enjoyed Uganda! The people, the landscapes, the wildlife, the weather, I can go on… but a stand-out for me was definitely the food! I never expected to find some of the freshest, most delicious and colorful meat-free varieties of food in Uganda.
With a restricted diet, it might be assumed that food options will be limited while traveling. Not only did almost every meal I ate in Uganda leave me excited to try more, but every meal was different – ah, variety! From aubergine (eggplant) parmesan to vegetable samosas to sweet potato gnocchi to vegetable curry to more traditional dishes such as Uganda’s infamous “rolex” (aka rolled eggs or a Ugandan breakfast burrito), not a single meal left me disappointed or hungry.
One common denominator in all the meals was the variety of freshly grown organic vegetables incorporated in the meals – all accompanied with fresh fruit for dessert – yum! As an added bonus, most of the fruits were grown organically as well. I even saw many fellow travelers choosing the vegetarian options over meat-based ones. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, you are in good company in Uganda. Even the mountain gorillas primarily exist on a plant-based diet and they are the most powerful animals in the forest.
While it’s hard to choose a favorite meal, the cuisine at Nile Safari Lodge left an impression. Located on the boundary of Murchison Falls National Park, the lodge gives guests access to both the park’s impressive eponymous falls as well as to fantastic game viewing experiences. Between game drives, hikes and river cruises where travelers can see more than 70 mammal and 450 bird species, our days were full, and we came back to the lodge ravenous. Fortunately, every meal was delicious, satisfying and beautifully plated. The lodge has an Italian inspired set menu with meals such as eggplant parmesan and sweet potato gnocchi. Despite there being a set menu, the chef was open to accommodate any requests. I asked if the chef could prepare my favorite Ugandan traditional dish I had enjoyed on a previous trip to East Africa. Matoke is a staple dish of cooked banana in Uganda. I also challenged him to prepare it with “g-nut sauce” which is delicious brown sauce made from ground nuts (much like a peanut sauce). The chef did his magic and made the most delicious matoke dish I have ever eaten!
I can’t forget to mention some of the freshest coffee in the world is grown and served in Uganda – and that certainly is vegetarian. What better way to start each safari day than with a fresh cup of joe?
I also enjoyed some of the best vegetarian pizza I’ve ever had, aside from New York’s of course, at Entebbe’s Hotel No 5’s pizza restaurant.
As time goes by, I find that more and more destinations, especially African destinations, are able to not only accommodate vegetarians and vegans, but to make really special and memorable meals that satisfy. Don’t let your dietary restrictions stop you from traveling! Contact one of our Journey Specialists to discuss your specific requirements and we’ll work with our partners to ensure your needs are met and that your vacation is full of delicious meals.