Culture Food

7 Must-try Delicacies Before Leaving Namibia

Potjiekos
Written by Abraham Odhiambo

Namibia is a country in Southern Africa surrounded by Angola, Botswana, Zambia, South Africa and the Atlantic Ocean. Namibia is a very proud and passionate nation, and that can be seen in the country’s famous food. Indigenous traditions, exotic meats and vibrant colors all describe the best of Namibian foods.

The country’s cuisine is predominantly a reflection of traditional local cooking techniques by local communities such as the Herero, Himba and San groups. There’s richness and plenty of flavours packed in one of Africa’s most diverse and unique cuisines. Here, we take you on a culinary journey bringing you the seven must-try delicacies before leaving Namibia. These delicacies are very famous and can be found in almost every food stall in Namibia.

1. Meat Skewers

Meat skewers will always be on top when the discussion is about famous food in Namibia. This is mainly because a lot of meat is eaten in the South African country. In most cases, the meat is grilled as a skewer and then served with different spices, cashew nuts, peanut butter, coconut milk and chili, among other delicious sauces. The meat is usually from different animals such as zebra, giraffe, antelope, beef, lamb, ostrich and even crocodiles.

Meat skewers

Delicious meat skewers. Photo/ Recipes.

2. Pearl Millet Soup 

Pearl millet soup is a traditional dish of Namibian cuisine. Pearl millet (mahango) is the basis here and is prepared with lamb or goat meat, or fish and rice. It is the stable food of some tribes such as the Ovambo, who form half of Namibia’s population.

3. Biltong 

Biltong are bits of air-dried beef that have been marinated with vinegar and salt. It is later flavoured using different species before being hung to dry for at least two weeks. Once it’s ready biltong is eaten as a snack or in between meals. You will easily come across biltongs at food stalls throughout Namibia.

4. Omagungu (Mopane Worm)

If you ever find yourself in Namibia and want to try food that is out of your comfort zone, then Omagungu should be at the top of your bucket list.

Omagungu

Omagungu. Photo/ Flickriver.

Caterpillars are collected from mopane trees during the rainy season, which brings about the name mopane worms. They are first boiled in hot water to soften them and then traditionally pan-fried using onions, tomatoes and chillies. Once crispy, they are served in a stew. However, some people prefer to eat the worms as a starter or snack.

5. Oshingali  

Oshingali is a very famous food in Namibia and is mostly consumed by people of the Okavango and Oshiwambo communities. It is a dish that consists of a puree prepared using peeled white beans and can be cooked for two days. People usually add paprika and salt to oshingali to give it flavour.

Oshingali

Served with pap, Oshingali is so flavourful. Photo/ Ester Kocht.

6. Bullfrog 

Bullfrog is another delicacy worth trying in Namibia if you’re a foreigner. The bullfrogs, which are mainly eaten in the northern part of the country, are traditionally cooked and pots covered with wood to prevent poisoning. They are mostly eaten during the rainy seasons.

7. El Potjiekos 

El Potjiekos, a famous food in Namibia, consists of game meat placed in a three-legged iron pot and cooked over fire with other ingredients. Those ingredients include pumpkin, cabbage, cauliflower and carrots. The name El Potjiekos translates to small pot food.

Potjiekos

Potjiekos. Photo/ Madiba.de.

What is the Most Famous Food in Namibia?

Meat and pap is the unofficial national dish of Namibia. It consists of pap and a traditional porridge made from ground maize that’s usually accompanied by meat. It can also be eaten by fish or cabbage. In other parts of the country, pap is usually made from pearl millet called mahangu.

What is Namibia’s National Food?

Pap is considered the national dish of Namibia. It gets its name from the Dutch and can be served alongside everything you eat in Namibia.

What is the Most Famous Food?

Italian pizza is probably the most famous food in the world. Pizza crossed the border of Italy a long time ago and is nowadays consumed all over the world.

What is Namibia Famous Desert?

Namib Desert. Not only is the Namib Desert one of the world’s most beautiful deserts, it’s also a place of mystery which conceals its secrets well.

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About the author

Abraham Odhiambo

Abraham Odhiambo is a writer with interests in nature, travel, African safari and sports. I'm pursuing a bachelor's degree in Media and Communication at Egerton University.

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