Culture Food

9 Weirdest Foods in South Africa for the Brave Only

Weirdest South African food
Written by Jesca

If you’re ever down to Africa and looking for an adventure, be sure to try some of the weirdest food in South Africa. From Walkie Talkies (deep-fried dough balls) to Bobotie (a delicious mix of curried meat and eggs), there’s something for everyone.

So if you’re looking for a culinary adventure, look no further–South Africa is the place to be! Come with an open mind and an empty stomach, and let’s see if you are brave enough to try some of these strange but fantastic local African delicacies.

South Africa is an adventure country and hosts a good deal of adrenaline-boosting experiences. Kruger is the largest wildlife reserve in Africa, offering you the greatest chance at viewing the Big 5 anywhere in Africa. South Africa is also a country with many cultures, and each culture has its unique foods.

In this post, we explore some of the strangest South African foods. These foods are not for the faint of heart! But, they give you a proper culinary adventure like no other.

What is the Weirdest Food in Africa?

For centuries, Africans have been eating strange and unusual foods from all over the continent. These include grasshoppers, caterpillars, and termites Biltong. There’s no shortage of bizarre dishes to try.

What is the Most Eaten Food in South Africa?

The most common food in South Africa is the humble soup. Soups are hearty, filling, and easy to make – perfect for a country with a diverse range of cultures and cuisines. Whether it’s a traditional African vegetable soup or a more modern twist on the classic tomato soup, there’s something for everyone in South Africa.

Other popular dishes in South Africa include bobotie, which is a type of meat pie, and chakalaka, which is a vegetable dish. Many types of stews and curries are popular. So, as you can see, there is no one answer to this question. It depends on what you are in the mood for!

What is The Weirdest Foods in South Africa?


Weirdest food in South Africa

Biltong — Southern Africa. Photo/

The list is called weird/wonderful, but in my opinion, we have focused too much on the weird. Please take note that Biltong is not very weird, though certainly very nice. Biltongs are a South African speciality dish. They dry the meats that can be cured with the use of a high-quality cut of meat like rump and silverside seasoned and dry.

Although traditionally the “biltong” is made of beef, you can also use other types of meat. Biltong has always been a favourite at the house, especially with the husband’s sons.

Making biltong is very simple: take your chosen meat, cut it into thin strips, season it with a combination of spices (I like to use coriander, salt, and pepper), and then hang it up to dry. Once it’s dried, you can either keep it as is or fry it up for a delicious snack. Trust me, once you try biltong, you’ll be hooked!


Weirdest food in South Africa

Smileys — South Africa. Photo/

Seemingly happy, these dishes are not for the faint-hearted. It is a sheep’s head that is skinned and then boiled until all the meat falls off the bone. The soft parts of the eyes, tongue, brain and cheeks are the best bits. Once all the meat is off, they cut the head in half and served.

They often serve Smileys with pap (a type of maize porridge), but you can also enjoy it with rice or potatoes. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try a smiley the next time you’re in South Africa?

Walkie Talkies 

Weirdest food in South Africa

‘Walkie tallkies’ are cooked chicken legs in South Africa. Photo by Unilever Food Solutions

Another favorite among South Africans is the “walkie-talkie.” They make this dish up of two fried balls of dough, traditionally served with a spicy chicken or beef filling. The walkie-talkie is said to have originated in Cape Town’s vibrant Little India district, where it’s still popular street food. If you’re ever in the area, be sure to try one (or two)!

Smoked Snails 

Smoked snails are popular street food in Johannesburg, and can be found at most markets. The snails are first cooked in a tomato-based sauce, then smoked over hot coals until they’re nice and tender. They’re usually served with pap (maize porridge) or rice, and make for a delicious and hearty meal. So if you’re in Johannesburg, be sure to give smoked snails a try!

Mopane Worms — Northern Province

Weird foods in South Africa

Mopane worms are a delicacy in South Africa. Photo by YouTube

Now, onto something a little more unusual: mopane worms. These caterpillars are common in the Northern Province of South Africa and are a delicacy by many. They dry Mopane worms and then fry them, although you could also eat them raw. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try them?


Stinkbug, or “imbrula” in South Africa, is a type of insect that is commonly found in the Limpopo province. While they may not look appetizing, stinkbugs are quite nutritious and a delicacy in South Africa. You can prepare Stinkbugs in a variety of ways, but the most popular is to fry them up and serve them with a side of rice. So, if you’re ever in Limpopo, be sure to try stinkbugs!


Wierd foods in South Africa

Termites are among the weird foods in South Africa. Photo/YouTube.

These little insects are among the weirdest food in South Africa and are a popular snack in many parts of the country. South Africans eat termites raw or cooked or fried up and served with a dipping sauce. So, if you’re ever in the mood for something different, why not try termites?

Bunny Chow Weirdest food in South Africa

Bunny chow chicken curry rolls. Photo/Taste.This dish is a South African classic and originates from Durban, where it’s still very popular today. Bunny chow comprises a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with curry, which is then eaten with your hands. It’s the perfect meal for a cold winter’s day!



Chakalaka. Photo by Maison Travers

Last but not least, we have chakalaka. This dish is a mix of vegetables, beans, and spices, and is often served as a side dish or condiment. Chakalaka is thought to have originated in Johannesburg’s townships, but it’s now popular all over the country. If you’re looking for something different to try, be sure to give chakalaka a go!

So there you have it: the weirdest food in South Africa and most wonderful foods. If you’re ever in the country, be sure to sample some of these unique dishes—you won’t be disappointed!

About the author


Besigye is a Ugandan writer and a teacher by profession. She loves adventure and travelling that's why she loves writing travel blogs.

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