What Do Zambians Like To Eat?

By West Africa Cooks, 30 October, 2017

What do Zambians traditionally like to eat? Zambians like to eat goat meat, BBQ warthog, smoky crocodile tail, mopare worm (woodland) and Impala burgers. Delicacies are insects such as grasshoppers, caterpillars, cicadas and flying ants.

Before we answer the question of what are the traditional cuisines of Zambian, here are some facts on Zambia.

  • The capital city is called Lusaka
  • The oldest historical information of the people in the region was that of the Khoisan people, who were colonized by the Bantu expansion during the 13th century
  • There are seventy two languages* spoken in Zambia, from a range of different origins
  • The country became independent on 24th October 1964 from the United Kingdom
  • Zambia was called North Rhodesia until 1964
  • The country has a population of 16.59 million people
  • Currency Zambian kwacha (ZMW)
  • The country is land locked by eight countries. The borders are :-
    • Congo to the north
    • Botswana, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Namibia to the south
    • Angola to the west
    • Malawi to the east
    • and Tanzania to the northeast
  • Three great rivers flow through the country. The Kafue, the Luangwa and the Zambezi
  • It's the 39th largest country in the world
  • The country lies between latitudes 8° and 18°S, and longitudes 22° and 34°E
  • Calling Code 260. Time Zone CAT (UTC+2)

Read Food And Drink In Southern Africa

So What Are The Traditional Cuisines?

Zambia isn’t particularly well-known for its cuisine, but the fare you’ll find in luxury lodges and safari camps is generally of an equally high standard to the properties themselves, with interesting barbecued game meats and other South African influences found on many menus.

Towns like Livingstone and Lusaka have some good Western style restaurants and curry houses. Further afield, Zambia’s bountiful lakes and rivers provide plentiful fresh fish both for local fisherman and restaurants across the country. The typical Zambian diet is heavy on starch and comfort foods such as stews, soups and beans.

Zambia’s most popular lager is called Mosi, taken from the original name for Victoria Falls. But in rural areas, you’re more likely to see locals drinking maize or sorghum beer, often homemade.

  • Nshima Dishes: A stiff porridge made from ground maize – a staple eaten daily in the rural areas. A thinned down version may be eaten for breakfast with sugar and butter.
  • Ndiwo: A relish or sauce made from meat or fish boiled with green vegetables, usually served with nshima.
  • Ifisashi: Vegetarian stew of peanuts, tomatoes, spinach and cabbage, used to accompany nshima.
  • Samp and beans: Starchy dish made from crushed maize kernels and beans.
  • Biltong: Spiced, dried meat usually made from beef or game meat.
  • Sautéed insects: Grasshoppers, caterpillars, cicadas, flying ants and mopane worms are seasonal delicacies for rural Zambians.
  • Kapenta: A small sardine from Lake Tanganyika that is salted and sundried before eating.
  • Munkoyo: Zambians’ favourite non-alcoholic drink, made from maize meal and the roots of the Munkoyo tree.

  • Mosi: The local beer.
  • Chibuku: An opaque, often homemade beer made from maize or sorghum.
  • Freshwater fish: Bream, Nile perch and salmon from the Kafue, Luapula and Zambezi rivers.

Read What Do Africans Like To Drink?

Where To Eat When Traveling?

Travel To Zambia

Zambia is one of the diamonds in the rough of South Africa. It's one of the best countries for wildlife safari, and it's the home of the largest waterfalls in the world.

Victoria Falls And Livingstone

A destination increasingly popular with intrepid travellers in southern Africa and the country Zambia you will find the largest, most beautiful and simply the greatest waterfall in the world called Victoria Falls and the Zambezi River. Make no mistake this is a wonder of the natural world on scale. The roar fills your ears and the plumes of spray can be seen for kilometers as a million liters of water falls a second over the 1908 meter drop. Victoria Falls is one of the 7 wonders of the natural world and it's the biggest tourist attraction in Zambia, but Zimbabwe also shares the attraction with the country.

Read South African Wine Tasting

Purchase southern Africa guide and Travel books.

*Official Languages today. English (official), Bemba, Tonga, Lozi


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