Food in Namibia is a fusion of African and European flavours. It has been influenced by the country’s history of colonialism and traditional indigenous cooking. The cuisine is characterised by the use of exotic meats, seafood, and vegetables, cooked with aromatic spices and served with starchy accompaniments.
Read on to learn more about some of the most popular dishes in Namibia. If you’ve tried any of them, be sure to leave a comment below.
Best Namibia Food
Below you’ll find a list of the some of the best food in Namibia.
Braaivleis is a type of barbecue that is popular in Namibia and other Southern African countries. The term “braaivleis” is derived from the Afrikaans language and translates to “grilled meat” in English.
It typically involves cooking a variety of meats. These include beef, game, or ostrich, over an open flame or hot coals.
Braaivleis is often prepared by marinating the meat with spices and herbs like garlic, paprika, and thyme, which adds flavor and tenderness to the meat.
The meat is then grilled over the hot coals until it’s cooked to the desired level of doneness. The cooking process can take several hours, and it’s common for people to gather around the fire and socialize while the meat is cooking.
Braaivleis is typically served with a variety of side dishes, such as pap, which is a type of porridge made from maize meal.
Other common side dishes include salads made from tomatoes, onions, and cucumbers, as well as baked beans and chakalaka, which is a spicy relish made from vegetables like onions, tomatoes, and chili peppers.
Kapana is a popular street food in Namibia that is made from grilled beef or game meat. It’s a quick and affordable meal that is enjoyed by locals and tourists alike.
Kapana is typically prepared by grilling thin slices of beef or game meat over an open flame or hot coals.
The meat is seasoned with spices like salt, pepper, and chilli powder, which adds flavour and heat to the dish. Once cooked, the meat is typically served with a side of chilli sauce or salsa and eaten with the hands.
Oshifima is a traditional porridge-like dish that is a staple of Namibian cuisine. It is made from mahangu (pearl millet) or maize meal and is typically eaten with a stew made from meat or vegetables. The dish is often cooked in large quantities and shared among family members or friends.
To prepare Oshifima, the mahangu or maize meal is mixed with water and stirred continuously over low heat until it thickens and forms a dough-like consistency. The mixture is then shaped into small balls, which are called “omboga,” and served alongside the stew.
Oshifima is a nutritious and filling dish that is enjoyed by many Namibians. It’s an important part of the country’s cultural heritage and is often served at social gatherings and special occasions.
Potjiekos is a traditional South African and Namibian stew that is cooked in a three-legged cast-iron pot over an open flame or hot coals. The dish is typically made with a variety of meats, such as beef, lamb, or game, as well as vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and onions.
To prepare Potjiekos, the meat is browned in the pot and then removed. Vegetables are added along with spices and herbs like thyme, bay leaves, and garlic.
The meat is then returned to the pot, and the stew is left to simmer slowly for several hours, allowing the flavors to blend together.
Potjiekos is a social food that is often prepared outdoors in a communal setting, such as at a braai (barbecue) or a camping trip. It’s a symbol of South African and Namibian culture. It’s a delicious way to bring people together to share a meal.
The dish is often served with sides like rice or bread, and it’s commonly enjoyed with a glass of wine or beer.
Mopane worms, also known as mopani or amasonja, are a type of caterpillar that is commonly eaten in southern African countries like Namibia. The worms are the larvae of the emperor moth and are a rich source of protein and other nutrients.
Mopane worms are typically harvested during the rainy season when the moths lay their eggs on mopane trees. The caterpillars feed on the leaves of the trees before they are harvested and prepared for consumption.
To prepare mopane worms, they are usually dried or smoked to preserve them. The dried worms are then rehydrated and cooked with spices and seasonings. They can be grilled, fried, or stewed and are often served as a snack or side dish.
Malva pudding is a sweet and sticky South African dessert that is similar to a sponge cake. It is typically made with a mixture of flour, sugar, eggs, milk, and apricot jam, which gives the dessert its signature fruity flavor.
To prepare malva pudding, the ingredients are mixed together and baked in a casserole dish until it is cooked through and golden brown. A syrup made from butter, sugar, and cream is then poured over the top of the pudding. This soaks into the sponge and makes it rich and moist.
Malva pudding is a popular dessert in South Africa and is often served with custard or ice cream. It is a comforting and indulgent treat that is perfect for cold winter nights or special occasions. While it’s not native to Namibia, it is enjoyed in some Namibian restaurants and households.