Surviving in Uganda or Rwanda as a Vegetarian or Vegan?

Posted by on July 8, 2017

Practical Survival Tips for Vegans or Vegetarians on Safari in Uganda or Rwanda.

Surviving in Uganda or Rwanda as a Vegetarian or Vegan? Can a Vegan or Vegetarian survive in Africa?


Africans, including Ugandans and Rwandans, often eat a vegetarian diet, not by choice but dictate by their waveg-vegan-uganda-rwandallet’s resources.  Ugandan restaurants mostly serve meat and fish dishes, fried dishes are common and the same oil that was used to fry fish, meat or poultry is used for cooking other things, as are pots and pans. 

Royco, (Beef Mchuzi Sauce additive) is a major spice you can find on anything and it has a beef or chicken extract in it, however slight, along with a volume of MSG.  

Against that backdrop, the Question is often asked: Can a Vegetarian or Vegan survive a two-week Safari in Uganda or Rwanda?  The answer is yes, with some precautions, you will need an informed tour operator and hotels and lodges that can cater to your specific needs.


Surviving in Uganda or Rwanda as a Vegetarian or Vegan?  The answer iSurviving in Uganda or Rwanda as a Vegetarian or Vegans a resounding yes if precautions are followed. and most fruits and vegetables are grown organically which is an added plus.  Uganda – Rwanda has a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables that will delight your palate – at times broccoli and cauliflower may a bit harder to find since they are not a part of the normal Ugandan or Rwandan diet but they are grown here and are found in larger supermarkets.  Mushrooms can be found in both Uganda and Rwanda, including Shitake Mushrooms. The come from Kigali and area superb, buy them in better Supermarkets in Kampala or Kigali and bring them along on Safari.

The added plus is, most fruits and vegetables are grown organically.  Uganda – Rwanda has a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables that will delight your palate – at times broccoli and cauliflower may a bit harder to find since they are not a part of the normal Ugandan or Rwandan diet but they are grown here and can be found in larger supermarkets.

Chinese and Indian restaurants abound in Uganda and Rwanda have menus with many vegetarian items on their menu that are nutritious and tasty.

veganPlease Note: 

Even if you wore a sign – I’m Vegan, most would not know what that means.  In a restaurant you might be politely told, Vegan is over in order not to offend.  It will take a mini-education that you get down into a one-minute recitation and most often you are fine with the meal you are served. We, when booking tell the lodge your preferences, upon arrival at a lodge out Driver-Guide heads for the Kitchen to give last-minute advice about your meal.

There are some precautions that a vegetarian and or vegan needs to take in Uganda and that has to do with how even vegetarian dishes are prepared in Uganda.  One of the most favored ways is to use a Mchuzi Sauce based enhancer to prepare items and they can contain beef or chicken.  You simply tell the restaurant -no Royco which is the number one brand here when it comes to Mchuzi mix.

When it comes to food enhancers, MSG based additives are common here and can be found in many salts such as Aromat and it is best to ignore them.  A vegetarian or vegan can survive and thrive in Uganda or Rwanda, many Ugandans or Rwandans though not vegetarian or vegan eat vegetarian meals due to the cost of meat such as beef, pork or chicken.  Beans are widelyuganda-the-fruit-basket-of-africa used here and are prepared in a tasty way.

Breakfast, if you are a vegan may mean a lovely fruit platter t and anyone vegan, vegetarian or not would love a fruit platter here that can include Mangoes, tasty and juicy Pineapple, Watermelon, Papaya, Bananas are found here and some of the fruit such as Bananas or Pineapple will simply be the best found anywhere.

Surviving in Uganda or Rwanda as a Vegetarian or Vegan – As a vegetarian or vegan, you will enjoy Uganda – Rwanda and the natural fruits and vegetables found here (Try the Avocados often called Ovacados). Most of both fruit and vegetables bought from markets and roadside vendors will be natural and organic, most small farmers use natural fertilizer and not costly chemical fertilizers.  Some Malls in Kampala have organic growers selling their fruit and produce on weekends.  Uganda sells many organic fruits and vegetables to Europe, less to North America.


Making it real – the Practical Side of Surviving as a Vegan or Vegetarian in Uganda or Rwanda:

kabiza-brown-tan-logo-250You will need a Tour Operator such as ourselves who know about your dietary requirements and now to navigate you through meat loving Uganda on Vegetarian or Vegan Fare.

You cannot place a Vegan or Vegetarian Visitor into any lodge, but into the lodge that has a history of serving Vegetarians and Vegans.

We contact the Lodge and hotel about your dietary needs, we even check with the chef in charge to make sure that you get the right meal for you.  The result is that our clients have not complained about the Vegetarian or Vegan Meals served in hotels and lodges we have chosen.  Upmarket and Moderate lodges and hotels are normally better informed than budget or shoestring lodges.  Feel free to contact us about a Vegan or Vegetarian Safari in Uganda or Rwanda.


If you have any questions about Surviving in Uganda or Rwanda as a Vegetarian or Vegan on a safari with us, please ask us.