Tips for Surviving as a Vegan or Vegetarian on Safari in Uganda-Rwanda

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

Practical Advice for Surviving as a Vegan or Vegetarian on Safari


Surviving as a Vegan or Vegetarian on Safari – is it possible to go on a Safari and keep up a Vegan or Vegetarian Diet?  Gorillas, for the most part, survive on a plant-based diet and judging by their size do well in the Heart of Africa.

Africans, including Ugandans and Rwandans, often eat a vegetarian diet, not by choice but dictate by their wa llet’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 On Safari, you will need an informed tour operator such as ourselves and hotels and lodges that can cater to your specific needs. Upmarket Lodges are best informed about Vegan or Vegetarian diets, needs, and recipes. 

Vegans and Vegetarians can be assured of one Thing -They are in good Company, even Gorillas mostly exist on a Plant-Based Diet and are the toughest beings in the Forest.


Surviving as a Vegan or Vegetarian on Safari? The answer i s a resounding yes if precautions take. 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, there is a great grower of Mushrooms in Rwanda and they export them to Uganda, both White and Brown Mushrooms, including Shitake Mushrooms which are harder to find. One has to go to Supermarkets in Kampala that are frequented by Westerners primarily in Kampala.

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.

Please Note – Tips for Surviving as a Vegan or Vegetarian on Safari in Uganda-Rwanda: 

 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 thinking you are wanting a menu item.

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 we inform the lodge of 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 please – which is the number one brand here when it comes to Mchuzi mix.

When it comes to food enhancers, MS G 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 widely 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.

Soy Milk is available in Kampala 


Making it real – the Practical Side of Surviving as a Vegan or Vegetarian on Safari

 You will need a Tour Operator such as ourselves who know about your dietary requirements and how to navigate you through “Nyachoma” meat-loving Uganda on a 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 know the lodges that grow their own organic vegetables or have some local women grow specific items such as Broccoli, Cauliflower, Lettuce grown for them.

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 for a Vegan or Vegetarian Safari in Uganda or Rwanda.