8 African snacks you must try

Food market in Tanzania Africa

In Africa, most action takes place on the streets and roadsides – people hawking their wares, kids running to and from school, friends hanging out just chatting. There’s always movement and there’s always food.

Day and night you’ve got people selling all types of snacks at traffic lights, on buses, at street corners and in roadside stalls. And a wealth of people buying them. For a true taste of Africa you won’t see in any guidebook, check out the following tasty treats.

Dabo kolo

These sweet and spicy pieces of baked bread are found all over Ethiopia and are available from shops and street vendors. They make for an addictive pre-dinner snack and are great on long bus rides. Think Ethiopia’s answer to popcorn.

Chipsi mayai

In Tanzanias markets and lean-to road stalls, this hot chip omelette is a welcome and filling snack. It’s often described as “chipsi’s and eggsi’s”, which sounds super cute in the Tanzanian accent.

Samosa

East Africa has adopted the Indian samosa (also known as samusa) as their own. Found in restaurants and from street vendors throughout Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania, these tasty and satisfying parcels of meat or veggies are a delicious pick-me-up.

Chapatis

Fabulous to stop for during a long road trip or to bring on the bus with you, chapatis are a delicious snack found all over eastern Africa. Flaky and melt in your mouth, chapatis are best eaten fresh with a cup of tea and while hanging out in a small stall with locals.

Kapana

Namibia is a nation of meat lovers and there’s nothing more meaty than kapana. People manning barbecues (braais) cut off bite-sized pieces of meat, which you then drag over a box filled with salt and spices and pop into your mouth. If greasy fingers freak you out, bring your own bread!

Biltong

Dried pieces of meat (think jerky) have kept many South Africans going on long travel days with no refrigeration. Beef is the most popular kind, but wild game, ostrich and chicken are all widely available and extremely popular throughout southern Africa.

Fan milk

Ice cream is the perfect antidote to the heat in Ghana. These super-popular sweet treats are sold just about everywhere, in particular at traffic lights and while waiting for tro tros (local minibuses) to depart.

Plantain chips

These lip-smacking chips are found throughout most of Africa, and are ideal for long journeys or to stave off any between meals hunger pains.

Have you tried a local treat in Africa that gave your taste buds a buzz?

Photo: Tanzania food market by Monica George

About the author

Jacqueline.Donaldson@intrepidtravel.com'
Jacqueline Donaldson - Melbourne-based former nomad, Jacqueline has been writing and travelling for more years than she cares to admit. With over 45 countries under her belt and a weird penchant for never fully unpacking, she works as an editor and copywriter for Intrepid – the one company she knows of that accepts (if not encourages) her quirks and wanderlust.

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2 comments

larocque_cnda@hotmail.com'

Nothing beats the Miskaki in Uganda. Also, Mandazi and Cassave Chips.

Yum! Great additions Mashoud, thanks.

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