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Being vegan...

London, United...
Level Contributor
28 posts
35 reviews
Being vegan...

I've been browsing the internet and there seems to be meat free options...as there are everywhere in the world... but we're hoping to do a trip to south africa (and maybe briefly visit some neighbouring countries e.g. Namibia) and my boyfriend is worried I'll starve! Are there any vegans out there who has travelled to this part of the world and how did they find the food options available?

Johannesburg, South...
Destination Expert
for Johannesburg
Level Contributor
5,688 posts
1. Re: Being vegan...

You have my sympathies, but, you will definitely not starve.

We have amazing fruit , vegetables, nuts, etc.

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
297 posts
1 review
2. Re: Being vegan...

I haven't been yet but I would imagine you would be able to find some sort of beans/legumes dishes.

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
144 posts
12 reviews
3. Re: Being vegan...

My husband (a South African) likes to say that the culture is so meat-centric that chicken is considered a vegetable. But things are changing. You won't starve, but your options will be limited. You may want to look at self-catering options as much as possible. The natural food shop in our little town has lots of plant-based options, but I am not sure if you will find such a selection everywhere.

All the best,

Annette | Owner | Nkanyi House

Long Island, New...
Level Contributor
6,604 posts
21 reviews
4. Re: Being vegan...

Oh please. There are vegetables and pasta/grain options on every menu - and you can even order a salad!! Most people in the country can't afford protein every day and the country is multicultural. You'll have plenty of options.

London, United...
Level Contributor
28 posts
35 reviews
5. Re: Being vegan...

Thanks everyone for your reply

cbir - 'oh please' a salad?! a plate of leaves? I like my food

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
1,825 posts
155 reviews
6. Re: Being vegan...

There was a vegan among the guests at the safari lodge where we stayed. The cook always had options on each day's menu for him. And he had been at other locales in SA before the lodge. Didn't have extensive discussions with him on his diet but he never suggested that finding vegan options had been a problem.

Leeds, United...
Destination Expert
for Western Cape, Cape Town Central
Level Contributor
5,280 posts
625 reviews
7. Re: Being vegan...

I have travelled quite extensively in South Africa, especially in the Cape. You will find vegan food and I can think of a couple of vegan restaurants in Cape Town, but South Africans like their protein! You will get a pretty limited choice in many restaurants so I suggest you do some research first, as I wouldn't want a plate of leaves either! Look at Nomad and I'm sure that Planet at the Mount Nelson do a vegan tasting menu.

But it is much better 10 years ago, when you were lucky if you saw a vegetable on your plate in a restaurant :)

Being at a safari lodge, where they cook to your needs, there will be no problem.

I agree that you can buy nice fruit and veggies, but that's not what you necessarily find on a restaurant menu.

Lisa

London, United...
Level Contributor
28 posts
35 reviews
8. Re: Being vegan...

Thanks MBA60302,

Providing vegan options shouldn't be difficult, but in certain places it can be. We won't have much time for cooking so being able to get some food when out and about is what I need. I think South Africa should be okay, Namibia and Botswana, I'm not so sure about.

London, United...
Level Contributor
28 posts
35 reviews
9. Re: Being vegan...

Thanks Lisa, for those suggestions

Cape Town Central...
Level Contributor
256 posts
131 reviews
10. Re: Being vegan...

I can't speak for Namibia, but I often eat vegetarian meals in Cape Town. Vegan, not as often, but there are options.

Cape Town specifically has a few fully vegan restaurants which are delicious, such as Plant Cafe.

I usually see a pasta with a tomato based sauce, with some vegetables on the menu, I have seen cheeseless pizza, and a variety of salads. I don't think you'll starve, but there will be moments where you're not eating something decadent.

I can also say that most restaurants don't mind customised orders. I have ordered a dish and just asked them not to add the meat, because the rest of it sounded delicious!

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