Traveling While Plant Based and Gluten-Free in Namibia: Part Two


Breakfast was Mieliepap (hot ground corn) with pear. Think Southern African grits.
With not much to do, there was plenty of time to stretch and roll my body. Do you see that bathtub behind me? You better believe I made use of that!
The common area at Onguma. They had tea time every day at 4pm, where they served (you guessed it) tea, coffee and cake. I didn’t eat the cake, but I did enjoy the tea.
A wonderful storm rolled in while we were here, and it rained for an entire day. It was so nice to get cozy in our tent and just listen to the rain.
A giraffe enjoying lunch.
I could not take my eyes off this incredible creature. It crossed the road right in front of us.
View of the watering hole from the dining room.
Sorghum porridge with fruit. I was so delighted with this!
You know there’s really nothing to do when Luanne starts to exercise voluntarily. Here she is doing some crunches out of sheer boredom.
Waldorf salad lunch. Apples, walnuts, grapes, parsley, carrots, and cucumber over lettuce.
These were delicious little corn biscuits. They were gluten and dairy-free, but I’m pretty sure they contained eggs. I ate them anyway and loved every bite.
Thinly sliced cucumber rolled with veggies and drizzled with balsamic reduction.
This is not a great photo, but it was SO good. It was quinoa, beans, and cabbage. The seasoning was spot on, and the texture was perfect. This reminded me of a meal from our Wizard Plant Based Meal Plans. I thoroughly enjoyed this meal.
One last breakfast before we hit the road to our next destination.
Each lodge we stayed at had laundry service, but we hand-washed many of our clothes and put them in the truck to dry. Our truck was our closet, pantry, and laundry room.
Here we see the North American Molly Patrick in her natural environment: reading labels and carefully choosing food to stock up on.

Anytime we passed a town (which was not often), we stopped at a grocery store to see what we could find. You never knew how many days it would be until groceries were available, so I liked to make sure I always had some basics. If nothing else, I could eat beans or soup from a can.

The further away from Windhoek (Namibia’s capital) we got, the fewer healthy choices there were in stores. There was usually a produce department with some basics, but most of the canned foods had a ton of artificial flavors and colors.

It took me a long time to shop because I went down each aisle and read the labels and ingredients carefully. Most places had dried beans, but that wasn’t an option since I usually didn’t have access to a stove. If I were to do this again, I would rent a camp stove to take with us. That would have been a game-changer.

With a name like Chakalaka, how could I not? It turned out to be pretty bad, but it was food, and I was grateful for it.
I am convinced that bananas are the perfect travel food. They are easy to eat, filling, and don’t make a mess. We ate a LOT of bananas on this trip.
Something I usually wouldn’t buy at home, but perfect for this trip.
The Damara Dik-Dik!
It was so small and cute. It was about as large as a medium-sized dog and had short pointy horns.
I brought this soup from home with the intention of only eating it when I was desperate. That point finally happened about mid-way through our trip when we arrived at a lodge at lunchtime, and it had no stove, and no lunch service. This soup was quite good.
Rice cake and peanut butter that I ate along with my soup.
And another carrot.
Nothing to do except chill in our room. We took a lot of naps on our trip.
Dinner was curried cauliflower, rice, veggies, and salad. There was a fried plantain that I didn’t eat because it was dipped in an egg batter. This meal wasn’t bad, and I was happy about the veggies.
Granola for breakfast before driving to our next destination.

Our next stop was in the Zambezi Region, previously known as the Caprivi Strip. This little strip of northern Namibia is sandwiched between Angola to the north and Botswana to the south. It’s lush with tropical plants and is wet and humid.

We stayed at the Nunda River Lodge on the Kavango (or Okavango) River, where we could see and hear hippos from our room!

Nunda River Lodge and its resident dog.
Sunset on the Kavango River.

There were no fridge or cooking appliances in our room. Since we would be here for three nights, I asked the kitchen if I could give them a small bag of perishable food to keep in their fridge. They said no problem! Sometimes you just have to ask.

Baked beans, fruit, rice cake with peanut butter, granola, and tea. I supplied my own granola, peanut butter, rice cakes, and soy milk. I was so happy I stocked up on groceries in previous towns.
Warthogs in Mahango Game Park, a protected area inside Bwabwata National Park.
Taking it all in. We were told by two rangers that this was a picnic spot where we could get out of our car and take a look. We got out of the car for exactly three minutes because we did not want to encounter crocs, hippos or lions and be their picnic.
Me and my bananas!
A hippo in the Kavango River. They are massive and super territorial. This is NOT a river to swim in between them and the crocodiles!
The only lunch option that was plant based and gluten-free were french fries and salad. I asked the cooks if they would heat up a can of lentils I had in our truck to serve with the fries and salad. They very nicely agreed. The salad came out with feta, but I just shoved it to the side and nommed.
A nice salad bar situation happened each night. This was a yummy bean salad with lettuce, cucumber, and kalamata olives. The salad dressing contained dairy, so I used balsamic vinegar.
The lovely cooks served me the leftover lentils for dinner, along with smashed white sweet potato, regular potato wedges, and grilled zucchini. Nothing to write home about, but it definitely did the job.
In the morning, we had a nice bowl of fruit and drove east to our next destination.

Our next stop was Camp Kwando for a quick overnight. It was a lovely lodge along the Kwando River with the most welcoming and fabulous owner, Anke from Germany. She was so accommodating, kind, and funny. We had great talks with her, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. If you’re ever in this area, you must stay at Camp Kwando, if just to meet Anke!

Camp Kwando on the Kwando river.
Our room had no stove, so I asked Anke if she wouldn’t mind heating a can of veggie bean soup I’d brought for my lunch. She agreed and told me she had fancied it by adding some coconut milk, peppers, and fresh herbs. That gesture spoke to my heart! She also served some fries and ripe tomato slices on the side.
Luanne loves hippos. They are her favorite. She wanted to take this hippo carving home with us. Instead, she just rode it. I love having a silly wife!!
Our room for the night situated above the Kwando river.
The Kwando River divides Botswana from Namibia.
This picture was taken from our little hut on the Namibia side with a view of Botswana on the other side.
Stick lights and Luanne’s hippo, Harry.
After lunch and a nap, we went to the common area that overlooked the river. We started playing a card game, and Anke brought us fresh-popped popcorn without butter! It was such a treat.
Me sitting in the common area.
Most safari lodges have a fire during sunset. They do this to ward off mosquitoes.
Dinner was a yummy curry with rice noodles and veggies.
Poached pear and grapes for dessert, dusted with cacao powder.
Anke made me a loaf of gluten-free bread! I could not believe it.
Midway through making it, she found me and asked if it was okay if she put two egg whites in the bread. I told her yes, that was totally fine and thanked her again. It was such a sweet gesture.
On our way to our next stop, we passed this Baobab tree. We stopped to take a picture because it reminded me of an elephant’s foot.

Before crossing the Botswana border, our last stop in Namibia was Zambezi Mubala Camp. I loved this spot! We had a large tent and a full outdoor kitchen. This tent had a fabulous shower and toilet inside. I have to say, I really love glamping.

Making some lunch!
Gas burner hooked up to propane.
A tub full of kitchen tools.
Fridge and sink.
Inside our glamping tent.
A common sign in these parts. Wild animals and people, co-existing.
All of the fruit and veggies in the grocery stores come from either Namibia, Botswana, or South Africa. I didn’t see any organic produce, but I would rather eat produce that isn’t organic than no produce at all.
Creamed corn and baked beans for lunch.
There was a restaurant at this camp, but anytime there was a stove/kitchen set up, I would make my food from my supplies.
Simmering some cauliflower.
Trusty travel Coconut Aminos!
Simmered cauliflower and a carrot. A piece of gluten-free bread toasted with peanut butter and jam. Leftover creamed corn and baked beans from lunch. It might not look gourmet, but at the time, this meal was beyond delicious.
I fixed my dinner and then brought my plate to the restaurant/bar area where Luanne was waiting for her dinner. We ate outside and looked up at the beautiful night sky. This woman, the chef, had one of the most beautiful smiles I had ever seen. I was surprised when happy tears filled my eyes as she handed Luanne her food and beamed her gorgeous smile at us. I asked her if I could take her picture and share her smile with our community. She happily said yes. Her smile made me want to smile more.
Breakfast was a mix of granola and cornflakes, topped with banana and blueberries. I toasted some gluten-free bread and smeared on some peanut butter and jam. I could have stayed at this camp for several days, but it was just an overnight.
The Zambezi River.
Clean Food Dirty Truck? Our truck, Tommy, had molded to us like a glove and we were already talking about how much we would miss him when our trip was over.
This is a typical rest stop all across Namibia. Sometimes they didn’t have a shade tree, just a bench out in the open on the side of the road.
We arrived at the Namibia / Botswana border and were greeted by this tree. There was definitely a vagina vibe happening.

To be continued…

Next time, we will explore Botswana and one of the world’s seven wonders in Zimbabwe.

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Our Sweary Saturday Love Letters are written by our ex-boozer, ex-smoker, plant-loving co-founder, Molly Patrick.


  1. Julia W on May 9, 2022 at 12:06 pm

    Wow! Love it! I heard your podcast and the story of the zebra peeing for 7 minutes. Not to be a weirdo, but I wish you had a video of that lol.

    • Julia W on May 9, 2022 at 12:07 pm

      Not zebra, giraffe! I can’t edit my comment.

  2. Sarah P on May 11, 2022 at 6:10 am

    How Absolutely wonderful to have you take the time to share your trip with us! Your photos are beyond divine especially that beautiful woman with her majestic smile. Love your attitude and gratitude. 💜💙❤️

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