Traveling While Plant Based and Gluten-Free in Namibia
By Molly Patrick
Apr 16, 2022,
Let’s talk about plant based and gluten-free breakfast in Namibia. Fruit is easy to find in grocery stores, but you have to stock up because grocery stores are few and far between. Luckily, we had a small fridge in our truck, so I bought plums, bananas, grapes, nectarines, kiwis, and oranges.
Most lodges will also have fruit for breakfast, but a few lodges we stayed in only offered canned fruit with added sugar. I was pumped to have my fruit in our truck.
Bigger grocery carry non-dairy milk, so stock up before leaving the larger cities, like Windhoek and Swakopmund. We stayed at 17 lodges in our 30 days of travel. Of those 17 lodges, only one of them had non-dairy milk. That was no problem because I bought like ten cartons and kept them in the truck.
Cereal is the vegetarian option for breakfast at most lodges. Otherwise, it’s meat, bread, and eggs. I picked up some corn flakes and gluten-free granola at the grocery store in Windhoek because the cereal options were mostly wheat flakes and granola…with wheat flakes.
I don’t drink coffee, but I love a cup of tea in the morning with a dash of brown sugar and some non-dairy milk. I brought an assortment of tea bags with me in a ziplock bag.
We asked someone who worked at the hotel where we could find local places in Windhoek with plant based options. She gave us the name of a restaurant and said to ask for oshigali and pap. Oshigali is a dish made from black-eyed peas that originates from the northern part of the country. Pap is a porridge made from maize or millet eaten on the side like you would eat rice.
After lunch, we stocked up on supplies for the road at a local grocery store. We bought fruit, veggies, non-dairy milk, canned soup, canned beans, rice cakes (lifesaver!), peanut butter, and some potato chips (because no road trip is complete without junk food!).
Our 4-wheel drive truck was badass. It had two gas tanks, a fridge, two batteries (one for the truck, one for the fridge), a huge tank of water, an ax, a shovel, an extra gas can, GPS, a satellite phone, a small generator-powered air pump for the tires, and a snorkel. We didn’t know what was in store for us for the next month, but we felt prepared with our packed-out truck!
If we were to do this again, I would rent or purchase a portable cook top with two small burners. This would have made eating much easier along the way when food choices were super limited.
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