Foodie holidays in Kenya


kaluhiskitchen_chapati Butternut and dhania chapati. This meal is very similar to Indian flat breads | Credit: Kaluhis Kitchen

Kenya doesn’t really qualify as a dedicated foodie destination, but there are plenty of opportunities to eat well. Nairobi hosts a wide variety of restaurants representing a cosmopolitan selection of cuisines, as do Mombasa and the various coastal resorts (but to a lesser extent). Seafood is particularly recommended on the coast, while Nairobi excels when it comes to meat dishes and Indian restaurants, the latter usually offering a good vegetarian selection.

On safari, it’s customary to eat all meals at your lodge or camp. This is because most such places offer full-board packages, and there is generally no alternative within a reasonable driving distance. Larger lodges typically serve expansive buffet meals, while smaller lodges and tented camps generally offers three- or four-course set menus. Standards vary from mediocre at more package-like places to exceptional at certain more exclusive lodges.

The local cuisine usually consists of a lightly-spiced meat-based stew eaten with rice, ugali (stiff maize porridge or chapati (a flat Indian-style bread). In coastal towns and around the great lakes, whole fried or grilled fish is often available. The distinctive Swahili cuisine of the coast makes generous use of coconut milk and is far spicier than other Kenyan food.