As with many countries in Africa, the cuisine of Botswana relies heavily on meat and maize. The national dish is a stew called seswaa, which is simply onions, peppers and meat boiled together and served with pap (maize porridge) or polenta. A common accompaniment to this dish is morogo, a leafy green vegetable.
One slightly more interesting dish that might not appeal to travellers but is very popular among locals is mopane worms. They contain a substantial amount of protein, vital in a country where meat can’t always be afforded, and are smoked or sundried before being eaten. However, these are usually pushed aside when game meat is around, which is often served in traditional braai style (barbecued).
Pulses such as beans and peas make regular appearances on the dinner table as do dishes involving offal like oxtail. There are also a number of native fruits such as the lerotse melon, which grows abundantly when in season. All of these delicious treats are then washed down with a local beer, which is often home brewed and can contain a very high alcohol level so be careful.
Safe eating while travelling in Botswana
Generally, eating in Botswana won’t cause you any problems but it is important to check that your food, and especially your meat, is properly cooked through before you eat it. If you are served something that does not look or smell right it is safest just to leave it. A handy trick when it comes to choosing where to eat is to look for an eatery with a long queue of locals outside. You might have to wait a bit to get served but there will be a reason that place is so popular.
Most visitors to Botswana will either be travelling on an overland camping safari or staying in lodge accommodation. For both styles of tours food is provided so there will be few times when you'll be eating out.