Food & Cuisine in Swaziland

The traditional cuisine of Swaziland is fairly basic, but wholesome and tasty. Meat in the form of beef, chicken, goat or wild game is generally cooked on the fire, together with maize based dishes such as ‘mealie-pap' or ‘mealie-meal' which form a big part of any local's diet. This is supplemented by a wide variety of seasonal vegetables.

Try a local specialty made the local way - a roasted mielie (corn) on the cob direct from a roadside market stall - delicious.

Below we have given you some information about the types of Swazi food, as well as range of our international food styles available in Swaziland. After you're done Shopping in Swaziland let us guide you to some of the best places to eat. Relax and experience the exotic food in Swaziland.

Swaziland Food & Cuisine Guide

Types of Food

Although the range of cuisine of Swaziland can be exciting and varied, you will find that many bush and rural areas have a more simple diet. Stews with all kinds of meat and vegetables are the staple, and these traditional stews are often used to celebrate special occasions, such as festivals or holidays. Getting together to relax, drink locally brewed beer and to roast a bit of meat is about as good an occasion as any.

For less adventurous travellers their a number of restaurants that have specialised in local dishes, eDladleni Restaurant and The Village cafe being two of them, whilst Ugandan Chef, Richard, at Hawane's Taste of Africa Restaurant - does just that !

Being close to Mozambique there is a considerable influence of Portuguese and seafood meals. The resident Asian community has also contributed a few great Chinese and Indian style restaurants, whilst the Germanic influence is clearly evident in quite of few of the top continental restaurants.

The Eating & Drinking Scene

The largest concentration and variety of restaurants can be found in The Ezulwini Valley with a few options in the cities of Manzini and Mbabane worth trying as well. Many hotels and larger towns will serve a combination of international cuisine, along with Swazi specials. However, for a traditional culinary experience, check out some of the local food stalls at the markets. Here you can pick up specialties such as traditional stew, maized meal, roasted corn on the cob, or stamped mealies.

The nightlife is muted midweek, but can be awesome on Friday and Saturday nights, especially when performances are on at House-on-Fire and other local party spots. There is a wide range of beers, wines and spirits available. The casino at the Royal Swazi Sun is cooking' on most nights with occasional music, cabaret, jazz and choir performances.

Good service should attract a 10% tip, but this is purely discretionary. If you decide not to tip, take the time to explain why...your effort will reward the next customer and the waiter or waitress concerned will also have added to their knowledge.

Worried about going out at night - try this blog for inspiration - Going out at night in Ezulwini - the baby steps posting.