Zambian culture is deeply rooted in food, from social gatherings like barbeques to pre-wedding parties where a groom is presented with a buffet of regional specialities prepared by his bride’s family. Here are some of the most flavourful dishes you must try.

Paresh Jai from Nairobi, Kenya, Ugali & Sukuma Wiki, CC BY 2.0


Zambia’s main source of carbohydrates is nshima. It is created from corn that has been transformed into a “mealie meal,” a fine, white powder. It is prepared by combining the cornmeal with water that has been heated to a boil (similar to grits). Add more cornmeal until the texture becomes thicker. You can use millet, cassava, or sorghum in place of cornmeal.


Based on seasonal availability, Livingstone restaurants will serve a variety of vegetables. Popular vegetables include okra, which is either fried or boiled with bicarbonate of soda, as well as “chibwabwa,” which are pumpkin leaves, “katapa,” sweet potato leaves, “bondwe,” a species of amaranthus, “impwa,” a species of eggplant, and “lumanda,” a species of hibiscus.


Chikanda is a completely vegetarian dish that is sometimes referred to as “African polony.” It is made with wild orchid tubers, peanuts, chillies, and baking soda and is served hot or cold after being cooked until it resembles meatloaf. You can try many variations with regional twists in luxury resorts such as Avani Victoria Falls Resorts.


Fish of many varieties are produced in Zambia’s numerous water bodies. The most well-known include kapenta, a little fish resembling a sardine that is fried in oil with tomatoes and onions, buka buka, a sort of Nile perch, and bream, which is either grilled, boiled, or dried before being served in gravy with nshima.