Local favouritesMeat or chicken stews are popular in Uganda served with rice, chapatti, ugali (a stiff maize porridge) or matoke (a cooked plantain/banana mash). For a sweet dish, locals enjoy a type of doughnut called mandazi.
With Uganda’s many lakes and rivers, fish are an important food. Local fish include the Nile perch, tiger fish and the ngege tilapia. A favourite recipe serves tilapia with a peanut sauce.
Soft fizzy pops are widely drunk in Uganda for cold drinks, with
lager beer the most popular alcoholic beverage. Though many Ugandans
grow coffee beans for a living, chai or tea is the favoured hot drink, brewed very sweet and milky.
Uganda’s Sharp-Toothed, Walking, & Air-Breathing Fish: The Lungfish
Celebrated for its abundant biodiversity, Uganda’s
Lake Victoria once boasted the most diverse fish environment on the
planet. And among the many species of fish living here today is the
lungfish. This unique fish is a living evolutionary example of how fish
can transition from breathing in the water to breathing air.
They get their name from their ability to breath air, using their air
bladder as a lung (as opposed to breathing through their gills), which
most fish use for buoyancy in swimming. In fact, if held underwater and
prevented from getting air, this fish can actually drown.
In terms of its appearance, the lungfish has an elongated body that
is similar to an eel, with pectoral and pelvic fins that are
thread-like, with soft scales. Using their pectoral and pelvic fins,
they have the ability to crawl along the bottom of the ocean or on land,
or swim like an eel. The larger of the species can grow to about 6 feet
And one of the most fascinating facts about the lungfish is that it
can live out of water for months at a time in burrows of hardened mud
under a dried-up streambed, sealing themselves in a mucous-lined burrow.
During this time, they have the ability to greatly reduce their
metabolic rate. There are only three genera of lungfish alive today,
each found on a single continent. Aside from Africa, the lungfish can be found in Australia and South America.
Local villagers depend on this fish as a sustainable food source. In
many areas of Africa, knowing where to find food is the key to
survival. In addition to Lake Victoria, these fish typically inhabit
other large lakes in the area as well as shallow waters, such as swamps
and marshes, and can be found in rice paddies, as well. In fact,
fishermen will actually dig holes in these low swampy areas to cultivate
Native African villagers dig up the lungfishes by looking for signs
of a burrow and then wade into the boggy water and reach blindly down
into the muddy bottom, feeling for the fish. This is very tricky
business because the lungfish have very sharp teeth that can actually
take a finger off if you are not careful!
Lungfish are said to be rather strong in taste, so you either love them or hate them. In Uganda,
the lungfish is associated with men and manhood, and, therefore, only
eat lungfish. It is considered by females to be a “sister