Trying Zambia’s Local Beer and Food

By Jennifer James | August 07, 2013 | Zambia

I need to start a tab for beer on this blog. I really do. It’s my favorite thing to drink when I travel to other countries because there is always a new, local beer you can try no matter where you are. Otherwise, every drink is exactly the same: Coke, 7-Up, Sprite, Fanta, coffee!


In Zambia, I loved tasting some of the local beers: MosiCastle (not pictured), and Windhoek. Castle is South African and Windhoek is Namibian, while Mosi is proudly Zambian, as they like to say.

I read that many Zambians prefer light lagers, so Mosi really wasn’t that great to me. I often opted for Mosi Gold if it was available. I tried all of the beers – Mosi, Castle, and Windhoek – and liked Castle the best because it was a little heavier. When I am at home I often opt for really dark beers, sometimes ones with a chocolate finish. Those are always nice. They don’t really have dark beers in Zambia, which was disappointing. For me it was the local lighter varieties.

The food in Zambia was tasty even though I didn’t have much of the local fare. When we were in Macha I had my favorite meal of the entire trip. It wasn’t particularly Zambian, per se, but they did have nshima paired with a delicious sauce. Nshima is a lot like ugali in Kenya.

Ugali, fish, and vegetables – so delicious! Kenya – July 2011


Zambia wasn’t a foodie or beer paradise for me like India or Kenya. I could have eaten my weight in spicy, curry deliciousness in both countries (Kenya has a large Indian population). Zambia was beautiful and lovely in its own way. I saw more international food and even fast food than I’ve seen during my other travels. But Zambia had Victoria Falls and the most development than I’ve seen elsewhere in Africa, especially in its larger cities: Lusaka and Livingstone. I’d go back in a heartbeat.

Jennifer James traveled to Zambia as an International Reporting Project Zambia Fellow. The International Reporting Project is a part of  The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. I will be reporting on HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis and how these three infectious diseases acutely affect mothers and children. You can follow our journey for the next 11 days at #ZambiaHealth.

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