Africa is a huge continent made up of 54 different countries in total. Our Africa Food Map covers the most popular African food eaten in each country. African food options vary considerably depending on what region you visit. All 54 countries of Africa have different ethnic groups which also influences the cuisine.

Africa Food Map of 54 African foods

So here is the ultimate Africa Food Map for those who are curious to taste African foods or learn more about fascinating Africa food culture. We’ve eaten African food in all 54 countries in Africa during our food journey to visit every country in the world

From the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean, the lush, tropical jungle regions to the vast deserts, our Africa food map will give you a better understanding of African food. 

Table of Contents: Show

What’s African food taste like?

It’s difficult to answer the question, “what’s African food taste like?”. If you ask me “what does European food taste like?”, I couldn’t answer that either. As multiple countries and cultures make up this continent also, the cuisine is each does change considerably.

The reason why it’s hard to tell you directly what’s African food taste like is that each region is quite different. I’ll explain a little more about the regions below.

africa food map woman tossing grain

North Africa foods

What exactly are North Africa foods? If we refer to North Africa Foods that make up this region stretching across Northern Africa, there are some basic staple foods. These are smen (preserved butter), olives and olive oil, couscous, preserved lemons, garlic, floral essences such as rosewater or orange blossom, harissa (chilli paste), onions, oranges, dates, and figs.

As for meat used in North Africa food, lamb and mutton are the main protein, while chicken also features in North Africa foods.

Eastern Africa food

What is Eastern Africa food? Well, traditional East African foods include some form of corn which is used to make just about everything! The preparation of Ugali (popular African food or stew) uses corn as a base.

Cornmeal is used to prepare porridge too – usually the hero of any Eastern Africa food. Matoke, a much-loved dish of steamed green bananas is typical Eastern Africa food. It is stewed with other vegetables and spices to produce a lovely dish.

South African food

What does South African food consist of? If you speak to any South African, a typical braai (BBQ) is the quintessential South African food that is loved all over this region. Yes, South African food relies heavily on meat.

Proteins such as pork, beef, lamb, boerewors (sausage), chicken, ostrich, and seafood are barbecued on a grill – and I have to admit that a traditional braai is incredibly tasty.

Aside from all that meat, a typical meal in a Bantu-speaking, South African household is a rigid, fluffy porridge of maize meal (called pap). Root vegetables are also eaten in the South African food diet, but it’s almost always second to all that meat!

West African food

From Mauritania to Cameroon, the base of West African food is usually tomatoes, onions and chilli. These ingredients are used to create the base of stews, sauces to ladle over grilled chicken and fufu or as a spread to a freshly baked baguette (our go-to African food when we travelled overland through West Africa in 2019)

Peanuts are abundant in this region and they’re used in West African cuisine, in addition to cassava leaf soup and stew.

These 8 popular West African dishes to try will give you a good idea of what West African food is all about. 

Africa food fufu – What is this dish and where do they eat it? 

Africa food fufu Africa food map

Popular Africa food, Fufu (foo-foo) means to mix or mash, and it’s a staple African food in West and Central Africa, and also in the Caribbean. I always wondered what the widespread African food, fufu is made of? 

Essentially, fufu is the somewhat sour, sponge-like dough created from boiled and beaten starchy African foods such as cassava, yams and plantains. The pounding is done in a large mortar with a pestle. 

Each country in Africa has their version of ‘Africa food fufu’ as they may add an extra ingredient for taste or even pound two root vegetables to produce this much-loved Africa food or Fufu. It’s most popular in Cameroon, Togo, Benin, Nigeria and Sierra Leone to name just a few. 

Here is our Africa Food Map of all 54 countries

1. Algeria – Chakhchoukha

Chakhchoukha Algeria africa food map

Chakhchoukha in Algeria – Africa Food Map

Algeria is the largest African country on our Africa Food Map and chakhchoukha is very popular all over the country. At least from our experience, this was the dish that we were recommended many times. 

So, what is chakhchoukha? It’s a dish prepared with torn pieces of thin, flatbread known as rougag. The rougag is topped with marqa, a flavourful tomato-based stew of lamb (or chicken), onions, peppers, chickpeas, and spices.

Chakhchoukha is designed to be shared (as many other Algerian dishes are) and it’s a simple, affordable and filling meal. Here are 10 more popular Algerian dishes, a good idea of what to expect from North African food. If you’re considering a trip to Algeria, these 8 AMAZING places to visit will inspire you.

2. Angola – Chicken Muamba

This dish is an incredibly popular stew in Angola, some would say it’s their national dish. Other Central African countries have their version of this flavourful African food too.

This is a rich chicken stew cooked with garlic, onions, and fresh chili to add some heat. Okra is an important ingredient added which is added to thicken the stew.

3. Benin – Maafe (groundnut or peanut stew)

Igname Pille maafe Benin Africa food map

An iconic African food that can be found on many Africa food menus across the continent, particularly in West African countries.

Typically made with chicken, scotch bonnet peppers and either groundnut or peanut butter, it’s a rich, flavourful stew. The blend of sweet, savoury and spicy flavours is the key to its popularity and it’s a good source of protein. Maafe is usually eaten with fish or chicken and is typically served with fufu, white rice, or couscous.

Our favourite peanut stew experience was in Cotonou, the capital of Benin at a local restaurant called Saveurs du Benin. I highly recommend stopping by to enjoy some delicious African food. The dish I enjoyed here was named Igname Pille with peanut stew.

A plate of delicious African food was about $6, and it’s fantastic!

4. BotswanaDikgobe

Dikgobe is a dish prepared with a variety of beans, peas, and samp (processed maize or corn). The maize gives the dish a porridge-like texture. It’s simple African food that is high in protein, and filling and can feed many mouths with one large pot.

5. Burkina Faso – Fresh baguette with chicken stew

Baguette chicken stew Burkina Faso Africa food map

Rach buying a fresh baguette with chicken stew in Burkina Faso – Our Africa food map would be incomplete without this easy option for cheap African food.

The food in Burkina Faso is similar to West African food you may find on this Africa food list. Locals here eat millet, sorghum, maize (corn) and peanuts. Something readily available all over the country is a freshly baked baguette (yes, the bread in Burkina Faso is wonderful) filled with a simple, yet super tasty chicken stew.

You can find ladies selling them in markets, on the streets and conveniently at bus stations and roadside stops. 

RELATED POST: Travel Burkina Faso – A Useful Guide

6. Burundi – Mukeke

Mukeke Burundi Africa food map

Burundi is a landlocked country and it’s bordered by Lake Tanganyika and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west, Tanzania to the east and Rwanda to the north.

Mukeke is a fresh fish from Lake Tanganyika and it’s a popular dish to eat in Burundi. It’s usually cooked whole and served with rice or salad and chips. We had a great time in Burundi, however, it was certainly a journey getting here.

7. Cameroon – Chicken or Fish Yassa

Yassa is a favourite in Cameroon and other countries in West Africa and it’s known to have originated in Senegal. Chicken or fish pieces are marinated in dijon mustard and lemon juice, then braised with caramelized onions and slow-cooked until the meat is perfectly tender.

Served with rice or couscous, Yassa is a very comforting meal to eat in Cameroon.

8. Cape Verde – Fried chicken with rice, beans and salad

Fried chicken rice salad Cape Verde Africa food map

Cape Verde is a set of small islands located off the coast of Africa. The archipelago consists of 10 islands and many islets. There is some fantastic Creole food to be eaten on these islands with the most popular dish being fried chicken with rice, beans and salad. The protein can be changed with fresh fish too.

We ate like queens in the capital city of Praia, here are 7 places where we ate the best food.

9. The Central African Republic – Kanda

This is a popular meatball dish in the Central African Republic. The two main ingredients are beef and ground pumpkin seeds. Other key ingredients used are onions, tomatoes, garlic, parsley, and chilli.

The meatballs are usually served atop rice, fufu or even pasta.

10. Chad – Whole fried Lake Fish

Whole fried fish Chad African food map

Whole fried fish in Chad – Africa Food Map

African food in Chad is usually camel meat or whole fried fish from the lake. The fish eaten here is usually Carp or Capitaine fish. Usually served on a platter with a salad of coleslaw mixed with mayonnaise, fresh baguette, fried plantain and spicy dipping sauce.

We enjoyed the African food in Chad very much – we even wrote a post about the best places to eat in the capital city of N’Djamena.

11. Comoros – Mshakiki

A barbecued meat favourite known as mshakiki is prepared with cubes of marinated beef, then skewered and grilled until the meat is delicate and juicy.

The delicious marinade is a blend of minced ginger, garlic, lemon juice, tomato paste, grated papaya, chilli, curry powder, and turmeric.

Are you wondering exactly where Comoros is located?

12. The Democratic Republic of Congo – Poulet à la Moambé

The National dish of the DRC, poulet à la Moambé (also spelt as nyembwe or mwambe) is a hearty, rich chicken stew. This dish is also very popular African food in Angola.

It’s prepared by combining chicken, palm butter and spices to form a thick consistency and is usually served over rice, sometimes with the addition of stewed cassava green leaves.

13. Djibouti – Skudahkharis 

Without question, this has to be the most popular dish in Djibouti. Typically prepared during the Islamic holiday of Eid, (the celebration after the month of Ramadan) it is made of lamb, rice and a range of spices such as cardamom, cumin and turmeric that offer health benefits.

Other proteins such as beef, chicken, and fish are common too.

14. Egypt – Ful Medames

food in egypt ful medames

Fava beans, parsley, onion, tomato, lemon juice, olive oil and tahini – are the ingredients to produce this delicious dish. Eaten with a basket of fresh Egyptian bread to scoop it all up – a satisfying meal for sure. Ful (pronounced ‘fool’) is popular breakfast food in Egypt.

This is an African food that is also popular in Syria (don’t miss these 9 incredible Syrian dishes), Lebanon and Sudan.

Don’t miss reading about these 10 more Amazing Egyptian Dishes to Try.

15. Equatorial Guinea – Succotash

Eaten all over the country, this simple, yet this tasty dish is a national favourite. Succotash is made of a mixture of corn, lima beans, and tomatoes that are sauteed together with butter, salt and fresh herbs.

16. Eritrea – Tsebhi (stew)

This popular Eritrean stew is served atop injera, a flatbread made from teff flour, sorghum, or wheat (popular in Ethiopia too) and hilbet (a paste made from pulses, specifically fava and lentil beans). Eritrean dishes are usually lighter in texture than Ethiopian meals as they tend to use more tomatoes and fewer spices and butter.

I really love this style of African food, where everyone eats from one platter. Learn more about our experiences travelling in Eritrea, one of our favourite African countries for sure. If you’re interested in visiting Eritrea, don’t miss our Eritrea Travel Tips | 10 Essential Things to Know Before You Go.

17. Eswatini (Swaziland) – Sishwala

A thick porridge served with meat or vegetable stew. The porridge is prepared with dried sugar beans, maize flour, water, and salt. It’s quite simple, yet it’s filling and popular in Eswatini.

18. Ethiopia – Doro Wat

the people you meet travelling Ethiopia

Our friend in Ethiopia invited us into his home in Addis Ababa. We spent the day learning how to cook Doro Wat and other Ethiopian dishes with his family.

I love Ethiopian cuisine, in fact, it might be my favourite cuisine on this Africa food map. African food doesn’t get better than this! Doro Wat is a spicy chicken stew prepared with Ethiopia’s definitive berbere spice mix. It is served on top of spongy Injera bread, which also acts as a scoop to enjoy the meal.

No utensils are needed! Another key ingredient is spiced clarified butter which gives it that silky smooth texture. Yum! Find these other amazing Ethiopian foods in Addis Ababa.

19. Gabon – Nyembwe Chicken

A traditional African food recipe of Gabon. The sauce is made from the red fruit covering the seeds of African oil palms in addition to tomatoes, garlic, onions, okra, hot peppers, salt, and cayenne pepper.

Bite-sized pieces of chicken are covered with this sauce, then simmered over low heat until everything is tender. Usually eaten with rice or fufu.

20. The Gambia – Jollof Rice

jollof rice Gambia Africa food map

Jollof rice is typical African food, eaten in multiple countries

Each West African country has its version of Jollof rice and it’s one of the most well known African foods. In fact, our Africa food map wouldn’t be complete without it. Essentially jollof rice is a one-pot rice dish made with tomatoes, tomato paste, spices (such as nutmeg, cumin and ginger) and vegetables. Meat or fried plantain can be added to this dish if you wish.

We ate Jollof rice in many West African countries we travelled through in 2019 (read more about our crazy adventures in West Africa here). We don’t have very fond memories of meeting the corrupt border guards at the Gambian border, but I think we handled the situation well.

We enjoyed jollof rice the most in Sierra Leone, The Gambia and Nigeria.

21. Ghana – Red Red

Red Red plantain Ghana African food map

A thick stew made of mashed black-eyed peas. It’s cooked in red palm oil and pepper and many recipes include a little tomato paste, chilli, fresh garlic, ginger and spices to add extra flavour.

Often served with fried plantain, this African food pick for Ghana is tasty, especially if you get those crispy bits that cook a little too long on the bottom of the pot. Visiting Ghana was a highlight of our African food journey across the continent.

Find out why we like travelling in Ghana so much. 

Aside from the great food, there are some interesting activities and things to do in Ghana.

22. Guinea – Fufu

Africa food fufu Africa food map

Africa food fufu – Eaten in many countries on our Africa Food Map

Fufu is very much a staple food, common in many West African countries. Aside from Guinea, fufu is a staple food in Cameroon, Liberia, Ghana and Benin. Fufu is prepared by mixing and pounding separate equal portions of cassava, (a root vegetable or Africa food staple) and green plantain flour thoroughly with water. 

Other flours can take the place of cassava flour, such as maize flour, semolina or even mashed plantains.

Once the dough is prepared, fufu is then rolled into balls and dipped into sauces or eaten with stews of fish, meat, or vegetables. 

23. Guinea-Bissau – Caldo Stews

Often considered to be the national dish of Guinea-Bissau, Caldo stews are a good example of tasty African food. The favourite dish would likely be Caldo Mancarra, a chicken and peanut stew that is usually served over rice.

24. Ivory Coast – Kedjenou

This traditional chicken stew is prepared with pieces of chicken, tomatoes, okra, eggplants, onions, chilli, ginger, thyme, garlic, and chicken stock (broth). The above ingredients are placed into a clay pot called canari, which is sealed and then placed over burning coals.

The pot is shaken a few times during the cooking process to deter the pieces from burning on the bottom. The stew is slow-cooked until the meat is tender. Kedjenou is commonly served with rice or attiéké, (a dish made from cassava).

25. Kenya – Ugali (Cornmeal)

This is a simple and satisfying dish. Essentially, Ugali is cornmeal porridge, however, it’s quite dense. It’s the ideal accompaniment to stews, curries, and soups.

26. Lesotho – Papa (Stiff Porridge)

Papa is a staple food in Lesotho. Essentially this dish is a stiff white porridge and quite similar to polenta in texture once it has been cooked. 

It’s usually eaten with moroho (leafy greens), however, beans, meat, canned fish, or eggs are popular additions. 

27. Liberia – Potato Greens

Delicious African food that brings us to the halfway point of our Africa Food Map. Liberian potato greens are fried and curried sweet potato leaves cooked with chicken or other meat and enjoyed with steamed rice.

It’s not uncommon to use cassava leaves as a replacement for sweet potato leaves to prepare this dish.

28. Libya – Tagine

Tagine Libya African food map

Tagine in Libya – A popular Northern Africa food

The Libyan tagine typically uses lamb, or chicken and sometimes only vegetables and chickpeas. Ingredients such as spring onions, tomatoes, carrots, butter, ginger, and fenugreek paste are cooked down to produce a lovely sauce.

Typically served with bread, rice, couscous or pasta. Visiting Libya was a fascinating journey into the past. The Roman Ruins of Leptis Magna and Sabratha were amazing to see. Read more about visiting Libya – one of the least visited countries in the world, but definitely one of the most interesting.

And, of course, we’ve got 10 more Most Popular Foods of Libya.

29. Madagascar – Romazava

Malagasy Romazava is the national dish of Madagascar. A meat stew (usually beef) filled with a combination of green leafy vegetables. The meat is commonly braised for many hours before it’s succulent and tender.

Added to a sauce of tomato, ginger, garlic and stewed mixed greens, this is African food that you don’t want to miss. Our detailed 14 Day Ultimate Itinerary for Madagascar will fill you in on all the best places to visit (including where to find the best food).

30. Malawi – Chambo

Fresh fish from Lake Malawi is one of the most popular foods in this country. Chambo fish is the most favoured and it can be roasted, cooked or fried or even dried in the sun. It is usually served with a side of soup and it’s best eaten with beans and other vegetables.

31. Mali – Tigua Degué

African food Peanut Stew Africa food map

Credit: Simplyrecipes.com – A fantastic recipe for African Peanut Stew to cook at home

Essentially this dish of just rice with peanut sauce is known as the national dish of Mali. Fish, meat or vegetables can also be added to this dish. Tigua Degué is very popular in Senegal, however here it is known as Mafé.

This dish is also featured on my 8 most popular foods to try in West Africa as peanuts are readily available, therefore the locals use them to create tasty meals.

32. Mauritania – Mechoui

Essentially Mechoui is slow-roasted lamb, a much-loved delicacy of Mauritania. This dish could also be included on our Africa food map in other North African countries such as Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia. During festive occasions and events, the entire lamb is roasted until it is tender and delicious.

Nothing goes to waste here, and the organs of the lamb are cooked as well. Particularly the kidneys, eyes, head, and liver, are usually served for special guests. It would be rude to refuse, so be sure to gladly accept and enjoy!

33. Mauritius – Roti Chaud

Mauritian cuisine has evolved as a melting pot of flavours, an exciting destination for food lovers. In fact, this is an interesting destination with many amazing things you probably don’t know about Mauritius.

Roti Chaud is a flat Indian bread served with various curries and pickles. These are sold on the street and in all restaurants and are quite similar to Indian roti or chapati. Here are 9 Delicious Foods to Try in Mauritius.

34. Morocco – Pastilla

pastilla Morocco Africa food map

Credit: Wikipedia

A delicious pie made from thin layers of pastry, meat (fish, chicken, or pigeon), almonds and eggs, and spiced with saffron. This is an easy snack food in Morocco and is available everywhere. Best eaten hot, and straight from the oven.

While there are many great things to eat in Morocco,  I recommend that you read our basic rules about what to eat in Marrakech (and what to avoid) first.

35. Mozambique – Feijao con Arroz

Beans rice Mozambique African food map

Feijao con Arroz (beans and rice) is a staple local meal in Mozambique, sometimes vegetables will be served with this meal too.

We ate this dish and more wonderful dishes at our amazing accommodation in Tofo, Mozambique.

36. Namibia – Oodhingu 

Originally a way of storing meat for longer periods before cooling or refrigeration was available in Namibia.

Oodhingu can be made from a variety of meats such as beef, springbok, kudu, goat or other game. Fresh meat is sliced into long strips and hung in the sun until dry.

This popular African food is usually seasoned with salt and cooked over an open fire. While consumed as dried meat, Oodhingu is also a popular ingredient to add depth of flavour to stews.

37. Niger – Brochettes

Niger has the best beef brochettes I’ve tasted in the entire world. So tender. Brochettes are skewers with chunks of meat that are grilled, roasted or barbequed and this is exactly how they are cooked in Niger.

Usually, the brochettes are marinated, threaded on skewers, and then grilled over an open fire. Best eaten with fresh salad, don’t miss them!

38. Nigeria – Suya 

suya Nigeria African food map

Suya is a popular African food, particularly in Northern Nigeria. Skewers of spiced cuts of meat such as chicken, beef, or mutton are grilled over a BBQ or charcoal fire.

Often served with chunks of raw onions, spicy sauce for dipping, and extra seasoning, Suya is best enjoyed in a local eatery alongside a cold beer. 

RELATED POST – Is it safe to walk around in Lagos, Nigeria?

39. The Republic of Congo – Pondu

One of the most widespread dishes in the Republic of Congo is Pondu. This vegetable dish is made using washed and prepared cassava leaves that are boiled in a pot with salt. An easy and affordable meal to prepare and it’s essential on this Africa Food Map as many other African countries eat Pondu.

This dish is usually eaten alongside meat or fish with either bread, rice, boiled yam or fried plantain. The food across the river in the Democratic Republic of Congo is similar to food here in the Congo.

I recommend you take the Brazzaville to Kinshasa river crossing and visit both countries if possible.

40. Rwanda – Matoke

Bananas are a staple food of the Rwandan diet and there are a few different types of bananas that can be prepared in a variety of ways. The most popular cooking methods are to bake, mash, fry and roast bananas.

One popular type of banana is the matoke. It’s green and unripe, and it has the consistency of a potato when cooked, so it’s a frequent addition to soups, stews, wraps, and more.

41. Sao Tome and Principe – Calulu

This robust stew is enjoyed in Sao Tome and Príncipe and also in Angola. It can be prepared with fresh or dried fish and shrimp, or other meats too.

Vegetables added to this tasty stew include tomatoes, okra, onions, eggplants, and the shredded leaves of either sweet potato or cassava. Calulu is traditionally served with rice or funje, a creamy porridge made from cassava.

Don’t miss our Top 10 Reasons to Visit Sao Tome and Principe, and our post about What to Do and Where to Stay in Sao Tome and Principe.

42. Senegal – Thieboudienne

Thieboudienne Senegal Africa food map

Thieboudienne in Senegal – A popular dish on our Africa food map

This traditional dish is made from rice, fish and tomato sauce. Other ingredients include cabbage, onions, carrots, cassava and peanut oil. It’s a one-pot dish into which you can throw any vegetables you have on hand.

Filling, affordable and tasty, this dish is typically featured on every daily menu because it’s always a good choice.

We tried this dish during our visit to the colourful old colonial city of Saint-Louis in Senegal.

43. Seychelles – Bouyon Blan

A flavourful fish soup with herbs, chopped green or ripe tomatoes, garlic, and ginger. There’s a secret fruit ingredient called bilimbi that gives the soup a distinct tangy flavour.

Sometimes this soup is prepared with small cubes of potatoes to change the texture and thicken the broth. We loved this dish, a favourite during our trip travelling Seychelles on a budget! It’s totally possible.

44. Sierra Leone – Plasas (Leaf Stews)

cassava sierra leone Africa food map

The leaves of the cassava plant are used to create many stews in Sierra Leone

Plasas are stews made with various green leaves in Sierra Leone, and they’re essential to the cuisine here. The leaves are boiled and cooked with oil (usually red palm oil, but sometimes groundnut or coconut oil), fresh chilli, onions, fish and/or meat.

Plasas are almost always served over rice, and the most popular would be cassava leaf plasa. The capital city of Freetown is the best place to taste a range of Plasas. Affordable and decent accommodation can sometimes be hard to find here, don’t miss our recommendations for where to stay in Freetown Sierra Leone.

45. Somalia – Bariis Ishkukaris 

I’d describe this dish as quite similar to pilau, a dish we’ve eaten in Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan. Bariis Ishkukaris a rice dish that is seasoned with fragrant spices and cooked in a meat broth.

Tomatoes are usually added to the dish to add texture and flavour. The result is delicious and enjoyed on a large platter designed to be shared by a group of people, and typically eaten with the right hand only.

46. South Africa – Biltong and Droewors 

biltong south africa food map

Biltong is a variety of meat cuts (springbok, kudu, or other game meats) soaked in brine and hung to cure. This is an age-old technique of preserving meat. 

Droewors (dried sausage) go through a comparable curing process, but instead of meat cuts, ground beef mince and mutton fat are combined with spices to make a sausage which is then hung to cure.

47. South Sudan – Kajaik 

A popular fish stew in South Sudan, Kaijaik is made of dried fish. It is commonly added to porridge. The regions in the South of the country have multiple lakes and rivers, so it makes sense that fish would be the most consumed African food in this region. 

48. Sudan – Kamounia 

A comforting stew prepared with beef or liver. The name of this dish, Kamounia comes from the word cumin, so it’s no surprise that this is the key spice used to flavour it. The stew is quite easy to prepare and other spices used to flavour the dish are garlic, parsley, oil, and cumin.