Be prepared to eat…. A LOT!
During your stay in Botswana you will work up a hefty appetite! If your group is anything like ours you will find that you will spend most of your time here with food in your mouth more times than not. Whether you choose to do a homestay or to live in the dorms you will have plenty of opportunities to eat local food.
Now one thing to know about Botswana food is the portions are enormous - in a very good way. Portion control does not exist here, by the end of your stay you will get used to a full plate, and be able to finish it all without guilt. Homestay kids, get used to your plate being prepared for you. Don’t be surprised when you can’t see the bottom of the plate because food fills the holes. A typical meal will always contain a big portion of meat followed by an even larger portion of a grain/carb (rice, pap, pasta, etc.) and some other sides to go along.
Dorm kids, we didn’t forget about you. You guys will also have many chances to eat local dishes during orientation week, Kanye village stay, and weekend excursions. Also, when you are asked by a local if you want food and you say no ten times out of ten you will still end up with a plate. Locals love giving you food and in this culture, it is very common to give your guest food and is what to be expected. You will also have plenty of opportunities to go out to eat in which Gaborone has a lot to offer. Even at these places (Main Deck, Mug n’ Bean, and Europa just to name a few of our favorites), you find that you will be given a lot of food.
My advice to people coming in is to encourage you to try everything you can. There are so many good foods that the locals have to offer and you will be surprised how much you will like. Even though there are some differences in the way things are they are still very good. The best food comes during excursions and during orientation, this is where you will be served the most local food and you find the things you really like. Once you find what you like you will always be hoping they will be served at the next excursion. The best part about the food during excursions is that it is buffet style and you can serve yourself everything you like. Be careful because by the end of this trip you will find that you will start to serve yourself the same size portions!