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World Travel Guide > Guides > Africa > Rwanda

the fp is food-and-drink

Rwanda Food and Drink

The majority of the population in Rwanda live off subsistence farming and so their meals rely heavily on starchy crops such as potato, maize and cassava. This is generally served with kidney beans and cabbage and where meat can be afforded it is most often goat. However, the restaurants of Kigali and other towns will generally serve grilled meat with french fries and sometimes rice with spicy stews.

Hotels generally serve a reasonable choice of European dishes, while there are Chinese, Greek, Indian, Italian and Middle Eastern restaurants. Some restaurants also serve Franco-Belgian cuisine and African dishes. A fairly good selection of beers, spirits and wines is available. Beer is also brewed locally.

Specialities

•You will see brochettes on most menus, these are basically a skewer of your chosen meat or fish served with rice or chips.

• Tilapia is a white fish found in Lake Kivu and also farmed locally and appears often on menus.

Matoke is cooked plantain, and may come when you are expecting potatoes (and sometimes doesn’t taste much different).

•Primus is the local beer of choice. Mutzig is very similar but more expensive and often comes in large 700ml bottles.

•The local banana wine is for the brave, it is called urwangwa and you should be able to pick up a bottle in a supermarket to try in the privacy of your room

Tipping

There is no clear principle on tipping in Rwanda, but most staff in the bigger hotels have come to expect it, as have guides and trackers. A general rule is to tip 10% in restaurants if you feel inclined and give $5 - $10 to guides, trackers and porters.