Sharing Culture and Food With Locals: Home Hosted Meals in Africa

Imagine a vacation where you can avoid the high price of a hotel, and share culture and food with locals. This is exactly what Home Hosted Meals offers people traveling to Africa (and elsewhere).

The service, which links travelers with low-cost homestay hosts via its website, offers guests a chance to meet actual locals who can expose them to the culture in a way an impersonal hotel can’t.

While Africa doesn’t have as many hosts as European countries, there are definitely some friendly people to stay with and have a lively cultural exchange with.

African hosts currently listed on the website are located in Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. You can browse through available hosts here. Below is a sampling of hosts and what they offer.

  • Choices are most plentiful in South Africa, and include staying on a farm outside of Pretoria with a national tourism guide who has been giving tours for over 20 years. During the stay, the host offers a traditional breakfast along with a sampling of traditional South African braai (barbecue) and sausages for dinner, cooked on the veranda (if visiting in summer).
  • Another fun option in South Africa is to stay at the base of the Hottentots-Holland Mountains, next to Betty’s Bay, Cape Town. While there, the host family of five will help guests get settled in by taking them to the grocery store, and even cook some potjiekos (a traditional South African stew) with them for dinner. Other excursions the family offers are trips to see penguins, or short drives to the Blue Flagged Beaches.
  • In Morocco, you can venture into Marrakech with a host who takes guests to the local market, where you can explore the stalls and shop for vegetables and spices. The host can also show guests how to prepare a traditional tagine (a traditional stew). Mint tea is served throughout the stay to help combat the heat.

Other host activities throughout Africa include cooking jollof rice in Lagos with a film producer, visiting banana farms by the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro, and exploring the beaches of Maputo. While not the ideal vacation for every traveler, staying with a home stay host offers a riveting experience to the more adventurous or budget-minded.

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