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Food conservation, for visitors to South Africa, is about learning to make informed food choices that will help to conserve our culinary heritage culture and enrich your travels through our multicultural land.
South Africa has been blessed with an abundance of fertile soil, our plant biodiversity is greater than any other country on earth, and our rivers and oceans bring forth seafood plenty – but many of our plant and animal resources are being harvested at unsustainable rates.
Indigenous plant biodiversity is threatened by industrial farming methods and great, ancient African food cultures are under attack from the global food chains and the homogenisation of eating patterns that such restaurants inevitably bring with them.
The good news is that there is a range of delicious ways to conserve South Africa’s food heritage for visitors and locals alike.
Whether you support the consumption of sustainable fish through the use of Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI) list when dining out, or investigate indigenous edible plant knowledge with the guided tours offered by the !Khwa ttu's San cultural group, you are part of a process that promotes the conservation of South Africa’s food resources and local food culture.
Every time you pick a classic Cape Malay restaurant in Cape Town over an international chain eatery, sip a glass of local wine or beer, eat a plate of boerekos, or share a braai, you’re not only experiencing the authentic tastes of South Africa, but you’re helping to promote and sustain our local food culture.
So be an epicurean adventurer when you visit South Africa. Eat in a township shebeen to experience kasi cuisine, support locally made and regional products, and select restaurants that showcase our diverse food heritage. The choices you make do make a difference!
TTravel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI)
SASSI FishMS (to check the status of the fish species you’re thinking of eating…)
SMS: +27 (0)79 499 8795
SMS is charged at standard South African cellular rates.
There are several Slow Food convivia in South Africa, working to preserve the local food culture and biodiversity that’s closest and most relevant to their location and community.
Slow Food South Africa [LINK TO URL: https://slowfood.co.za/]
Slow Food Cape Town
Slow Food Mother City
Slow Food Stellenbosch (Stellenbosch Slow Market)
Slow Food Johannesburg
Email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Slow Food Pretoria
Slow Food Durban-Pietermaritzburg (Imifino)
Slow Food Karoo
Slow Food Garden Route
Slow Food Magalies Valley
Tours to do
South Africa offers a wealth of food tours, on which you can cook and eat like a local. Enquire at the relevant Slow Food chapter.
Where to stay
Accommodation options offering indigenous ingredients and cooking methods include the Hantam Huis and Rooipan Guest House in Northern Cape provinces; township guesthouses will serve traditional food, and the Cellars Hohenhort in Cape Town offers Cape Malay cuisine deluxe.