The Tswana migrated into central southern Africa in the 14th century. As hunters, herders and agriculturists, they found the land abundant in game, lush grazing for cattle, and fertile soil for the cultivation of sorghum, beans, pumpkins and sweet melons. Maize, introduced later by Portuguese explorers, was also highly productive. Over time, these came to form the foundation of Botswana traditional cuisines.
With the country among the most developed in Southern Africa, visitors will find contemporary Botswana food to be a blend of external influences and traditional cooking. Mozambique king prawns, smoked salmon and a variety of European and Eastern dishes can be found, but experiencing local foods is something not to be missed!
Much like the rest of Botswana, Francistown traditional cuisine is based on lamb, mutton, chicken and other meats (beef being the most popular). Sorghum and maize are the main crops grown in Botswana and are popular for breakfast. The staple food is called Bogobe, made by pouring maize and sorghum flour into boiling water and cooking until a soft paste forms.
Francistown restaurants offer guests plenty of traditional dishes to choose from. Dried bean leaves are a popular SeTswana food. The national dish of Botswana is called Seswaa, a meat stew served over thick polenta or pap. The meat is boiled with onion and pepper (tradition mandates nothing else be added). Once the meat has cooked for about two hours, it is shredded and pounded with salt to add flavour. The final serving comes with thick maize meal and a leafy vegetable called Morogo.
For the more adventurous travellers, the Mopane worm, native to Southern Africa, is a common delicacy in Botswana restaurants. The caterpillar is cooked in hot ashes, boiled, or dried and fried.
The experience of dining in Francistown can be complemented by a sampling of traditionally brewed alcoholic drinks. Bojalwa ja Setswana (the beer of Batswana) is made from fermented sorghum seeds. A commercially produced and packaged beer, Chibuku, is a favourite drink in villages, towns, and in some parts of the city. Travellers staying overnight can look forward to tranquil accommodation, private space and evening entertainment after a day out experiencing the best traditional cuisine Botswana has to offer.