If someone ever asked you about what you knew about Uganda, don’t forget to say it is one of Africa’s best destination for tropical fruits. Though most people know this country as the best destination for mountain gorilla safaris in Africa, this fruit basket is home to over 50 varieties of bananas, the most delicious avocados, different mango varieties, pineapples, species of Citrus fruits, apples, watermelons, passion fruits, pawpaw and jackfruits among others.
Therefore, the following are some of the organic fruits you will find and enjoy in Uganda during a vacation;
Mangoes are the commonest tropical fruits in Uganda, with the peak seasons being the rainy season where you will have a taste of different mango varieties. While most locals start enjoying them when raw, foreigners prefer them when ripe. A taste of mango juice, mango pancakes, fruit salad, sorbet or mango ice-cream and Mango French toast served in some restaurants will make you believe Uganda is indeed blessed beyond description.
- Papayas (pawpaw)
Pawpaw is also grown in every part of Uganda and you will find them in gardens and individuals’ compounds. Most Safari Lodges, Tented Camps, Hotels and Restaurants serve them as fruit platter, during breakfast or as dessert during dinner and lunch. Also, don’t miss to taste papaya juice when you visit Uganda because this will be one of the moments to remember.
If you ever desire to taste some of the juicy and sweetest pineapples with low acidity, think of Uganda because this fruit is found everywhere in the country at cheap prices. You will be served pineapples during breakfast at Lodges, hotels, Tented Camps and restaurants. These fruits are very sweet and common, and can be bought from any market in Uganda and even take with you back home.
Watermelons in small and large sizes are found in most parts of Uganda and can be enjoyed all year round. Much as most of them have seeds, the seedless watermelons are found in the country but are very rare. The tasty watermelons are sold at Shs 3000 to Shs 15,000 depending on the size, region and your bargaining power.
- Passion fruits
For those who love juice, passion fruits are one of the fruits you wouldn’t wish to miss when in Uganda. With different varieties, look out for the ones with purple colored-coats that normally grow in areas of high altitude like foothills of Rwenzori Mountains (like Kasese district). However, the green and yellow passion fruits are tempting to pick and enjoy because they are wonderful for making juice that is served in restaurants, Safari Lodges and Hotels. Tourists are however advised to take juice in up-market Hotels and supermarkets to avoid risks of typhoid and cholera because some places use tap water for making juice.
- Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges and tangerines are some of the citrus fruits found in Uganda with most of them growing in the wild while some people grow them in farms but if you need them, buy them within vegetable and fruit markets. Uganda’s oranges and tangerines are yellow/orange and green in both sweet and sour taste while lemons are mostly green.
Midrange and up-market restaurants, hotels and Safari Lodges make and serve orange or tangerine juice with the actual flavor being tasty much as it might be different from the one you are familiar with.
Uganda is widely known as a “banana Republic” with more than 50 varieties of bananas grown in the country. Bananas are also staple food for most Uganda tribes (especially in western and Central Uganda) with plantain (locally known as Matooke) being the commonest.
However, if you are interested in consuming immediately, you can taste the small and sweet bananas locally referred as “menvu” or “Ndizi” and Cavendish banana (locally referred as “Bogoya”). These are also used for making pancakes (Kabalagala) but the sweet plantain bananas (Gonja) grilled or roasted over charcoal will make you love Uganda and wish to taste it every time you are in the country.
Jackfruits are one of the rarest fruits grown and enjoyed in Uganda. These fruits are found within homes and cherished by tourists who taste them for the first time but their sticky nature and strong aroma/flavor make them uncomfortable to eat. You can get them in fruits and vegetable markets and can be enjoyed as fruit salad.
Besides the mentioned, other tropical fruits found in Uganda include Avocados, Soursop and Guava and can also be purchased from fruit and vegetable markets in Uganda.