Chic African Culture Africa Factbook

Did you know?

1. No African country names begin with the letters F, H, I, J, O, P, Q, V, W, X, or Y.

2. Africa is surrounded by water but by definition Africa is not an island because Africa is a continent.

3. The Republic of the Congo is one of the most urbanized countries in Africa.

Spicy Tomato Garlic Mopane Stew Recipe

Sale of Mopane Worms is a multimillion-dollar industry in Southern Africa. The most common ways to eat mopane worms are dried and fresh.

Mopane caterpillars or Mopani worms are an extremely popular meal and industry in South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia.

Spicy Tomato and Garlic Mopane Stew

Eating mopane worms is a delicacy throughout Southern Africa. Mopane worms are a common ingredient used in Southern African food recipes. Do not judge African mopane worm stew until you have tried this national dish.  

Eating Mopane Worms

Strong aversion to eating insects is not a physical reaction, but one of a mental dislike. Some cultures are programmed to when you see an insect kill it, not eat! Mental repulsion about eating insects may be a cultural issue since certain societies are raised to think it is uncivilized to eat insects. But why?

Why is it ethically acceptable in certain societies to eat an insect but in another society is considered taboo. The taste is not the issue, but the "thought" of eating insects is the real issue.

Entomophagy is the technical term for eating insects. Insects are rich in protein, sometimes containing three times the amount of protein as beef, and they can be barbecued, fried with tomatoes, onions and garlic and curried.

Nevertheless, in some cultures eating insects is a cultural taboo. According to the Guardian online news journal "Two billion people already eat insects as part of their regular diet – bugs may not sound appealing, but once upon a time neither did sushi."

Mopane worms are a popular dish in South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Namibia. Overharvesting has recently become an issue, it may take up to 50 small larvae to make a meal for one person while five large larvae might be enough for an adult.

The harvesting of small larvae is wasteful and is strongly discouraged in some areas. The Mopane worm is the large brightly colored caterpillar of the emperor moth, which is one of the world’s largest moths. It is called a mopane worm because it feeds on the leaves of mopane trees.

The Mopane worms are as long as a hand and as thick as a cigar and are harvested by hand twice a year. Harvesters squeeze the worms to remove the bright green innards, boiled in salty water, and dried in sun.

The most common ways to eat mopane worms are dried and fresh photo by leo laempel
mopane worms for sale

Spicy Tomato Garlic Mopane Stew Recipe

Mopane worms are eaten fresh, as a dried snack or cooked in a stew; they tend to soak up the flavor of the dish. Mopane caterpillars or Mopani worms are an extremely popular meal and industry in South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia.

Prep time: 2 hours 20 min Cook time: 20 min Total time: 2 hours 40 min


1/3 cup or 40 grams dried mopane worms

4 medium ripe tomatoes, diced

2 medium Irish potatoes, diced

1 medium green pepper, chopped

1 small hot pepper, finely chopped

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

4 cups vegetable broth or water



Soak dried mopanes in warm water for 2 hours to remove some salt changing water every 30 minutes, throw away water. In a large pot on high heat add oil and sauté onions until translucent.

Add remaining ingredients except mopane and stew on medium heat about 20 minutes until the potato is soft. Add mopane and cook until they have softened a bit but still are a little crunchy. Serve over rice or with bread.

Cooking Worms in Southern Africa Fact
In Zimbabwe, mopane worms are a typical ingredient for many recipes.
Mopane worm is a large edible caterpillar of the Gonimbrasia belina, a species of emperor moth.
Mopane worms are known as infinkubala and ifishimu in Zambia.

More economical easy lunch and dinner recipes to make right now so you never have to eat or prepare a boring meal again.

  1. Yedoro Stir Fried Ethiopian Chicken Dinner
  2. Caldo Verde Portuguese Kale Soup
  3. Air Fryer Black Eyed Pea Dumpling Stew

Africa is surrounded by water but is not an island, here are a few African Island facts.

Madagascar is the 4th large island in the world and is located in the Indian Ocean supporting a unique biology, about 90% of its plants and animals are found nowhere else on earth.

Composed of 155 islands, Seychelles is Africa's smallest country. By far the largest island is Mahe, home to about 90% of the population and the site of its capital city of Victoria.

Cabo Verde has a strategic location 310 miles or 500 km from the west coast of Africa near major north-south sea routes; important communications station; important sea and air refueling site.

Africa is surrounded by water but by definition Africa is not an island because Africa is a continent. Continents can not be considered islands because of their size and also by historic definition since many people who study geography define islands and continents as two different things.

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