On the Classic Africa Safaris FAM trip in April 2019, after working up an appetite chasing chimps in Kibale Forest National Park, we visited the home of John Tinka for a traditional Ugandan feast!
Tinka is a prominent leader in the Bigodi community which borders Kibale. He is the founder of the Kibale Association for Rural and Environmental Development (KAFRED). KAFRED was formed in Bigodi in 1992 and its purpose is to protect the local environment while advancing health, education and economic growth in the wider local community.
Lunch at Tinka’s features a spread of wonderfully fresh and organic traditional Ugandan dishes, served on a lazy susan for easy sharing! There was more than enough food to go around and most of it was vegetarian (vegan is also possible). In Uganda, most people are vegetarians by default. Meat is expensive and therefore is typically only served on holidays or to welcome visitors.
A typical menu at Tinka’s consists of the following:
- Bean stew
- Beef stew (for the special visitors!)
- Peas stew
- Ground nut (peanut) sauce
- Boiled Irish potatoes
- Mixed vegetables (from a choice of carrots, green pepper, dodo, cabbage, beets)
- The Tinka family guacamole
- Steamed (from a choice of Yams, Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkin, Sweet Potatoes, Cassava etc)
- Kalo (made from millet flour)
- Posho (made from maize flour)
- Chapati bread
- Sesame sauce
- Fruits (from a choice of pineapples, jack fruit, mangoes, passion fruits, bananas – depending on the season)
Tinka is a wonderful host. He has a gentle, kind and wise demeanor and we were all taken with him. He thoughtfully describes each dish, while weaving in personal stories and cultural information. Lunch at Tinka’s is truly a delightful and delicious experience and highly recommended!
Tinka’s home is only 15-20 minutes from the Kibale park HQ, hence it is very convenient for lunch before or after chimp trekking.
KAFRED, under Tinka’s guidance, has also developed other cultural activities which benefit the local community. These activities include the Bigodi wetland walk which is ideal for birders and provides great primate viewing opportunities (but no chimps here). There’s also a cultural village walk and a visit to the Bigodi Women’s Group for a local handicraft demonstration.