McDonalds gets everywhere. They’re clever about it as well – in every country they assault they make sure they do their best to appeal to local sensibilities while at the same time offering their typical stock affair of salty, meaty, rapidly cooked delights. In Egypt, this attempt takes the form of the McArabia – a comfortingly familiar piece of reconstituted beef formed into a slightly-too-flat-to-be-kofte shape, accompanied by an “exotic” pitta bread and a minty yoghurt sauce. I’m ashamed to say that on my first night in Egypt I was so hungry that I bought one from the McDonalds opposite our hostel (that I’m further ashamed to say that said McDonalds our main navigational landmark for finding the hostel throughout our time in Cairo) and ate it. It tasted a lot like a McDonalds, if a bit minty, but not very Arabian. McDonalds also seem to sponsor feluccas (traditional Egyptian sailing boats) – here’s one pictured here for you to enjoy. I have the feeling I won’t be seeing the last of this ever present chain before this trip is done so this might become a regular thread. We haven’t found one in Kenya yet, but we’re all hoping that the local burger is called the McSafari and made of zebra.

Update: In fact, after this early appearance we saw sight nor sound of a McDonalds throughout the rest of our African odyssey. South African burger chain Steers became a regular sight, but disappointingly they didn’t sell zebra either. Luckily once we got to Namibia there were veritable cascades of zebra, oryx, crocodile and anything else living locally that we might have wanted to eat on offer.

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