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Proudly South African Safari Food

11 Feb 2020 | By Author Thornybush | Experiences

Amazing food is part of the deal when you enjoy a South African safari with Thornybush, and we pride ourselves on presenting a range of dishes with a local touch. These are some of the things you can expect during your visit. Or alternatively, try them out at home thanks to the recipes published on our blog.


The origins of bobotie are lost in the mists of time, but it smacks of Cape Malay heritage with its spicy undertones. This enigmatic South African group were imported to South Africa to work as slaves in the Cape Colony and, along with the Indian people who suffered the same fate, we owe much of our local Asian-inspired cooking to them.

Bobotie’s main ingredients are minced mutton meat gently seasoned with curry powder, jam and raisins, topped with a layer of beaten eggs. The whole lot is baked in the oven and enjoyed with rice and salad or on its own.

It’s one of our favourite winter dishes, and you can try it yourself with this recipe courtesy of Monwana Lodge.


No day on safari is complete without coffee and rusks while you watch the sun rise. It’s the perfect way to fill the gap between an early morning start and breakfast out in the bush.

We have the French Huguenots to thanks for this delicious, twice-baked chunk of biscuit that’s become a safari staple all over the country (although the Dutch also had a hand in the final product). The first rusks were baked in the Cape Colony to barter with sailors on the trade ships that passed that way every so often.

Rusks are extremely versatile, and while the traditional plain buttermilk ones remain a favourite, they can also be made with nuts, grains, fruit and even condensed milk. At Thornybush we even have a diabetic-friendly version so all our guests can enjoy this traditional South African treat.

Biltong and Boerewors

These two types of coriander flavoured bites are two of South Africa’s best-known meats. Biltong is similar to American jerky only better. It’s best enjoyed as a form of padkos (road food) during a South African safari while sipping on sundowners, overlooking a scenic spot, or as a precursor to a braai.

Biltong also lends itself to a wide variety of other dishes including soup, salads, cheese spreads and sauces. See our biltong soup recipe here.

Boerewors is made from minced meat and translates into ‘farmer’s sausage’. It’s a little like Cumberland sausage. The traditional way to eat boerewors is grilled over the open flames of a braai with steak, chicken or other meat, but it’s another versatile South African food that can be used in a variety of recipes. At Thornybush we love to dismantle the sausage to make flavourful meatballs. Here’s how it’s done.

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A South African safari with Thornybush is the best way to experience South African safari hospitality at its finest. Book your place at the table today.