When I was in South Africa, I wanted to try some game meat but when I asked people what I could have I got replies with answers like 'Game' or 'you know Game Kudu, Zebra etc' or was just shown the menu of what they offered. People looked at me like I was stupid when I asked, as if I should know every animal in Africa and whether it was acceptable to eat it.

I did manage to learn one rule, that with the exception of Crocodile, if it eats another animal we don't eat it.

Obviously if its endangered it's off the list.

So basically I'm after a list or a set of rules I can apply when inquiring about Game meat in Africa.

I did manage to try warthog, ostrich, kudu, and crocodile.

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    I ate chicken when I was in South Africa... chickens are also carnivorous.
    – Flimzy
    Oct 13, 2014 at 15:44

3 Answers 3


Again, there are thousands of species in South Africa. There are 91 species of Antelope in Africa, MANY of which are in South Africa. Then there's all the game fowl, other birds, reptiles, amphibians and more.

However, ones you SHOULD try you did pretty well with. Crocodile, Kudu, Warthog, Ostrich - good job. You also want to try Wildebeest - and remember, most of these can come in a variety of forms - Ostrich burgers, for example, are great, while Kudu biltong is fantastic.

Impala is worthwhile, especially given how many of them there are. Eland biltong is also special. In fact, given you've asked specifically about game, I'll go ahead and say all legal antelope is probably quite tasty, it's just not easy to get more than about five different ones. I believe you can also get Cape buffalo meat - I think.

For more information about South African cuisine - including game, gamefish and traditional meals, there's a specific Wikipedia page about it.


I like that you are keen to try different food and local customs, but as a South African, I can tell you that "game" meat is not such a big deal or favorite for us as you might think. Most South Africans eat the "normal" western meat options, ie beef, pork, lamb, chicken, and only rarely will you find variations on those. We see most game meats as a type of novelty, mostly for tourists, so that could be why you got the funny looks.

Most game meat/venison is quite tough compared to beef. At the same time beef is quite affordable here (compared to Europe and elsewhere), and in very good quality, so most people will rather eat beef or lamb if given the option. There are very few restaurants that I know of where you will be able to order any type of game meat, and then it will usually be 90% antelope (kudu, impala) meat.

With regards to what you can ask for and not - well basically if they say it's game meat, it could be a variety of antelope meats mixed together, and it will probably be in a stew type format. If they specifically say it is crocodile or ostrich or something then you are lucky, and then you know exactly what it is. Just be aware that some places tell you that it's crocodile meat (or something exotic sounding), when it's actually something else like a general mix of game meat.

What I can recommend though is that Ostrich meat has become very popular and even affordable here now. Its a red meat, but has about zero cholesterol, so very healthy and tastes great! You might find this in more restaurants, and can easily pick it up at the super market.

Also a warthog spitbraai (the whole thing slow roasted over a fire) is also amazing and I can highly recommend, but you won't ever find it in a restaurant or such - you will probably need to know someone who does it or be on a game farm where they offer that.

Lastly, you can try biltong from several wild animals, mostly it will be Kudu, impala, gemsbok, blesbok or other antelope varieties.

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    Thanks for you answer where about in South Africa are you based. There are two well known game restaurants in Capetown that I was recommended by friends, one is Arnold's where i ate and i can't remember the name of the other one. I had crocodile (which tasted the same as Australian crocodile), Zebra, springbok, rack of warthog ribs (the meat was flaky and done with a smokey sauce) and Kudu. I suspect it you are right it was a tourist thing.
    – Stuart
    Oct 11, 2012 at 13:31
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    I suppose some clarification from my side of things, I come from a country where you can count the native animals you can eat on two fingers. The reason the question came about is because I asked about giraffe and everyone just looked strangely at me and said we don't eat giraffe.
    – Stuart
    Oct 11, 2012 at 13:35
  • @Stuart - there's actually a book I used to have called something like "How to braai a giraffe". I can't find it online though :/ It was a comedy book though, not serious :)
    – Mark Mayo
    Oct 11, 2012 at 20:35

I also live in South Africa. I'm a keen hunter.

The answer your question you can eat all game meat. Game meat is much healthier than normal meat. And if prepared right tastes better as well

I've eaten girafe before. Its nothing funny, but most south africans just believe you can't eat it

  • It's possible to eat rhino?
    – CGCampbell
    Oct 13, 2014 at 15:44

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