African Game Meat - the good the bad and the ugly!


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Mar 7, 2015
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Hey guys since I have never been to Africa ( just planning my first safari ) fill me in on the best table fare of all the game species in Africa. I live in Alberta Canada and my favourite game meat is a young bull moose followed closely by a young bull elk . Another one that is surprisingly good is mountain lion ( cougar ) tastes just like a pork roast ! The one that I least like is the pronghorn antelope, just something about the smell of them that turns my stomach. One of the things I am looking forward to the most is trying different game so fill me in on what you like the best and least ! Thanks Rob
Obviously you haven't eaten cow elk :K Tongue:

Actually anything you eat over there will be amazing! Zebra is the only thing I know of that they don't eat (the neon yellow fat is a real turn off anyway). Bushbuck I my favorite but Eland, Kudu and pretty much everything I have tried has been excellent (some do require marinating to soften them up a bit though. LOL
I'm with Hitch on the cow elk!!! :)

I really, really liked buffalo. It was like bison, but with a little more of that elk flavor. I thought it was the best that I ate while there, although kudu was outstanding as well. Impala was ok. Not bad at all, just the rest were better.
Oh, and actually the "worst" was hippo. Which again, wasn't bad, it was just flavorless and bland, no wildness to it at all. I had both buff and hippo lasagna while I was there and the buff was fantastic, the hippo just ok....

Now I've seen others here talk about how great hippo is, so I've wondered if it had something to do with the type of grass my hippo had eaten.
The chicken fried zebra I was given tasted good to me.
Zebra is the best Burchells has yellow fat and Hartmans has white fat. On my first trip I insisted on trying everything. They told me they don't eat Zebra, on the last night I made them cook some up and they loved it. The next year when the family came over first night we had Zebra. It is a regional thing about it, in RSA lots won't try it but in Namibia they eat it all the time. Eland, Kudo and Gemsbok are all great. The small antelope are like Pronghorn they take on the taste of what they eat, usually herbs and what not. Of the 2 Zebras I liked Hartmans better. My Buffalo was ok but very chewy.
Medium Rare Buffalo Tenderloin is pretty damn good. Grass fed beef. Just pepper at the table.
Impala is very similar to our Venison. (Old Ram)
Roasted Warthog on a spit was like stronger tasting pork. Shocking.

Gemsbok smells like our Antelope on the hide, etc. and does not taste like it.
(Although, I love Pronghorn, but I make sure they have not been chased at all. One that's been run at all, eeesh.)

Eland Liver is the only liver I have liked in about, .... well ever. It was actually awesome.
Eland Tail stew, pretty awesome.
Kudu steak, pretty much like elk/venison cross.

Never touched Zebra - although Leopards appear to love it.
Did not get my hooks into the Giraffe either. It would have been interesting to see the tenderloin.

Biggest deal is making sure that cook or Chef knows what they are up to. If they do, you will get some great tasting meals. Some times a less experienced cook wants to cook the meat too long and it gets tough.

Enjoy. There are plenty of new tastes to be tried.
I liked everything I ate when I was in Namibia ... The 1 st I ate was Ostrich ...I was quite surprised when they brought me a piece of meat , not unlike a beef steak . Also surprising was the lack of a so called gamey flavor . Be for warned though you will get a very strange look from your N. American comrades if and when you tell them you ate Dik Dik and enjoyed it .
Eland is good to great depending on cut of the meat.
Impala steak and liver were great
wildebeest was good and it depends on your cook.
Bushpig was good
Warthog was real good
Blesbuck is good
Cape buffalo is good - dried cape buffalo with maze with the men was good also.
Kudu was good

I am sure that i am missing a few...
James just reminded me.

Biltong, Impala and Kudu hands down is great. I ate more of it than I can even begin tell you.

Drop by SA Meats and grab a sample just to get you prepared. You'll be hooked. It beats Jerky by a country mile or two K.
This is great guys and gals ! Some of the best meals I have ever ate are grilled over a wood fire after a day of hunting with a good glass of whiskey in my hand !
I found a Wildebeest steak to be great. Now nothing so far was as good as the Cape Buffalo tenderloin is simply outstanding!
red harstebeest was my favourite , I would've eaten the whole animal eventually
bluewildebeast was great
kudu and eland were also great
impala was about as good as our lamb gets, only it required a little salt to highlight the flavour
spring bok back strap is fine
blessbok is fine , just needs to be aged a couple of days
giraffe is pretty ordinary , its ok in a sausage skin with plenty of herbs , but chewie
and I almost ate warthog ,but seen I was getting sucked in , and backed away at a great rate of knots
and in the way of fish in Africa kinsclipp, is awesome
would love to try buffalo , one day ......
Cape Buffalo, Eland, Kudu,gemsbuck, Wildebeest, Warthog, springbuck, bushbuck is the order I rate based on what we ate on our first safari.
I liked Grilled Kudu and Impala Filet
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I liked Grilled Kudu and Impala Filet

most chefs like any meal they don't have prepare and cook themselves......
You are correct,,I generally stay out of other people kitchens, took allmost a week to before Sabina would let me get my own Windhoek
All that I have eaten in Africa was outstanding (15 or so species of antelopes, from klipspringer through eland plus, cape buffalo, warthog, grouse, ostrich and domestic sheep).
The livery/gamey flavor in wild animals seems to be unique to our N. American deer family.
I did not ever taste a hint of it in Africa.
Last but not least, I admit to rather enjoying our pronghorn as table fare and our deer as pretty good (if not stinky old buck in the rut) so, perhaps my taste buds are askew.
Funny all the comments about zebra. I have often had it in South Africa, always barbequed. As noted, the fat is butter yellow, and I've found it a bit on the sweet side for my taste. Would not seek it out.

Of the antelopes, sable and gemsbuck are delicious, as is wildebeest (blue, can't comment on black). Eland tastes the most like beef, in a good way. Buffalo blackstrap is excellent, as is oxtail stew. Have it every time I get a buffalo. Bongo and bushbuck are both good. In fact I think all the spiral horned are excellent. Duiker not so much. Impala are good everyday table fare as is warthog.

I haven't been able to convince anyone to cook waterbuck, even though they all say if properly prepared it can be very good.

I have eaten giraffe, including tongue, and either I have the smell in my nose or the meat actually does smell. Not something I would rush to eat again.

I know that cats are eaten, but not (yet) by me. My trackers once gave hyena to the local police, which they thought was very funny. I didn't try it as the cook wouldn't have it near the kitchen. In Southern Africa I haven't seen anyone eat monkeys or baboons, though these are commonly eaten in west Africa. I would pass if it was offered. I think nothing good can come of eating primates.

Villagers in Zimbabwe last year were happy with a hippo, in terms of volume, but happier with a croc, in terms of taste.
on our first trip , the outfitter said that if we ate zebra , we would be shitting through the eye of a needle for the next couple of days.
last year we were offered to try some of my wifes zebra , but declined thinking the worst
two days later I gave old roy a hand to load my joysies zebra in the ute and we took it to town to meet a meat truck on the way to capetown with four of the bloody things already hanging in the truck
the driver said that they were an upmarket meal in the resturants down there....
so I guess we missed our chance

glad you mentioned what your bongo tasted like hank , always wondered ....
and figured they would be good (y)(y)

eaten crocodile , here at home , (farmed salt water), its plenty good

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