View Full Version : African game animals - fit to eat?

April 17, 2002, 09:09 AM
I've never heard anyone talk about how good Cape Buffalo steak is, or how Wildebeest tastes just like venison, or frankly for that matter how any of the African big game animals actually taste.
I'm planning on going on a safari in about 5 years, if political climate remains stable, but besides a few trophy heads I'd like the experience of actually eating some of these critters, if they're fit to eat.

How about it? Does anybody know how the following animals actually taste?

Cape Buffalo

Any others?


April 17, 2002, 01:56 PM
There is a restaurant in Kenya called "Carnivore" that serves game that has been taken by hunters. As far as I know, all of the animals you mentioned are served there. The meat is roasted over flame skewared with Masai spears and is served on the spears as well. A friend of my wife ate there while in the Peace Corp and said it was very good.

Art Eatman
April 17, 2002, 02:06 PM
inGob, don't lie to the boy like that! It's well known that all game animal meat in Africa is horrible tasting and is often very poisonous. He needs to take us along to make sure the meat from his game animals is properly disposed of in a safe manner!

To get at least halfway serious, consider that trophy animals typically are older. Older means not young and tender. It's less the taste than the "chewy". "Camp meat" animals are specifically picked for being young and tender. :)

Just as with the beef cattle market here in the U.S., wehre old bulls and cows are sold as "canners and cutters", used for hamburger and soup. (See what all a fella can learn at TFL?)

:D, Art

April 18, 2002, 02:11 PM
Hard to define the taste of African game . . . it's not really like beef, not really like deer venison . . . not really a cross between the two. But here are my impressions:

Cape Buffalo: Tried steaks from an old dagga-boy. Bent the fork tines and dulled the steak knife. Flavorless. :(
Impala: Very good.
Kudu: Had kudu shephard's pie. Very good.
Sable: A bit tough, with a hint of "gameyness."
Tsessebe: good.
Klipspringer: good . . . what little meat was on this small critter.
Cookson's Wildebeest: Don't know. Used it for lion bait.
Hippo: Ditto the above. Local natives didn't eat it, either.
Zebra: Don't know - gave it to some natives. Not highly regarded.
Puku: OK, but nothing spectacular.
Warthog: Much like domestic pork, but you can tell the animal's diet was different. (Specify WELL DONE to the camp cook!)
Bushbuck: Absolutely, unquestionably, the BEST of the African game. Truly excellent - even the leftovers we used on sandwiches the next day were great, even cold. I wish I could get it here! :D I'm planning on going on a safari in about 5 years... The way Africa is going, five years may be too late . . .

April 19, 2002, 08:10 AM
Thanks for your comments fellows.
Sounds like I will have to go out of my way to get a bush buck.

Anyone else tried any?

HankB, wish I could go now, but my financial situation won't allow it.

Art Eatman
April 19, 2002, 02:45 PM
scot, sell your car; buy a cheaper one; take the cash and put the rest of the trip on your VISA. Better to have gone and be in debt, than have the money but can't safely go to Africa.

Only half joking...

:), Art

Navy joe
April 21, 2002, 08:41 AM
You bring up a good point, people are free to do as they please, I just can't see the point of hunting for your wall if it's not going to all get eaten. Call it my backwwods upbringing. Go to Africa? I'd rather stick hot needles in my eye.

Art Eatman
April 21, 2002, 09:04 AM
Navy joe, the villagers in the hunting areas in Africa don't get near the meat in their diet that they would like. Anything a hunter does not wish to keep gets eaten.

The private hunting ranches in some African countries sell the meat into their market-system. The money helps keep the operation going. The meat doesn't get wasted.

My interest in hunting in Africa lies more toward such as Kudu. I figure that if I can make a big ol' whitetail taste good, I'd do okay with cooking Kudu. :)

And just seeing game animals in herds, listening to lions and hyenas and knowing it ain't National Geographic, Hey! That would be neat!

:), Art

April 25, 2002, 08:45 AM
Not being an expert on African hunting I'll just Add one species. Gemsbuck which I've shot in NM is with out a doubt the best game meat I've ever tried.

April 25, 2002, 10:46 AM
Art said.." And just seeing game animals in herds, listening to lions and hyenas and knowing it ain't National Geographic, Hey! That would be neat! "



April 26, 2002, 04:00 PM
I was impressed with how highly the taste of these two is thought of.
Is the taste better than beef?
I wonder about raising these domestically and selling the meat to fancy restaurants. Any thoughts?

April 27, 2002, 05:35 AM
My very first meal in RSA was Elan. Filets from the tenderloin grilled over a campfire. It was damn good eating. My last meal there included spring buck carpaccio. That was also damn good. The wildebeast stew was only so so. As were the impala steaks.

April 30, 2002, 11:20 AM
From "pappa:"
I was impressed with how highly the taste of these two is thought of.
Is the taste better than beef? YES! (for bushbuck, at least.)
I wonder about raising these domestically and selling the meat to fancy restaurants. Any thoughts? Bushbuck are not herd animals, so I don't know how a bunch of them would get along in a pen or corral. They have a reputation for having a nasty temper. Gemsbuck are alleged to have killed lion with their long horns. (Odds HEAVILY favor the lion, though.) So raising them commercially for meat would be a challenge. You'd probably have to get a LOT of land, fence it in, and charge people to hunt these critters, with the meat being incidental.

April 30, 2002, 01:12 PM
I wonder about raising these domestically
I have no idea about gemsbok in the US, but I bet stranger things have happened. How many of you would bet there are no commercial ostrich farms in Norway? The birds do not mind the snow and cold, they only go inside when it's really cold. And they taste great.

My experience from Africa says that anything that can't be eaten fresh can be made into biltong (jerky). If you get some dried meat and ask what it is, a likely answer will be "game" or "dead animal" or something like that.

Art Eatman
April 30, 2002, 05:02 PM
Sally the Eland had a long and happy life at the YO Ranch near Kerrville, Texas. They apparently browse scrub oak and shinnery, and don't compete with native animals.

Quite a few African antelope would do quite well in the southwestern US. Other countries' critters, as well. Nilghai (India) range on the King Ranch.

Axis deer, Mouflon and Barbary sheep, Blackbuck antelope...


May 1, 2002, 11:20 AM
Back in the 1980's the San Diego Zoo was considering buying some large acreage near Paso Robles, CA to house their surplus and breed more African game animals. This particular piece of land had been dormant for years, just costing the owner huge property taxes. Some of us locals were looking forward to this. As luck would have it, some folks at the Zoo were gored to death by one of these type critters. Fears of liability, insurance costs, security fencing, etc (rightfully so) by the Zoo and general candyass meddling by local tree-hugging contingent killed the concept.

Fast forward 2002:
We are all safe, the land is planted to vineyard and no one has yet been injured by a rutting grape. Though the water table is being sucked dry

Art Eatman
May 1, 2002, 11:42 AM
DC, you trying to tell me that one of Bambi's cousins would do such a dastardly deed? No!!!

Try explaining "water table" to a tree-hugger...


May 1, 2002, 03:49 PM
Perhaps we should post a new thread about raising
African game animals domestically?