Food In Kruger on Safari

Recipes by Garry Hamer Compass Food Services Manager Lower Sabie. Article and comments by Shane Tintinger, Compass Group Training and development Chef. Recipes developed and tested in the Kruger National Park.

Out here in the vast rolling expanse of the shimmering Kruger National Park, with the iridescent sun glinting off watering holes and small lakes as it begins its decent, amongst the sounds of chattering birds and the quiet drone of insects galore with a gentle breeze nudging the treetops you might even hear the lonely cry of the fish eagle or the roar of the magnificent lion.

Life out here in paradise takes on an altogether different kaleidoscope of sights and sounds where life slows down to a crawl, there's nothing quite like the sound of a crackling fire hissing with the falling juices of soft and tender meat roasting away, so sit back and imagine that there's no one else around except you and mother nature.

We got some really good recipes for you this week, both classics in their own right; we hope you enjoy sharing them with the family and friends. There seems to be a huge number of them in the park at the moment, hence this recipe. The impala not the sosaties I mean... Makes eight 0.250 gr sosaties or one 2 kg Espetada.

Impala Sosaties

  • 2 kg impala leg deboned, please ask your butcher to do this for you, no really! Ask four fingered Frikkie...
  • 36 dried apricots, wouldn't recommend prunes here! Soaked in brandy for a couple of hours, better than in water ... hic... Floyd? Floyyd? is that you, Floooyd?
  • 2 whole peeled onions cut in ΒΌ's, separate the leaves.


  • 50 ml chutney
  • 50 ml dark soy or teriyaki sauce
  • 50 ml good red wine. Be sure to drink a glass or two before, just to make sure its good enough for the pot
  • 5 ml olive oil
  • 25 ml prepared mustard
  • 150 ml tomato sauce
  • 10 cloves chopped garlic. Optional...
  • A twist or three of coarse sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste


  • Cut the impala meat into chunks
  • Gently push meat onto sosatie skewers or sticks, vary with an apricot and onion chunks
  • Combine all the marinade ingredients until smooth and soak your sosaties for a day or two
  • Remove from marinade, carefully shaking off any excess liquid
  • Grill over hot coals or heated skillet for approximately five minutes, turning frequently
  • Serve hot

Tip 1: If you are using wooden or bamboo sticks soak them in water for a few hours before use, this will stop them catching alight whilst you are enthusiastically turning them over the hot coals or griddle top, this kind of information will be sure to impress your mates whom by now should be referring to you as Chef!

Tip 2: Use the left over marinade as a basting whilst grilling the sosaties. Considering our exceptionally diverse and colourful cultural heritage, what would a cookery editorial be with out our customary and somewhat extraordinary local delicacies? This local ancestral recipe was around long before the written word and considering that we South Africans are the undisputed cradle of humankind this recipe is by virtue of that, very old indeed.

Mopani Worm

Masonja or Matomani otherwise known as the mopani worm. Mopani worm is considered a delicacy amongst the park's neighborhood populace. Like some eastern countries, this dish is also sold by local street vendors as a roadside snack, I suppose as a variation to biltong. Admittedly I have not come across a salt and vinegar variety as yet, Mmmnnn a business opportunity...Give it a bash you won't be sorry, think of it as bragging rights when next out with the friends.

Ingredients (swilaveko)

  • 2 kilograms dried mopane worms
  • 75 ml cooking oil, marula peanut oil or peri-peri oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 juicy and firm tomatoes peeled and cut in small pieces, or one tin tomato and onion sheba
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • 25 ml Peri-Peri sauce

Method (Maendlelo)

  • Soak the dried mopani worms in warm salted water until swollen
  • Drain off water
  • Add the soaked worms to some unsalted boiling water
  • Cook for five minutes
  • Drain again and pat dry with some kitchen towel
  • Add the sliced onions to a heated frying pan and fry till opaque
  • Add the worms and cook for a further 15 minutes stirring occasionally
  • Add the fresh tomato or (Sheba if in a tin) and peri-peri sauce and simmer till the tomato is cooked
  • Serve hot

The dish is particularly appetising when served up with hot mealie porridge also know as phutu and lashings of mango atchar

Tip: Never introduce wet foods to hot oil; always pat dry with paper towel before. As an added precaution always tilt the pan away from your body and then add the ingredient.

Did you know?

The nutritional value of dried mopani worms, otherwise called Imbrasia belina (Lepidoptera:Saturniidae) by the clever folks in the Park comprise 60.7 percent crude protein, 16.7 percent crude fat, and 10.72 percent minerals. That means it's good for you, so dig in... Pass the mango atchar please.

Kruger Park Restaurant Guide

Find out about the restaurant and dining facilities at the Standard Self-Catering Rest Camps in Kruger National Park. Enjoy dinner at a rest...more
Kruger National Park - South African Safari