What are Namibian hardwoods and what makes them special?

Namibia’s warm, dry, subtropical desert climate cultivates strong and solid trees. Hence, in addition to other natural resources, the growing demand for Namibian wood is due to the clean, hot, and long-burning fires which it produces more successfully than wood grown in other regions. The dry climate ensures that the wood is dense, has a low moisture percentage, and contains low residues or saps (which produce unpleasant smoke when ignited).

As Namibian trees do not retain much water, the openings (or veins) which carry water within the tree are very small, thereby increasing the density of the wood harvested. The higher the wood density, the heavier the wood and in turn, the longer-lasting and hotter the flames generated. Because of these properties, Namibian hardwoods can be used for braais, campfires, and fireplaces. Other wood types like Wattle and Blue Gum are wet species that produce a lot more smoke if not well seasoned.

Types of Namibian Hardwoods

  • Sekelbos / Sekeldoring / Sickle Bush/ Dichrostachys Cinerea

The Sekeldoring is a non-indigenous tree species that grows rapidly and is a pest for Namibian farmers. Harvesting and burning Sekelbos wood is encouraged as this focuses farming efforts on reducing the number of invasive trees.Sekelbos is best known for producing large, red hot flames that create a distinct bushveld aroma which may add delicious flavour to your meat. With a density of 825 kg/m3, Sekelbos reliably generates hot fires and leaves long-lasting coals.

The main difference between Sekeldooring and Kameeldoring is that, despite similar flame sizes, Kameeldoring yields a greater density of 936 kg/m3 which results in fires that burn longer (and can reach higher temperatures). Kameeldoring pieces are generally larger than Sekeldoring and are preferred by people that want a longer burning wood in bigger fires.Kameeldoring / Camelthorn wood may only be harvested from dead trees or fallen branches. Kameeldoring is well known for being a great all-purpose wood that adds great flavour to braai meat and can be used in closed combustion stoves as well as glass-fronted fireplaces.

Which Namibian Hardwood should I buy?

Fires made from any type of high-quality Namibian wood are likely to be successful. A good Namibian Hardwood mix and Sekeldoring is perfect for small-medium braais and fireplaces. For medium to large fireplaces and braai’s, we recommend a combination of Sekeldoring and Kameeldoring. If you prefer larger logs then we recommend just using Kameeldoring and also for BIG pieces you can buy our Namibian Hardwood Chunky – these chunky pieces burn slowly.