Popular Fireplace & Braai Wood in South Africa
South Africa is lucky enough to host a number of different biomes and environments, all of which contribute various types of vegetation and trees. Because South Africans are so reliant on fire as both a heat source in winter, and for entertainment (cosy fireplaces or summer afternoon braais), different trees provide us with wood with different qualities that contribute to the fire. Here are a few common types of wood we often use in fireplaces and braais in South Africa.
The ever popular Sekelbos provides South African homes with vast supply of firewood. Commonly found throughout the country, the Sekelbos makes an extremely dry and hardy wood. Sekelbos is, without a doubt, the best wood to use in fires as it gives off intense heat, and despite being dry, burns incredibly long.
Not endemic to South Africa, the alien has made our country a home. The huge tree offers a great supply of wood, however, it is often a little wet. This creates a bit of a crackle (so not always great for fireplaces near carpets). The resin also makes the wood burn a little faster than the black wattle…
This is an excellent wood to use in fireplaces. It is easy to light, lasts extremely long, and provides that soft, glowing coal that is so prized in our winter lounges. The black wattle is harder to find, though, and will be a little more expensive than Blue Gum.
Another indigenous wood, the Mopane, next to the Sekelbos, is the braai king! Braai-masters should try using a mix of Mopane, Sekelbos and Kameeldoring for their next braai. These indigenous woods are very dry and hardy, and they will make extremely hot coals in very little time. Furthermore, they stay hot for a very long time. A perfect fuel source for searing that tasty braai-vleis.