Meet head chef David Mathebula

Head Chef David Mathebula is a man who is known as a long standing, loyal member of the Tanda Tula Safari Camp family. He has dedicated the last 32 years of his life to working at Tanda Tula. His home town is a local village know as Hluvekani, in the Manyaleti, the place his four children and wife still live today.

He joined our safari camp initially as a waiter, after some time as a patrol guide in the Timbavati, and later he found his calling in the kitchen. He is a man of few words, but insists he loves cooking and despises monkeys! Guests love his broad smile and pot belly, and his quiet and gentle demeanour enchants even the toughest travellers. When coerced he shyly admits his favourite dishes to prepare include potjies, curries and oxtail.

Here is his well-known and loved Lamb tagine recipe:

Lamb and saffron Tagine

Serves 6

1 kg leg of lamb, off the bone and cut into cubes

pinch of saffron

100 ml orange juice

2 tbs olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

2 cans tomatoes

1 cup lamb or beef stock

1 can chickpeas

handful coriander


  1. Place the lamb in a bowl. Stir the saffron into the orange juice and then pour over the lamb. Leave in the fridge to marinade for a couple of hours or overnight.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a heavy based pot, add the onions and fry util soft and translucent. Add the spices and then cook for a further 2 minutes.
  3. Add the lamb and cans of tomatoes, plus the liquid. Leave to simmer for around 1.5 hours, or until the lamb is tender and the liquid has reduced.
  4. Add the chickpeas and cook for another 10 minutes.
  5. Serve topped with fresh chopped coriander and couscous or rice


Tanda Tula Tanda Tula Tanda Tula