About us

Bringing the Taste of South Africa to the World: The Kalahari Khabu Story

Our Mission
At Kalahari Khabu, we are passionate about bringing the traditional South African art of biltong making to people around the world. With roots deeply embedded in South African heritage, our mission is to share the skills and joy of making biltong with expats and enthusiasts globally.

Who We Are
Kalahari Khabu is a global provider of premium biltong making equipment. Founded by South African expatriates living in New Zealand, our company aims to cater to the needs of South African expats and biltong lovers worldwide. Our products include household biltong chambers, commercial biltong chambers, and biltong slicers, designed to suit both personal and business needs.

Our Products

1. Household Biltong Chambers:

Perfect for home enthusiasts, these chambers allow anyone to create high-quality biltong in their own kitchen.

2. Commercial Biltong Chambers:

Designed for larger-scale production, these chambers are ideal for businesses looking to offer authentic biltong to their customers.

3. Biltong Slicers:

Our slicers ensure perfectly sliced biltong every time, making the preparation process easy and efficient.

Global Reach
We proudly serve customers around the world, with warehouses strategically located in the USA, Canada, UK, Africa, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. This global presence ensures that we can deliver our products quickly and efficiently to biltong enthusiasts everywhere.

Our Commitment to Quality
Quality is at the heart of everything we do. From the materials used in our equipment to our customer service, we are committed to providing the best possible experience for our customers. We understand the importance of maintaining the traditional methods of biltong making while incorporating modern technology to enhance the process.

Target Audience
While our primary audience consists of South African expatriates living abroad, we are also dedicated to introducing the delicious taste of biltong to a wider audience. Foreigners are increasingly becoming aware of the great taste of biltong, appreciating it as a uniquely South African delicacy. Just as champagne is French and Parmesan is Italian, biltong is truly South African, and we are excited to share it with the world.

Join Us on Our Journey
We invite you to join us on our journey to make biltong a household name worldwide. Explore our range of products, learn the art of biltong making, and enjoy the rich, flavorful taste of this South African delicacy.

Mooi, man!

That's South African for “good on ya” or “way to go”!

Our expert team supplies all the gear you could possibly need to create your own pantry of biltong goodies whenever you want, and once you’ve tasted homemade biltong, you might be ready to make your second batch straight away!

Ready to start? Chuck on your apron, sharpen your knives and let’s get drying.

Frequently Asked Questions

We accept Visa & Mastercard, Stripe, Afterpay, Apple Pay, Bank Transfer.

Equipment Spares can be found HERE.

Your Kalahari Khabu equipment includes a warranty which covers the working parts of the unit. Contact us via email, and we will send you your required replacement parts.

In order to take advantage of your 12 months guarantee, you will need to send us confirmation that the equipment was received and the date and time of receipt.

In the event of major faults in Industrial Equipment, we offer cover on the labour costs for the repairs. However, this is subject to a personal consultation, a report from the repair technicians, and after a full quotation has been obtained outlining the cause of the problem and the cost of the repairs.

Yes, we supply a tracking number with every order so that you can check the progress of your delivery.

Most of our household biltong chambers come with free shipping. For our larger commercial and industrial units, shipping costs are not included. Please contact us directly for shipping details and arrangements for these larger units.

Humidity is the silent enemy that can attack your biltong even after you have successfully made it. To achieve perfect biltong every time, you must ensure that air is consistently moving over the product throughout the drying process. Homemade units often struggle in high humidity areas due to insufficient airflow, leading to disappointing results. For instance, Kimberley, South Africa, has a relative humidity (RHH) of 29%, whereas Auckland’s RHH is 80%. If you rely on a simple plastic box in high humidity, you will likely be disappointed with your biltong.

To avoid this, consider investing in a professional biltong chamber with adequate ventilation and humidity control. Once your biltong has completed its drying cycle, it’s crucial to handle it properly to maintain its quality. Immediately after drying, you should either consume the biltong, store it in a brown paper bag in the fridge, or vacuum seal it for later use. Never leave biltong in the open air if you are in a high humidity area, as this will quickly compromise its texture and flavor.

By understanding and managing humidity, and ensuring proper airflow and storage, you can enjoy successful biltong making every time.

When it comes to making biltong at home, Kalahari Khabu offers three versatile household biltong chambers: the KK11, KK12, and KK16. Each unit is designed to provide optimal drying conditions, allowing you to create high-quality biltong and other dried goods with ease.

KK11 Biltong Chamber

The KK11 is perfect for small batches and fits snugly into any kitchen. It features a 24-hour timer, 10 stainless steel trays, 5 hanging rods, and 36 stainless steel biltong hooks. This unit can handle up to 5 kg (11 lbs) of wet biltong. With external dimensions of H 43 cm, W 35 cm, and D 40 cm, it’s compact yet powerful, operating quietly at 45 decibels. The KK11 is ideal for those new to biltong making or for occasional use.

KK12 Biltong Chamber

For larger batches and extended drying capabilities, the KK12 offers a 96-hour timer, 12 stainless steel trays, 5 hanging rods, and 40 stainless steel biltong hooks. This chamber can process up to 7 kg (15 lbs) of wet biltong. Its dimensions are H 50 cm, W 35 cm, and D 40 cm, making it slightly larger but still suitable for most kitchen spaces. The KK12 is a great choice for enthusiasts who make biltong more frequently.

KK16 Biltong Chamber

The KK16 is designed for serious biltong makers and small businesses, with a capacity to handle up to 25 kg (55 lbs) of wet biltong. It includes a 96-hour timer, 16 stainless steel trays, 6 hanging rods, and 48 stainless steel biltong hooks. With dimensions of H 67 cm, W 57 cm, and D 46.5 cm, this unit is best suited for larger spaces like a bar, garage, workshop, or even a business setting.

Versatile and Efficient

All three units have a temperature range from 20-90 degrees Celsius (68-194 degrees Fahrenheit), making them suitable not only for biltong but also for drying snap sticks, fruit rolls, herbs, and more. They feature an airflow speed of 1000 rpm, ensuring consistent drying. Additionally, these chambers operate efficiently with an 800-1500W power setting and maintain a low noise level of 40-45 decibels.

Tips for High Humidity Areas

In high humidity areas, airflow is crucial for making biltong. Once your biltong is ready, store it in a brown paper bag in the fridge to maintain its quality. Humidity can quickly ruin your hard work if you leave biltong out in the open.

By choosing the right Kalahari Khabu biltong chamber, you can ensure successful biltong making every time, tailored to your specific needs and space.


Making your own biltong box at home can be a fun and rewarding project. Here are some basic instructions to help you get started:

Materials Needed:
– Wooden box or wooden panels to construct a box
– Computer fans (2-3)
– Light bulb and socket (60W)
– Mesh or screen for ventilation
– Hooks or rods for hanging biltong
– Power drill and screws
– Electrical tape and wires


1. Construct the Box:
– If you’re starting with wooden panels, assemble them into a box with a front door for easy access. Ensure the box is sturdy and well-constructed to hold the weight of the biltong.

2. Install Ventilation:
– Cut holes on the sides of the box for the computer fans. These will ensure proper airflow. Install the fans using screws and connect them to a power source.

3. Install the Light Bulb:
– Drill a hole in the top of the box for the light bulb socket. Install the light bulb and secure it in place. The light bulb will help maintain a consistent temperature inside the box.

4. Create Hanging Space:
– Install hooks or rods across the top of the box for hanging the biltong. Ensure they are evenly spaced to allow for proper air circulation around each piece of biltong.

5. Add Mesh for Ventilation:
– Cover any ventilation holes with mesh or screen to keep insects out while allowing air to flow freely.

6. Wiring and Safety:
– Connect the fans and light bulb to an electrical source. Use electrical tape to secure any exposed wires and ensure everything is safely connected.

7. Testing:
– Test the box by turning on the fans and light bulb. Ensure there is good airflow and the temperature inside the box is suitable for drying biltong (around 20-25 degrees Celsius).

Video Tutorial:
For a visual guide on building your own biltong box, check out this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmPYUECzftI

By following these steps, you’ll have a functional homemade biltong box ready to create delicious biltong. Enjoy the process and happy biltong making!

Biltong is a traditional South African dried meat snack, typically made from beef or game meat. It is seasoned with various spices and air-dried, resulting in a flavorful and chewy treat.

The best cuts for making biltong are usually silverside, topside, or rump. These cuts are lean, which helps in the drying process and ensures a tender end product.

The drying process for biltong typically takes between 3 to 4 days, depending on the thickness of the meat strips and the humidity and temperature of the drying environment.

Common biltong spices include coriander seeds, black pepper, salt, brown sugar, and vinegar. Some recipes may also include garlic, chili flakes, or other spices for additional flavor.

Yes, you can make biltong without a dedicated biltong maker by using an oven, dehydrator, or even a DIY biltong box. However, using a biltong maker can provide more consistent results.

Biltong should be stored in a cool, dry place in an airtight container. It can also be refrigerated or frozen to extend its shelf life.

Yes, biltong can be made from various meats, including beef, game meats (such as deer or kudu), chicken, and even fish. Each type of meat will have a slightly different flavor and texture.

Biltong is ready when it has a firm, dry exterior and a slightly tender, chewy interior. The drying time can vary, so it’s important to check the texture and taste as it dries. Squeeze it between your thumb and index finger to find the consistency you love.

Vinegar is used in biltong preparation to add flavor and act as a preservative. It helps to tenderize the meat and inhibit the growth of bacteria during the drying process.

  • Over-drying the meat: This can make the biltong too tough and hard to chew.
  • Using too much salt: This can result in an overly salty product.
  • Inadequate airflow: Proper airflow is crucial for even drying and preventing mold growth.
  • Cutting the meat too thick: Thick cuts take longer to dry and may not dry evenly.

1. Why is airflow important when drying biltong? Proper airflow is crucial for drying biltong as it ensures even drying and prevents mold growth. Good airflow helps to remove moisture from the meat efficiently, resulting in a safe and high-quality end product.

2. How should the air flow in a biltong dryer? The air in a biltong dryer should flow evenly around all sides of the meat strips. This can be achieved by using a fan to circulate the air and by spacing the meat strips adequately to prevent them from touching each other.

3. Should the airflow be constant or intermittent? Constant airflow is generally recommended for drying biltong. Consistent air movement helps to maintain an optimal drying environment and reduces the risk of spoilage.

4. What is the ideal speed for the airflow in a biltong maker? The airflow should be gentle and consistent. Too high a speed can dry the outer layer too quickly, creating a hard exterior with a moist interior. A moderate, steady airflow is ideal for even drying.

5. Can I dry biltong without a fan? While it is possible to dry biltong without a fan, it is not recommended. A fan helps to ensure proper airflow, which is essential for even drying and preventing mold. Without a fan, the drying process can be uneven and take longer.

6. How should I position the meat strips in the dryer for optimal airflow? The meat strips should be hung vertically, with enough space between them to allow air to circulate freely. Ensure that no strips are touching each other, as this can obstruct airflow and lead to uneven drying.

7. What should I do if I notice uneven drying or mold on the biltong? If you notice uneven drying, adjust the position of the meat strips and check the airflow. If mold appears, it indicates insufficient airflow or excessive humidity. Remove the affected pieces, increase the airflow, and ensure the drying environment is dry and well-ventilated.

8. Does the direction of airflow matter in a biltong dryer? Yes, the direction of airflow matters. Ideally, the air should flow from one side of the dryer to the other, ensuring that all meat strips receive equal exposure. Horizontal airflow is often preferred in biltong dryers.

9. Can I use natural airflow (open windows) for drying biltong? Using natural airflow can be risky due to variations in temperature, humidity, and potential contaminants. It is better to use a controlled environment with a fan to ensure consistent and safe drying conditions.

10. How can I improve airflow in a DIY biltong box? To improve airflow in a DIY biltong box, ensure there are adequate ventilation holes at the top and bottom. Use a small fan to create consistent airflow and place the meat strips on racks or hang them with enough space between each piece.  

Origins and Cultural Significance

Biltong and jerky, while both dried meat snacks, have distinct origins and cultural backgrounds. Biltong is a South African delicacy, deeply rooted in the country’s history and traditions. It is made using a unique curing process that dates back centuries. Jerky, on the other hand, has its roots in Native American culture and has been popularized in the United States. Understanding these cultural backgrounds helps appreciate the uniqueness of each product.

Preparation and Ingredients

One of the primary differences between biltong and jerky lies in their preparation methods and ingredients. Biltong is typically marinated in a mixture of vinegar, salt, and spices such as coriander, black pepper, and cloves before being air-dried. This process can take several days, resulting in a tender and flavorful product. Jerky, however, is usually marinated in a liquid solution that can include soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and various spices, and then dried quickly using heat. This method gives jerky a chewier texture compared to biltong.

Drying Process and Times

Biltong and jerky have distinct drying processes and times that contribute to their unique textures and flavors. Biltong slabs take between 72 to 96 hours to air-dry at temperatures ranging from 20 to 30 degrees Celsius (68 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit). Biltong snapsticks, leaves, and wagon wheels require 18 to 24 hours to air-dry within the same temperature range. In contrast, jerky is typically cooked for 6 to 8 hours at higher temperatures, between 70 to 80 degrees Celsius (158 to 176 degrees Fahrenheit).

Texture and Taste

The texture and taste of biltong and jerky are also notably different. Biltong tends to be softer and more tender due to its air-drying process and the use of vinegar in the marinade, which helps break down the meat fibers. The flavor profile of biltong is often richer and more intense, with a pronounced taste of the spices used. Biltong is usually a savory product, emphasizing the natural flavors of the meat and the spices. Jerky, on the other hand, is generally drier and chewier, with a flavor that can range from sweet to savory depending on the marinade. Jerky often has a smoky and sweet taste, thanks to the use of ingredients like brown sugar, honey, and liquid smoke.

Nutritional Differences

While both biltong and jerky are high-protein snacks, there are some nutritional differences worth noting. Biltong often has a higher fat content due to the cuts of meat used and the air-drying process, which preserves more of the meat’s natural fat. Jerky, being heat-dried, tends to have lower fat content and can be leaner. Additionally, the sodium content in jerky can be higher due to the use of soy sauce and other salt-heavy marinades.

Versatility and Uses

Biltong and jerky can be used in various culinary applications beyond just snacking. Biltong, with its tender texture, can be thinly sliced and added to salads, sandwiches, or even used as a topping for pizzas. Its rich flavor also makes it a great addition to charcuterie boards. Jerky, due to its firmer texture, is often enjoyed as a convenient, on-the-go snack and is popular among hikers and athletes for its portability and protein content.

Ideal Snack for Various Lifestyles

Biltong is an excellent choice for various lifestyles and occasions. It is popular among hikers and gym enthusiasts for its high protein content and portability, making it an ideal energy-boosting snack during outdoor adventures or workouts. Those following a carnivore diet appreciate biltong for its natural ingredients and rich, meaty flavor. Additionally, biltong is a favorite snack for watching rugby or enjoying a fun time with friends, offering a savory and satisfying treat that pairs well with social activities.


In summary, while biltong and jerky may seem similar at first glance, they are distinct in terms of their origins, preparation methods, drying processes, textures, and flavors. Biltong offers a tender, richly flavored experience with a deep cultural significance, particularly for South Africans, and is usually savory in taste. Jerky provides a convenient, protein-packed snack with a diverse range of flavors appealing to a wide audience, often characterized by its smoky and sweet profile. Both have their unique places in the world of dried meat snacks, catering to different tastes and preferences.

Biltong’s popularity is rapidly rising, and we hope you can experience the true taste of this South African culture and heritage. By trying biltong, you are not only enjoying a delicious and nutritious snack but also connecting with a rich tradition that has been cherished for generations. Whether you’re a hiker, gym enthusiast, on a carnivore diet, or simply enjoying a game of rugby with friends, biltong is the perfect addition to your lifestyle.

To switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit on your biltong chamber, press and hold the temperature icon for 3-5 seconds. This will toggle the temperature display between the two units.

Introducing cold air or meat into the biltong chamber can cause temporary temperature fluctuations as the thermostat works to stabilize the environment. Additionally, outside ambient temperature can influence readings, especially if there are significant temperature differences. Independent hygrometers or temperature units might show slight variances due to their sensitivity and calibration differences.

Our biltong chambers are designed to maintain optimal conditions for curing, ensuring that your biltong process is completed efficiently. Minor temperature variances are normal and should not affect the overall curing process. The built-in system in our chambers effectively manages the environment to deliver high-quality biltong. If you experience significant discrepancies or need further assistance, please contact our support team. We are here to help you achieve the best results with your biltong making.

Maintaining a consistent temperature is crucial for the optimal production of biltong. Our biltong chambers are designed to achieve and sustain a specific temperature range, typically between 20-30°C (68-86°F), even when the ambient temperature in the surrounding environment is higher. Here’s how our unit works to maintain the desired temperature:

Heating Element Functionality

Our biltong chambers are equipped with a reliable heating element that regulates the internal temperature. When the chamber is set to 20°C (68°F), the heating element activates to reach and maintain this temperature. Here’s a step-by-step explanation:

1. Temperature Setting: You start by setting the desired temperature on the chamber’s control panel. For example, if you set it to 20°C (68°F), the unit’s internal thermostat takes note of this target temperature.

2. Initial Heating: If the ambient temperature is below the set temperature, the heating element will activate to warm the chamber until it reaches the desired 20°C (68°F).

3. Temperature Regulation: Once the chamber reaches the set temperature, the heating element cycles on and off to maintain a consistent internal environment. If the temperature drops slightly, the element turns back on to bring it back up to the target.

Operating Indoors

It is important to note that our biltong chambers are designed for indoor use. This ensures a controlled environment that helps the chamber maintain the desired temperature efficiently. Using the unit indoors protects it from the wide fluctuations in temperature that can occur outdoors.

Handling Extreme Indoor Temperatures

In situations where the indoor ambient temperature exceeds 30°C (86°F), the chamber’s heating element will not activate to cool the air. Our chambers are not equipped with cooling systems; they are designed solely to heat. Here’s what happens under these conditions:

1. Ambient Temperature Impact: If your indoor temperature rises above 30°C (86°F), the internal temperature of the chamber may naturally rise above the set point due to the ambient heat. The heating element does not have a cooling function, so it will not activate to reduce the temperature.

2. Setting Temperature Beyond 30°C: If you set the chamber’s temperature above the ambient temperature (e.g., setting it to 35°C in a 32°C room), the heating element will activate to achieve the set temperature. However, it’s crucial to note that maintaining such high temperatures consistently might not be ideal for biltong production and could affect the drying process.


Indoor Use Only

 Always use the chamber indoors where temperatures are more stable and within the operating range of the unit.
– Temperature Monitoring: Regularly monitor the room temperature where the chamber is placed to ensure it does not exceed 30°C (86°F).
– Adequate Ventilation: Ensure the room is well-ventilated to prevent overheating, which could impact the chamber’s performance.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your biltong chamber maintains the optimal temperature for producing high-quality biltong, regardless of slight variations in ambient indoor temperatures.

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