History of Zambezi

History of Zambezi

Zambezi Teak (Baikaiea Plurijuga)
Formerly known as Rhodesian Teak, it is perhaps the most important and sought after hardwood in South Africa., The only environmentally viable forests are restricted to a belt of Kalahari sandy soils, which run through remote rural areas across south  Western Zimbabwe, up across the Zambezi river into the south of Zambia.


Because the timber is so hard, it was originally only cut into blocks by the first settlers in the early 1900, who used it mainly for bridge construction, railway sleepers and mine supports – where it can often still be found, truly standing the test of time after searing sun, draught and African rain. As modern technology progressed, turning the blocks into planks became an economically viable option and because of it’s striking color, grain and ability to withstand abrasions without splintering, it soon became very popular commercially, and used in flooring, decking and out door furniture. It is these that Zambezi Teak has earned it’s well deserved reputation for its  exquisite looks as well as being rugged as the terrain from which it hails.

The first documented application of a Zambezi teak floor in the United Kingdom was in 1852, when the London Corn Exchange was rebuilt, and required a specially grooved floor to accommodate the grain thrown down upon it by merchants. Here, teak was selected because it could handle the stress that would be exerted on the parquet blocks, which would normally have splintered.


Elegance, durability and high quality Zambezi teak is valued around the world because of the elegance, durability and high quality associated with the wood. It is even textured and hard, with a fine grain distinguished by two distinct colors. When first sawn the heartwood is a stunning mélange of medium to light browns or tans which, after oxidation, turns to a rich red/bronze combination. The sapwood blends in perfectly as light roses and beige merging to tints of cherry when oxidation takes place. Black streaks are often characteristic in the grain. If the freshly processed look is preferred, customers can choose to halt the oxidation process with the use of UV protectors in the sealants or oils.


Our teak has one of the most favorable linear shrinkage factors of all the hardwoods, making it an ideal and visually attractive solid floor option for under floor heating. It is also weather resistant and has natural oils which help keep it in excellent outdoor condition.