Started in 1982, Rare Woods is a family-owned business that was founded with one aim in mind – to offer the South African market a far greater range of imported and local timbers than it had previously had access to.

Over the years we have grown to the point where we now offer a range of over 150 species of timber from our long-established operations in Cape Town and The Garden Route (Knysna). With a stockholding of R150 million – as well as the associated infrastructure of warehouses, vehicles, machinery and of course our highly knowledgeable and experienced staff – we lay claim to being the largest timber merchant operating in Africa today.

The company is still based on the ethos instilled by founder Rory Wood – that of Reliability, Continuity, Knowledgeable and Friendly Staff, and Value for Money.

We supply timber and expertise to a diverse spectrum of customers which includes: manufacturers, architects, homeowners, construction companies, hobbyists, shopfitters, small businesses, specialists in the fields of knife, bow and musical instrument making, wood turners, interior decorators, wood carvers, schools, toymakers, and wooden car and boat restorers to name just a few.

Our well stocked showrooms and friendly staff make the selection of the timber for your project a pleasure. Please come and enjoy the warm ambience of natural timber while browsing our stock which ranges from popular species like Oak, Ash and Beech, to highly exotic timbers like Ebony, Cocobolo or the Rosewoods (of which we have 7 varieties!). We look forward to showing you our comprehensive array of finished samples which highlight the beauty and diversity of this wonderful natural product.

At Rare Woods we love, live and breathe timber every day, and we are looking forward to sharing that passion with you.


The Rare Woods Team has travelled extensively, from Borneo to Zimbabwe, and built up contacts and sources of supply of rare and exotic wood. If we don’t have it we can probably get it!


We value the environment and to ensure continuity of supply of rare wood forever, we often promote lesser known species and lower grades.

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