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  • Writer's pictureJolene Botha

Safari Sundowners: Cocktails in the Namib Desert

Lately we’re seeking relief from Healdsburg’s triple-digit summertime temperatures, and refreshing drinks are high on our list of remedies. So we asked our friends at Little Kulala Camp in the Namib Desert (people who know a thing or two about hot and dry conditions and how to treat them) to share some of their sundowner secrets for rehydrating guests after a day spent exploring. They kindly obliged with these three Namib-tested cocktails.

The Gateway to Namibia’s Sand Sea

Little Kulala is a luxurious desert retreat situated in the private 91,500-acre Kulala Wilderness Reserve – the gateway to Namibia’s Sand Sea with its towering dunes and clear, starry skies. Mornings at Little Kulala start with a guided drive to the spectacular dunes of Sossusvlei entering through a private gate into the reserve. The oldest desert in the world does not disappoint: with dunes soaring as high as 1,256 feet above a flat valley floor and options to explore the iconic desert landscape on quad bike, by hot air balloon, on nature drives, or on foot.


The end of the day will find you exhilarated and more than a little thirsty. Little Kulala’s late afternoon nature drives end in a remote and dramatic spot on the reserve sipping a gin and tonic while watching the sun go down. Looking for something a little more adventuresome for your safari sundowners? Little Kulala favors citrusy, spicy and refreshing cocktails like Little Kulala’s Pimms No. 1 Fruit Cup or a Ginger Swing — or a non-alcoholic Sossusvlei Shandy (one of Namibia’s preferred libations). Cheers!


Travelers enjoy Serra Cafema cocktails in the Namib Desert

Alcoholic Cocktails

Pimms No. 1 Fruit Cup Preparation notes: a “tot”  is roughly equivalent to a 1 ounce shot glass. Pimms Liqueur, 2 tots Fresh fruit sliced in cubes Apples sliced in matchsticks Lemonade or ginger ale to top up Serve in a highball glass or tumbler with a straw


Ginger Swing Preparation notes: a “tot”  is roughly equivalent to a 1 ounce shot glass. Marie Brizard Curacao Blue, 2 tots Top up with ginger ale Lemon slice garnish Serve in highball glass


Travelers enjoy drinks provided by Serra Cafema

Non-Alcoholic Cocktail

Sossusvlei Shandy Preparation notes: Schweppes Dry Lemon (also known as Bitter Lemon), is a popular mixer in Africa and Europe, but difficult to find in the U.S. The carbonated soft drink is flavored with quinine and lemon, with a signature bitter taste. Fever-Tree produces a Bitter Lemon which can be used in this recipe. You can make an alcoholic version of the Sossusvlei Shandy by adding your favorite beer. Dry Lemon (see note above) and ginger ale mixed in beer mug Add ice Dash of Angostura bitters Add a straw and swizzle stick Serve


Travelers enjoy their safari at sundown


The first version of this article was posted on 27 Jul 2017 at 4:47 PM.

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