Safari Sundowners: Cocktails in the Namib Desert

By Deborah Olsen
April 15, 2020

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.

Little Kulala in Sossusvlei Namibia
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

Travelers make a toast in the Namib Desert
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

 

 

Request a brochure from Bushtracks Expeditions if you are inspired to visit Namibia
The first version of this article was posted on 27 Jul 2017 at 4:47 PM.

Although she’s lived and traveled abroad, Deborah finds most of her travel inspiration at home around the dinner table, where international family and friends routinely fuel her interest in the world beyond with vivid insider accounts of off-the-beaten path places. In telling the Bushtracks story, and sharing Bushtracks remarkable adventures, Deborah hopes to ignite the same spark of wanderlust in others.

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