Sundowners, Cocktails & Sunsets in Africa's Eden

What was your favourite sundowner spot in Africa’s Eden? Was it standing on the beach in Swakopmund as the Atlantic wind whipped through your hair? Maybe it was sipping a gin and tonic while atop a kopje in Matobo National Park. If you want to recreate some of the delicious cocktails reminiscent of enjoying sundowners in Southern Africa, check out these simple recipes.

What is a sundowner?

To avoid any confusion, let’s first explain that a sundowner is basically a drink you have as the sun sets. However, in Africa’s Eden, sundowners are more than just grabbing a drink. It’s about tradition, ritual, relaxing at the end of another gorgeous day in Africa and catching up with your chinas.

Sundowners at Kazuma Forest Reserve

Pandamatenga is a farming community in Northern Botswana. Although the residents enjoy their sundowners, it might seem an initially unlikely spot to find tourists. However, once you get there, you’ll discover the magic of the Kazuma Forest Reserve and Wildtrack Safaris Eco Lodge. Kazuma Forest Reserve boasts one of the world’s busiest elephant corridors. It joins two of the most incredible parks: Chobe National Park in Botswana and Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. Kazuma boasts a staggering 20.000 hectares of woodland reserve and is an oasis for more than 196 bird species. In addition, Kazuma is home to a wide variety of animals, including:
  • Wildebeest
  • Buffalo
  • Roan
  • Sable
  • Eland
  • Tsessebe
  • Giraffe
  • Elephant
  • Leopard
  • Cheetah
  • and Lion
Here’s how to make a Wildtrack’s Lions Tail Cocktail – the ideal way to send your taste buds on an amazing safari!
Wildtrack’s Lions Tail Cocktail

Wildtrack’s Lions Tail Cocktail

60ml Bourbon
50 ml Spiced Rum
50ml Freshly squeezed lime/lemon juice
A generous dash or two aromatic bitters
Two Cinnamon sticks
And a slice of Orange and Salt to garnish

Press the moist rim of your glass into some salt – not too much, but this really brings the flavours together.
Add all of the other ingredients, in any order and one stick of cinnamon
Give it a good shake with crushed ice and serve in the cocktail glass of your choice
Add a little extra crushed ice if needed
Garnish with an orange slice and the other stick of cinnamon.

Sundowners and Mixology Courses in Botswana

The Delta Training Academy, based in Maun, Botswana, offers so much more than basic hospitality training (though they offer that, too!). Of course, everyone knows that a good bartender can mix a common cocktail, but a GREAT bartender needs to know more than the art of mixology. That’s why their courses include topics such as the history and origins of cocktails and the impact of fruit and herb combinations on flavour profiles. And last but not least, an excellent bartender understands the importance of storytelling and the guest experience.

The Introduction to Cocktail Making Course has been designed to perfect the art of mixing cocktails, including techniques and how to create a wide selection of classic alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Beginners start with the Classic Mojito – perfect for a poolside or siesta beverage – a refreshingly good, impressive, classic & vibrant drink!
Classic Mojito

The Delta Training Academy's Classic Mojito

Glassware:Custom Slanted Highball Glass
Technique: Muddle
Cocktail Difficulty: Easy

60ml Bacardi Carta Blanca (Superior)
40ml Homemade Lemon Syrup
50ml 100ml Soda Water
200ml Crushed Ice Cubes
Half a Lemon diced into cubes
10 – 12 Mint Leaves
Mandatory for at least one Garnish – Lemon Wedges & Mint Sprig

Add diced lemon cubes into bar shaker and muddle until all lemon juice is extracted
Pour the muddled lemon into serving glass and add recommended mint leave quantity onto the muddled lemon cubes
Pour recommended Rum quantity & Lemon syrup quantity into the serving glass and stir “generously” all ingredients together (Do not Churn!)
Top up the serving glass with crushed ice and stir generously to chill down all ingredients
Top up the remainder of the serving glass with Soda water and slowly stir (Note to pour the soda water slowly to avoid the fizz topping over the glass!)
Garnish with the recommended garnish items and serve the drink with a coaster if available & straw ( Please note Coasters & Straws are not mandatory!)

Sundowners by the Zambezi River

Travellers and residents alike genuinely are spoiled for choice when it comes to iconic locations for sundowners in Africa’s Eden. Nevertheless, a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River would undoubtedly top almost everyone’s travel bucket list. Whether you hop on a boat from the Zimbabwean or Zambian side of the Zambezi River, you’ll meander alongside the Zambezi National Park and the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. With a Zambezi cocktail in hand, sightings often include seeing hippos wallowing, elephants swimming and a journey of giraffe loping along in the distance.

The Victoria Falls Waterfront is an iconic sunset spot for any visitor to Livingstone. In fact, if you ever want to know the ‘it’ place to be on the weekend, then ask a local. In Livingstone, they will tell you that Friday evenings are all about sundowners at The Waterfront. Here’s how to make one of their most legendary drinks at home.


A Blue Zambezi Cocktail

Blue Waterfront


1 Shot Lime and Lemon Juice Mix
1 Shot Blue Bols
1 Shot Gin
1 Shot Vodka


Place some ice and half fill your cocktail glass with sprite.
Get your cocktail shaker and add ice, lime and lemon juice, Blue Bols, Gordons Gin and Smirnoff Vodka, shake well! Fully pour all the ingredients from the cocktail shaker into the glass over the ice and sprite.
Serve with a slice of lemon.


The gin sour ingredients including gin and plenty of fresh citrus fruits

Probar’s Triple Three Citrus Grapefruit Gin Sour

Gin is one of the most enduring spirits consumed for centuries by visitors and locals. Crafted by infusing base spirit with various botanicals, gin has taken the world by storm once again in the last few years. Today some of the best gin on earth is made in southern Africa, and this cocktail demonstrates a different way to use the fabulous gin.

Gin Sours are traditionally made with gin, lemon juice and simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar dissolved over heat). They emerged in the late 1800s and have been quietly enjoyed ever since, with the egg being added in the 1930s. The mixologists at Probar love this change which uses egg whites (or aquafaba, the water in a can of chickpeas, if you’re egg averse) to create a lovely foam and grapefruit juice to complement the incredible Triple Three Citrus gin. Don’t forget to use a shaker to help make that beautiful foam!


50ml Triple Three Citrus Gin
50ml Grapefruit Juice
25ml Lemon Juice
25ml Simple Syrup
1 Egg White
Handful of Ice
Grapefruit Zest to Garnish


Put all ingredients into a cocktail shaker (or a large jam jar with a properly closing lid).
Shake vigorously until the shaker or jam jar feels very cold.
Strain into whisky tumblers or your favourite gin glass over ice. Garnish with Grapefruit peel or zest. ENJOY!


You could use oranges and orange juice if you prefer – even something exotic like nartjies and nartjie juice.
If you don’t eat or like eggs, you can use aquafaba – the juice in a can of chickpeas – it works just as well!
Simple syrup is made very quickly with equal parts of sugar and water heated on a stove till all the sugar is dissolved.

Sundowners in Livingstone Town

The town of Livingstone holds a distinctly African flair. There are ample international hotels and restaurants and open-air markets where locals shop for everyday items like vegetables, second-hand clothes, and hardware. If you are searching for a genuine African experience, we highly recommend contacting a local travel agent and arranging a walking tour.

The Livingstone Museum proudly stands in the centre of Livingstone’s CBD and is the largest museum in Zambia. Directly behind, you’ll find Jollyboys Backpackers Lodge, an oasis for budget travellers and a pioneer of the tourism industry in Livingstone. Operational for more than a quarter-century, you can expect fantastic service, a sparkling pool, loads of mango trees, and Jolly Juice – a deceivingly delicious cocktail!


A smiling bartender putting the finishing touches on a Jolly Juice cocktail at Jollyboys Backpackers

Jolly Juice


Double Shot Citrus Flavoured Gin.
½ Soda Water ½ Tonic ½ Shot Grenadine.
Garnish with lime slices, mint and rosemary.


Fill your cocktail glass with ice
Add your double shot of citrus flavoured Gin
Add ½ Soda Water ½ Tonic.
Garnish with Lime, Mint and Rosemary.
Gently pour ½ Shot Grenadine over the top.

Sundowners in South Luangwa National Park

Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park is well known as the birthplace of walking safaris. When trekking on foot in terrain also famous for the density of leopard sightings, it isn’t surprising that safari guests are going to enjoy an equally adventurous cocktail at sunset. Guests at Mfuwe Lodge don’t leave the wilderness behind them as they walk through the door. In fact, elephants and hippos are common visitors to the lodge and are known to literally walk through the front entrance and make themselves at home!


Gin and Tonic sundowner with chilli swizel stick

The Bushcamp Company’s Spicy Gin & Tonic

Stopping for sunset and enjoying a drink in South Luangwa calls for a cocktail with a bit more oomph and pizzazz. That’s why we are in love with this simple yet spicy G&T from The Bushcamp Company. It’s easy to recreate at home and will have your guests clinking glasses to your ingenuity.


Local craft gin
Quality tonic water
Lime wedges
A bright, long and vibrant bird’s eye chilli pepper


Add ice to a tall glass
Pour a generous tot of your favourite local craft gin
Squeeze a lime and add a few wedges to the glass
Pour over your favourite brand of tonic
Add a chilli pepper and use as a stir stick

Foraging for Cocktails

Foraging is a time-honouring tradition worldwide. Survival required knowing which plants were toxic, which could cure fever or which others were delicious. Today, foraging has seen a resurgence as locals and travellers seek more information and connection to their surroundings.

If you are looking for a genuinely Zambian cocktail, you need to check out these recipes from The Elephant Café and The River Club in Zambia.


Welcome drinks at the Elephant Cafe in Livingstone, Zambia - the perfect spot for sundowners
The Wild Kir Royale with Sindambi Syrup

The Elephant Café’s Wild Kir Royale

The Wild Kir Royale with Sindambi Syrup is served as a welcome drink at The Elephant Café in Livingstone, Zambia. Sip this tasty local cocktail on the banks of the Zambezi in the heart of the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park.


Sparkling Wine
Sindambi Syrup


Pour Sparkline wine into a champagne flute and top with a dash of homemade Sindambi Syrup.
* Scarlet Sindambi is a wild hibiscus that is made into a syrup. It is used instead of cassis to give this cocktail a local Zambian flare

The River Club’s Mahuluhulu Loop Cocktail served in a Monkey Orange

The River Club’s Mahuluhulu Loop

This Mahuluhulu Loop, infused with local seasonal ingredients, formed part of The River Club’s Swim & Tonic menu – so named due to the lodge’s original position right on the banks of the might Zambezi. Created by the lodge’s Executive Head Chef, Tawanda Gatawa, this cocktail delivered exceptional flavours and tempts taste buds.

While the lodge is sadly no more, and we miss playing a game of boules or croquet on the lawns overlooking the Zambezi River, the Mahuluhulu Loop is still a delightful addition to any warm afternoon and makes an ideal sundowner cocktail. After all, most enjoy a Gin & Tonic while on safari, so why not try something more uniquely Zambian?

Mahulu Syrup Ingredients:

100g sugar
300m water
1 large Monkey Orange


Crack open the Mahuluhulu fruit and combine the seeds (and juices) and about 250ml water in a small pan and heat over medium heat
Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let cook for about 10 minutes
Strain the sauce to remove the seeds using a sieve over a bowl – press the sauce through with a spoon
Pour the remaining water through the sieve and put the sauce back into the pot
Add sugar and warm on medium heat
Keep stirring until the sugar has melted
Remove the heat and let cool to room temperature
Chill for 2 hours

Cocktail Recipe:

In a tall glass, add ice until full
Add 60ml gin
Add 60ml Mahuluhulu syrup
Fill with tonic water and garlic
Add a lemon slice to garnish