African beverages

When we were traveling across the southern half of Africa we soon recognized that each country had it's own unique beverages on sale at their watering holes.
Most were passable, some were quite good and a couple were bad with one ranking among the worst things I have ever tasted.

If you aren't quite up on your African geography here are maps to get you oriented.
Our approximate route with some of the places we visited shown.

For more of our African adventure go here.

The start of our trip, 17 days
Middle, 24 days
The final leg, 22 days

Here is a selection of the beverages that we sampled, sorted by country.


Both White Cap and Tusker suited our taste.


I would have Nile Special if I was offered the three beers here.
Stoney ginger beer is a soft drink that was available many places we visited in Africa and became one of our favorite drinks.
Redd's is a cider which was also good when you wanted to cool off.


Of these two I prefer Skol but not by much.

We spent a lot of time in Tanzania so we had the opportunities to sample many more of the locally produced products.
The nonalcoholic varieties

Innsense is a very sharp ginger beer, quite good.
Coke must have good quality control.  It tasted like back home.
You might guess the green bottle is Mountain Dew.  Since Arabic reads right to left the logo slants the other way from the English version.
We didn't take the truck to Zanzibar so we didn't have a supply of purified water. 
That meant having to buy water or take our chances with tap water. 
The bottled water had the added advantage of being cold.
Street vendors in Stone Town on Zanzibar crushed sugar cane to extract the juice while you watched.

I don't have much of a preference among the many beers that were available.  If forced to pick I would probably chose one of the first two above.
Redds cider was good too.

I'm not sure how to classify this.  It may be a vodka, rum, gin or it's own unique drink.

Some of the mixed drinks available at Snake Park on the mainland and Nungwi Inn on Zanzibar.


Kuche Kuche is a great name and not a bad beer.
Carlsberg is a local beer produced under license from Denmark.

Shake Shake is the absolute worst beverage I have ever consumed. 
It tasted like it had been in my stomach which rejected it and I got to "enjoy" it again. 
Which very nearly happened.
It is made from sorghum or corn. 
It tastes like bacteria and yeast both work on the initial mix so it rots as it ferments.
The process continues even after it is packaged so the cardboard cartons all bulge.
If left too long they would probably explode.
However, it was popular with the local folk. 
There is no accounting for taste.


Spar-letta has a strange flavor but is refreshing.
Chele lemonade is also good.

The available beers.  Windhoek and Zambezi were what I would choose to have again.
I thought the Carling Black Label was a Canadian brand but it is also available in Zimbabwe and South Africa and probably other places as well.

I don't know how the cooler got the name Detroit. It was not remarkable, good or bad.
We enjoyed this South African wine.


No real favorites here.  All were passable.

Iron Brew was a local soft drink and Hunters was a cider.   Both good.


Stoney ginger beer is good.
Club Shandy is bad, to me it tasted like soap.  I wonder if the rinse machine wasn't working at the bottling plant.

South Africa

Our group sampled all of these at a wine tasting.
A nice variety of wines from near the Orange river.

Peroni is obviously an Italian brand but is brewed in South Africa.
Hansa is no better or worse than it was a couple of countries before.

I didn't set out to try all the local drinks but since every country had their own local products it was fun to try something new at every opportunity.

For more of our African adventure go here.

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