Make yourself a dawa sundowner

Kenya's beloved boozy beverage

While a G&T has long held the top spot as the go-to safari sundowner, we lean towards a crisp dawa cocktail here at Africa Travel Centre. But what exactly is a dawa?

Meaning ‘medicine’ in Swahili, a dawa is used as a cure for just about everything, but it’s best enjoyed on safari at sunset. This bold concoction of honey, lime, sugar, ice, and vodka proves an ideal post-game drive refresher, and you can  easily find it on bar menus across the country.  

Part of the dawa’s allure lies in simple, yet pleasing presentation, which includes a wooden swizzle stick dipped in honey. It’s also easy enough to make at home, so if you’d like to try your hand at mastering this traditional cocktail, here’s how to do it: 


2 oz vodka
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp tsp brown sugar
1 lime, cut into chunks, plus a lime wheel for garnish
Crushed ice

Place lime chunks, honey, and sugar in a tumbler.
Muddle just enough to release the lime juice and mix with the honey and sugar, but not so much as to mash the pith (that will release a bitter flavor).

Add some crushed ice, then the vodka. Stir to combine and bring up the lime from the bottom of the glass. Add more ice until the glass is full. Garnish with a lime wheel. Serve and enjoy – bottoms up!

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