SUNDOWNER ON YOUR AFRICAN SAFARI
Africa’s Famous Happy Hour

Sundowner - Matira Camp Masai Mara - Africa Kenya Safaris

Everything on safari is larger than life: the sprawling landscapes, the magnificent big cats, the enormous elephants, and giraffes… and yes, even its celebrated Happy Hour – known as The Sundowner.

Imagine, you’ve spent a very full day rumbling over savannahs, through the bush, over the hills, and deep in the forest, witnessing every form of wildlife in their natural setting. You’ve marveled, you’ve photographed, and you’ve seen more big game than you’ve thought possible. Now, the softening light of late afternoon is settling about and it’s time to catch your breath.

Your Africa Kenya Safaris guide pulls up to the shade of an acacia tree, overlooking a great plain, a deep scenic valley, or perhaps by a river or lake. He lays some blankets on the ground and pulls out a small kit, a veritable bar with glasses, libations, and all sorts of yummy snacks. And then he takes orders for your drinks. Would you care for a gin and tonic, some wine, beer, or a non-alcoholic beverage?

As you look above, the sky paints itself with streaks of pink, gold, and a spreading canopy of orange twilight as the sun magnifies and glows on the horizon. The hors’d oeuvres are passed around and as you take in this lovely setting, you sip your drink and pleasurably soak up the ambiance of the fading day.  

This is what the sundowner is all about, a gentle transition into the evening, a moment to reflect on the beauty of Africa and how joyful it is to be here.

Sundowner - Naserian Mara Camp Masai Mara - Africa Kenya Safaris 2

Part Of A Long Tradition

Masai people with traditional lanterns for a sundowner outdoor evening meal
Chair with a blanket and a table with refreshments for a sundowner night time dining experience

You may not realize it as you enjoy your sundowner but you are part of a long tradition here in Africa. This marking of the day’s end originated during the years of colonial rule, with the British troops, taking their gin and tonics out on the plain both as a social drink and for health reasons.

Winston Churchill was said to have quipped, “The gin and tonic has saved more Englishmen’s lives and minds, than all the doctors in the Empire.”

So what were these special properties of the G and T, as the famous drink became known, that prompted Churchhill’s admiration?

In the 17th century, malaria was a scourge that felled great swaths of tropical populations. But it was discovered that quinine, which was derived from the South American cinchona tree, could effectively treat the disease. The Jesuits learned of the healing properties of the tree’s bark from the indigenous peoples and introduced it for medical use in Europe.

The quinine was distilled into a tonic and so staved off the fatal disease. However, the taste of quinine was terribly bitter, so to make it more palatable, British troops mixed it with sugar, lime, and gin. This last, the gin, was part of their standard rations. Thus, the timeless gin and tonic concoction was born.

The Empire And Its Tonic

Sundowner - Sarova Lionhill Game Lodge, Lake Nakuru National Park - Africa Kenya Safaris

It is said that the British soldiers stationed in India first mixed the G & T, and as the empire developed in other malaria-stricken areas, such as Africa, it was only natural that the popular and medically necessary drink traveled with the troops.

Soon the gin and tonic became the cocktail of choice for British officers and then the elite of 19th-century society. At day’s end, glasses were raised with this increasingly popular drink and thus the sundowner became a ritual in colonial Africa.

Today’s Sundowner

Sundowner - Naserian Mara Camp Masai Mara - Africa Kenya Safaris 3

Although we no longer take gin and tonic for medical reasons, the classic taste of this time-honored drink has become a part of today’s sundowner ritual. Further contemporary enhancements include snacks as well as wine, beer, and sometimes cigars to accompany this relaxing pause in the safari day.

So as you sit back and enjoy your sundowner against the magical backdrop of a sunset on your African safari, know that you are part of a long tradition.

Savor the moment as thousands have before you throughout the centuries on the magnificent fields, plains, and forests of a timeless Africa.

Cheers!

BOOK YOUR AFRICAN SAFARI HOLIDAY IN KENYA & TANZANIA WITH AFRICA KENYA SAFARIS

Sundowner - Kandili Camp Masai Mara - Africa Kenya Safaris 3
Elephants wallowing in mud at David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage Nairobi Kenya

NAIROBI EXCURSIONS & DAY TRIPS

Africa Kenya Safaris offers you full and half-day excursions & trips from Nairobi

Africa photographic safaris - Africa Kenya Safaris

KENYA SAFARI TOURS FROM NAIROBI

Explore our multi-day Kenya safari adventures ranging from 2 - 12 days from Nairobi - Africa's safari capital

Salt Lick Safari Lodge in Tsavo West National Park

NAIROBI TO DIANI BEACH SAFARIS

Enjoy a Kenya wildlife safari then finish up your holiday at Kenya’s Diani Beach.

Enjoy your Kenya safaris from Diani beach resorts

DIANI BEACH KENYA SAFARIS

Kenya safaris from beach resorts of Diani - voted Africa's leading beach destination

Large herds of elephants at Amboseli National Park in Kenya

AMBOSELI KENYA SAFARIS

Explore Amboseli - best place to see large herds of free-ranging elephants and scenic views of Mount Kilimanjaro

Kenya Flight safaris from Nairobi by Africa Kenya Safaris

KENYA FLIGHT SAFARIS

Book Kenya flight Safaris and explore Masai Mara, Amboseli, Samburu & Lewa Conservancy.

Hot Air balloon safari at Masai Mara National Reserve

MASAI MARA KENYA SAFARIS

Masai Mara is home of the Great Wildebeest Migration, Big Five of Africa, Big cats, Masai culture etc.

Leopard in Tsavo West National Park

KENYA BEACH TO NAIROBI SAFARIS

Exciting African safaris from the coastal resorts. Shake off the sand and look for some big game excitement

A safari guide in traditional African clothing looking over a plain as the sun sets

KENYA-TANZANIA SAFARIS

Experience wildlife parks, beaches and mountains of Kenya & Tanzania

Experience the best of both worlds - a thrilling Kenya safari and a memorable Diani beach vacation

KENYA SAFARI & DIANI BEACH

Experience the best of both worlds - a thrilling Kenya safari and a dream Diani beach vacation

Giraffe encounters at Nairobi Giraffe Centre

KENYA SHORT GROUP SAFARIS

Join our exciting Kenya short Group safari Tours from Nairobi in 4x4 safari jeeps

Exciting 4x4 Tanzania safaris from Arusha town

TANZANIA SAFARI HOLIDAYS

Book Exciting 4x4 Tanzania safaris from Arusha town. Explore Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Manyara, Tarangire e.t.c.

Zanzibar Beach holidays - Africa Kenya Safaris

ZANZIBAR BEACH HOLIDAYS

Pre/post your African safari holiday in Kenya & Tanzania, 'escape' to Africa's leading beach destination - Zanzibar!

Africa mountain climbing adventures climb mount Kenya and mount Kilimanajaro

MOUNTAIN CLIMBING ADVENTURES

Africa mountain climbing adventure tours. Climb Mount Kenya and Mount Kilimanjaro

Africa beach holiday vacations - Africa Kenya Safaris

EAST AFRICA BEACH HOLIDAYS

Enjoy a deserved holiday on the sandy beaches of Mombasa, Diani, Malindi, Watamu, Lamu & Zanzibar

Bush Lunch - Mara Engai Lodge - Africa Kenya Safaris

HOLIDAY EXPERIENCES

From the amazing wildlife in the vast savannah to beautiful beaches, Kenya & Tanzania are destinations you won’t want to miss on your tour to Africa.

Just call, WhatsApp, email us or fill online enquiry form  and one of our friendly travel advisors will have you on the road to adventure – your own personalized safari.

Safari jeep interior with open top

Questions About Our Tours?

Your Story Begins Here
Contact Us Today and See Where it Takes You

Book This Tour

Personal Information

All fields with an asterisk (*) are required

Tour Information

Help us create your perfect Safari! Tell us about your travel choices, any unique experiences you desire, and upcoming special occasions.

Book This Tour

Personal Information

All fields with an asterisk (*) are required

Tour Information

Help us create your perfect Safari! Tell us about your travel choices, any unique experiences you desire, and upcoming special occasions.

Pay online