3 Stunning Sundowner Recipes from Safari to You

Written by Thomson Safaris

sunset and acacia trees in serengeti tanzania

When daylight edges into dusk, it’s time for a longstanding safari tradition: the sundowner! A sundowner is simply a drink taken at sunset. Usually, it’s alcoholic.

The first sundowners were made with tonic because it contained quinine, which staved off malaria; the gin made it taste better. For modern safarigoers, the drink is purely for fun!

Are sundowners served on Thomson safaris?

Yes! Every evening, Thomson guests can wash away the heat of the day with a sundowner in their camp’s comfortable lounge tent, by the campfire or on their private veranda. At Gibb’s Farm, you can ask for one while you find a comfortable spot to relax among the lodge’s luscious hills.

From Tanzania to you, here are three of our favorite safari sundowners!


Tangawizi Twist

 tangawizi twist cocktailThis tasty ginger drink comes straight from the kitchen at our favorite eco-lodge, Gibb’s Farm. Gibb’s is known as a sanctuary for the senses, and we like to think this drink embodies that same spirit of comfort, harmony and serenity.

While the recipe calls for a splash of the Tanzanian ginger beer Tangawizi, you can use any ginger beer you like.


    • Tangawizi (or your favorite ginger beer)
    • Your favorite tequila
    • Lemon
    • Lime
    • (Optional) fresh mint sprigs


    1. Fill a highball glass with ice.
    2. Add two shots of tequila.
    3. Squeeze fresh lemon or lime over the drink, and optionally add a fresh mint sprig.
    4. Top with a splash of ginger beer.
    5. Stir and garnish with a slice of fresh lemon or lime.


Cranberry Orange Thyme Gin & Tonic

gin and tonic with cranberriesThis recipe expands upon the original sundowner–the gin & tonic–with tart cranberries and sugar. It’s a crowd-pleasing combo that is known among our colleagues to bring back memories of Serengeti sunsets with just one sip…and the next…and the next…


    • 1 orange
    • ¼ cup fresh cranberries (plus more for garnish)
    • 3 small sprigs of thyme
    • 1 tsp sugar (or 1 oz simple syrup)
    • 5 ounces gin
    • Tonic water
    • Ice (optional)


    1. Cut a 2-inch strip of rind off the orange and set aside. Juice one half of the remaining orange and set aside.
    2. In a cocktail shaker, add the orange rind, fresh cranberries, sugar or simple syrup and leaves from 1 sprig of thyme. Muddle together.
    3. Add the gin and fresh orange juice, cover and shake.
    4. Pour the mixture over a cocktail glace with optional ice. Top with tonic water. Garnish with the remaining 2 sprigs of thyme and a few fresh cranberries.


Rock Shandy

rock shandy recipeYour new poolside companion, rock shandy is a citrusy safari drink that offers refreshment almost completely without alcohol–a negligible amount comes from the bitters.  This still should not be served to anyone who shouldn’t drink alcohol. Make a pitcher, and if you want a little punch, add a shot of vodka!


    • 4 ounces soda water, or sparkling mineral water
    • 4 ounces lemonade
    • ¼ to ½ teaspoons aromatic bitters
    • 1 slice lemon, for garnish


    1. Fill a highball glass with ice.
    2. Pour the soda water and lemonade into the glass, add the bitters and mix.
    3. Garnish with a fresh lemon slice and enjoy!