Posted: 12/9/2009
Title: DRINKING IN AFRICA

Blog:                                                                                                                         

         I vividly remember 'Sundowners' in the Kapama Private Game Reserve in Mpumalanga a couple of years ago, when we stopped the jeep by a watering hole as the sun went down and the animals came for their evening drink and a chat with each other.

        The guide opened the picnic hamper and we ate dried meats and drank champagne, beers, spirits, fruit juices and water, with one ranger holding his high powered rifle in case the lions, rhinos etc. wanted a taste of human beings.

        Earlier this week I was in the vaste ICC Cape Town Convention Centre where loads of tour operators were meeting to learn how they can screw the world's soccer fans with expensive packages. Starting at 5 days they include a guaranteed match ticket for an opening round match, plus a room, breakfast and bus transportation.  I tried to ask questions but was definitely not welcome, so drank some of their wine and had some of their lunch and left for next door.

       The next room was a presentation from the Namibian Tourist Office, a vaste land to the north-west of South Africa. I once flew over it but I have never been there and would like to do so one day. There are daily flights from Cape Town and Johannesburg to Windhoek the capital and also long distance flights from Frankfurt and Amsterdam.  I received a very warm welcome, particularly at the booth of Camelthorn Brewing Company and their CEO Jorg Finkeldey. With a German family background he has opened a brewery in Windhoek www.camelthornbrewing.com. One street in the capital is called Frankie Fredericks Boulevard after the world record sprinter, world champion at 200m and Olympic silver medalist at 100m and 200m.

        Jorg and his American born young sons Miko and Max and wife Ulla own the brewery. He has also helped start micro breweries in Upsala, Sweden, Costa Rica and Noumea, New Caledonia.  Camelthorn is a native Namibian tree with deep roots that can flourish in the drought. I enjoyed his American red ales, Bavarian weissbier and other craft beers.

      I tried a number of sample of his brews and also some products of the Raith Family bakery, 60 years old, such as rye breads. There was also a varied selection of dried meats which last for ages. bockwurst, blutwurst, landjager, game salami,-kudu and oryx dried meats, dauerwurst, fleisch wurste,jugalwurste, plus kudu biltong and boerwors.

     Earlier I had taken a liking to some South African ciders such as Savannah and various Cape wines which you can sample in Stellenbosch, Paarl, Constantia and other wine growing areas.

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