Cuisine Culture Food & Drinks

Popular African Traditional Drinks To Enjoy

With many great beverages in Africa, many of us don’t know that we have traditional drinks that have given the continent something to crave for.  These traditional drinks have become a part of our social culture and are popular in every country.

You can order these drinks at some local joints and restaurants. They come with unique tastes and histories. Whether you want to try Karkade, Maas or Palm wine, you would always want to drink more.

We have listed some of these traditional drinks below:


Oshikundu is formulated with pearl millet flour( mahangu), water, pearl millet bran, and sorghum flour. The refreshing non-alcoholic drink is popular in Namibia.  An amount of fermented oshikundu is added to the mixture and allowed to ferment at room temperature.


You can try dawa, a cocktail made with ice, lime juice, honey, and vodka in Kenya. In Swahili, dawa means “medicine.” Dawa has healing properties, which makes it popular among locals. If you have a hangover, you can use the drink, including as an aphrodisiac.


Karkadé is formulated from hibiscus flowers in Sudan and other parts of North Africa. The refreshing traditional drink can be served iced, and you would like the tart/sweet flavour.


In South Africa, Amasi is a fermented drink made with cow’s milk, culture, and enzymes. The milk drink has a thick, creamy texture, but offers this sour, tangy flavour when you taste it. You can enjoy it with pap or bread.  The nutritious drink offers numerous health benefits and is rich in protein and calcium.


Another traditional drink in South Africa is Pinotage, which is a sort of red wine made from a grape variety in South Africa. The wine is fruity with soft tannins. You can sample the drink with stews or grilled meats.


Munkoyo is a Zambian non-alcoholic beverage that comes from maize. You can also find the drink in other parts of Southern Africa. The sweet taste makes the drink popular in most local joints.

Maghrebi Mint Tea

Maghrebi mint tea is made with sugar, mint leaves, and green tea leaves. The popular herbal tea  can be served cold or hot. If you are coming to Algeria or Morocco, don’t forget to try this traditional drink. It offers a sweet and refreshing flavour with numerous health benefits.


Mate can be tasted in different parts of Africa, especially in Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal, and Cameroon.  The tradition infusion comes from yerba mate’s leaves, which is from South America. However, missionaries introduced mate to Africans and its popularity grew.


You can try Boukha in countries like Algeria and Tunisia. The distilled spirit made from figs, is preserved for two years in oak barrels.

Boukha has a sweet, fruity flavour that makes it one of the finest traditional drinks in Africa. It has notes of spices and raisins and can be taken as a cocktail or plainly.

Palm Wine

In many parts of Africa, palm wine is a popular traditional drink that can be served alone or with special delicacies. Made from the sap of palm trees, this drink has become a favourite of both locals and visitors.  The taste is heavenly and leaves you smacking your lips for more.


In Botswana, Jabula has become the people’s favourite. The brewed local drink comes from millet, maize, and sorghum with a light, slightly sweet taste. You do not have to worry about the drink if you do not like alcohol because everyone can drink it.


In Morocco and Algeria, Mazagran, a traditional drink made of coffee will make you want to drink more. Mazagran is formulated as a strong coffee with mint syrup or lemonade and served over ice.  Some people can made the drink with milk and espresso for another unique taste.

Rooibos Tea

People who come to South Africa often taste rooibos tea from local joints. The popular herbal tea comes from rooibos plant’ leaves. It has a slightly sweet, earthy taste and has a reddish colour.

The drink is rich in antioxidants and offers many health benefits like boosting the immune system and reducing inflammation.

Which of these traditional drinks have you tasted? With more traditional drinks available to sample in Africa, you will learn more about how these drinks are made and the history behind them.