Tour of little delicacies in and around Swakopmund - Namibia Safari and Lodges - Gondwana Collection

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Tour of little delicacies in and around Swakopmund

Avatar of inke inke - 03. May 2019 - Tourism

Coffee isn’t just coffee. This is what visitors to the coffee roastery are bound to find out. Preparation plays an important role and also determines the taste of the drink.

Dirk Heinrich

It is early afternoon and we are about to set out on a West Coast Bites & Brews tour to get acquainted with products made by local companies in and around Swakopmund. Right on time a tour guide from Charly's Desert Tours meets us at The Delight Hotel Swakopmund, which is part of the Gondwana Collection Namibia.

Local products are trendy, sustainable, creative and fun – says Gerald Kolb, the owner of Charly's Desert Tours. When you join one of his West Coast Bites and Brews tours you will visit companies which grow and produce a variety of products on nearby small settlements and in Swakopmund.

Olives and vegetables grow just a few kilometres out of Swakopmund, along the banks of the seasonal Swakop River. Participants in West Coast Bites and Brews tours not only learn about olive cultivation, harvesting and processing in the Namib Desert and in close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, but are also invited to taste the various products, all of which are for sale. Cut flowers are grown along with the vegetables and olive trees.

Various types of olives are used to produce olive oil and to preserve these world-famous fruits in brine. According to experts, climatic conditions in the Namib Desert and the proximity to the Atlantic Ocean contribute to the special taste of the olive products.

The next stop is a small settlement where oils are cold pressed, including oil extracted from the kernels of !Nara (Acanthosicyos horridus), the wild melon of the Namib Desert. Jojoba nuts (Simmondsia chinensis) have been planted on-site and their precious oil finds its way to the cosmetics industry in Germany. Kernels of the Tsamma or Kalahari melon (Citrullus ecirrhosus) and nuts of the Mongongo tree (Schinziophyton rautenenii), also known as the Manketti tree, are cold-pressed here as well and used for cosmetic products.

Now we return to Swakopmund to visit a coffee roastery where the aromatic drink is brewed in special ways which bring out the different flavours. To tickle the palate even more and enhance the coffee savouring experience, delicacies from the bistro are served. Some of them are produced and delivered by Swakopmunders and dressed on-site.

From coffee the tour moves on to beer. During the tasting at the boutique brewery some participants find the various types of craft beer so appealing that they instantly stock up on bottles of the special desert brew to take home as a souvenir or to enjoy on the remainder of their trip.

The boutique brewery brews and bottles five different craft beers. The bottles are labelled and packaged by hand. It is the hobby of two men turned into a small company.

The company next to the brewery distils gin with a touch of Namibia. The gin variants infused with !Nara melon or a specific algae found on the coast of Swakopmund or with baobab even make experts sit up and take notice. The extraordinary flavours are the result of altogether 14 Namibian ingredients, four of which are endemic. The gin is presented in beautiful bottles. The tasting wraps up this unique excursion of Charly's Desert Tours, which gives visitors an unforgettable insight into the companies of the coastal town and their diverse products.

Following the numerous adventure tours that are offered in the morning, this one is a highlight in the program and a special finale for anyone interested in a different kind of activity. We were introduced to some production facilities that few of the participants knew about and surprised even the local ones.

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Du P Calitz

06. May 2019

Namib Dunes Craft Beer

Would love to see the locally produced craft beer sold at the Gondwana collection.

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