On our Cape Town Township Tours you can get to know Umqombothi, the traditional Xhosa beer from South Africa. The beer has a high priority in the Xhosa culture and is brewed for all rituals and ceremonies. Umqombothi is the word for beer in isiXhosa and is a traditional beer of the Xhosa. Today, it still has its integral part within the ancient Xhosa culture.

Umqombothi - Information - Cape Town Town Township Tours

South Africa Travel Trips

Umqombothi Township Tours

Umqombothi plays a central role within the cultural as well as spiritual aspect of the Xhosa by making contact with the ancestors. To honor the ancestors, people drink from the beer, without headgear, while kneeling. The drink is passed around from one person to the next, sharing and drinking from the same container. The host always drinks first to show that it is not poisoned and then enjoyed at weddings, funerals and traditional festivals as well.

Germany take note! This beer was brewed long before beer was brewed in the western culture. The ancient rituals are still an integral part of the Xhosa culture and also omnipresent in the township of Langa.

Xhosa click language

The Xhosa speak the click language isiXhosa. Also the word "Umqombothi" contains a click when in the Q's place. So you pronounce the Q as a click. At the boy's initiation "Abakwetha", boys turn into men when they return. In "Abakwetha" the young men are allowed to drink water for 8 days and eat only corn paste. After this time has passed they will come back dressed as an Xhosa warrior. Painted white in the face and wrapped in traditional clothing with a blanket and a stick in his hand. At this very important festival "Umqombothi" is drunk for the first time.

No question - tourists need to get used to the beer’s taste, but visiting a South African pub is an important part of any township tour.

We also like to combine a private tours with sightseeing, a wine tour or a visit to Table Mountain.

We look forward to hear from you regarding the booking of a tour for you!

Your Township Tours Team



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