Did you know?
Legend says the word Mampoer is derived from Mampuru, the name of a Bapedi chief.
Mampoer tours are a fun way of experiencing local culture and the age-old tradition of home-brewed liquor.
Nineteenth century Cape colonists routinely distilled brandy from the bi-products of their wine industry. When Afrikaner pioneers left the Cape and trekked north they lost their access to grapes but not their desire for a strong drink at the end of a long day.
The pioneers experimented with a variety of regionally available fruits and wild berries, and a powerful alcoholic drink (it seldom has an alcohol content of less than 50%) called Mampoer was born. In addition to Mapoer’s recreational benefits, its ‘medicinal’ qualities were prized.
Novelist Herman Charles Bosman has forever linked Mampoer with the tiny hamlet of Groot Marico in the North West Province, but you’ll find Mampoer distilleries to tour from Pretoria to Prieska.
The Marico tourism office runs a tour, which includes up to 3 farm visits, and Mampoer tasting sessions, after which you may never be quite sober again.
In the Magaliesberg, the Monate Sitruskelder (citrus cellar) makes 23 Mampoers. Their flagship Mampoer is called Adoons (a colloquial term for a baboon), and you can taste fruit liqueurs, brandy and alcoholic fruit beverages. May we suggest a designated driver, or a night in one of the areas guesthouses?
When next you’re in Plettenberg Bay, Nyati Distillery JJJ, based at the Buffalo Hills Private Game Reserve, offers distillery tours and a Mampoer called Jack’s Jungle Juice, with a potency-rating (60%) equivalent to a charging nyati (buffalo).
Wherever fruit is grown in South Africa, you’re bound to find a local Mampoer distillery to tour. Klerksdorp museum make a karee-berry Mampoer; Willem Prinsloo Agricultural Museum near Cullinan hosts Mampoer-making demonstrations and annual Mampoer festival. Prince Albert in the Swartland, Oudtshoorn, and Philippolis are all-renowned for their Mampoer.
Mampoer tours aren’t only about alcohol. The real fun is deciphering the cryptic and crazy local names given to the brews, and participating in off-the-wall activities like bokdrol spoeg - a competition which involves spitting Mampoer-soaked kudu droppings.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
North West Province
Tel: +27 (0)12 258 0712
Tel: +27 083 272 2958
Tel: +27 18 291 1354
Buffalo Hills Game Reserve & Lodges
Tel: +27 (0)44 535 9739
Oudtshoorn Tourism Bureau
Tel: +27 (0)44 279 2532
Prince Albert Tourism Association
Tel: +27 (0)23 541 1366
(Kleinplasie Open Air Museum)
Tel: +27(0) 23 342 6244
Mobile: +27(0)76 200 8742
Willem Prinsloo Agricultural Museum
Mobile: +27 (0)76 054 5229
Philippolis, Free State
Tel: +27 (0)51 773 0052