Did you know?
Khuwana Tavern sells more beer than any other pub in the country.
Khuwana is an African word meaning beer pot and one could not hope for a better name for South Africa's biggest single outlet of beer, the Khuwana Tavern just north of Pretoria.
Located in Mandela Village, a sprawling jigsaw of informal settlements and tribal communities, this Pretoria tavern is the brainchild of former Mozambican farmer Wilson Vuma, who turned a rundown Pretoria shebeen in to one of the prime pubs in the country.
Vuma, who bears more than a passing resemblance to flamboyant boxing promoter Don King, fled the turmoil of war-ravaged Mozambique in the late 1970s, coming down south to find work. After a series of odd jobs, he had scrounged together enough cash to invest in a dilapidated shebeen and the Khuwana Tavern was born.
But as political change swept through South Africa in the 1990s, the fortunes of the country's informal shebeens waned as black South Africans, freed from restrictions, flocked to upmarket venues in the cities. Vuma, however, was quick to spot the gap in the market.
‘Shebeens,' he explains, ‘were seen as lowbrow venues, appealing to the cheapest clientele. Business declined and I had a choice: close the tavern or reinvent it as a place that combined the best of the informal shebeen vibe with the class and quality of more upmarket pubs."
And he did just that, bucking the trend and creating one of the most popular drinking holes in the country, as famed for its food as it is for its beer: the Mozambican peri-peri chicken, done over an open flame, are easily the best in the country - and very cheap too.
Unforgettable too, are the erotic, 3-D murals, created by Vuma's cousin Vasco, that adorn the tavern's walls.
The Khuwana Tavern cooks, especially over weekends when live music performances take place. Go with a tour guide, or a big group, then let your hair down and try gumboot dancing.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Phone: +27 (0)12 711 1208
Kwalata Game Lodge
Phone: +27 (0)12 711 8200.