Our friends at Wild Survivors (an organization that harnesses the power of bees to help prevent elephant poaching) shared this Tanzanian cocktail recipe. Dawa is the Swahili word for medicine. The medicinal reference may be to the vodka with a history dating back to the 16th century in which a Russian botanist asserted that vodka could serve "to increase fertility and awaken lust", or to the honey which has been used for more than 8000 years as a wound healing agent and antibiotic. Either way, it is quite fitting that this spirited cocktail is served to guests on Safari and serves as another way for Tanzanians to share the importance of bees in the survival of elephants. Bees have become the harbinger of people and elephants co-existing peacefully. Elephants trample crops and disrupt human food security. By empowering farmers to protect their land and livelihoods from the devastating destruction of elephants with another of nature's marvelous creatures, elephants stand a chance at avoiding extinction. Bee colonies deter the mighty tembo from wandering off the path on the way to the watering hole at the Ngorongoro Crater by invading the soft and sensitive fleshy areas around an elephant's eyes, mouth, and trunk. Just the sight and sound of African bees swarming is often enough of a deterrent to keep the pachyderm from straying off its well-worn course. What a sweet cocktail and a happy outlook to the human-elephant conflict this story is!
cuisine Tanzanian
difficulty Easy
season Year Round
serves 1


  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3 lime wheels, 1/4" slices
  • Sparkling water
  • Ice cubes


  1. Place the vodka and the lime juice in a tall glass and stir.
  2. Add the ice cubes and tuck the lime wheels along the interior of the glass. 
  3. Drizzle the honey around the glass making certain it drips to the different levels.
  4. Top with sparkling water.