Travel journey’s in South Africa are exotic, fascinating, and always breathtakingly beautiful – it’s the stuff that lifelong memories are made of.
Finding a travel memento, souvenir or travel gift to take back and share with friends and loved one's can be a confusing and often a frustrating task.
Here’s a list of brilliant travel gift ideas to help share your South African travel experiences with others back home and guaranteed to keep your African trip of a lifetime in your heart and top of mind.
Wine and Edible Delicacies
Chocolates by Tomes is a handmade and hand-grown South African chocolate producer of note. Pop into their V & A Waterfront store and select a bespoke box of African produced chocolates from the Western Cape’s beautiful Mother city. Or enjoy your own special pillow treat from us, with love from De Bergkant Lodge.
Traveling light? A packet of traditional or pre-mixed South African cooking spices are a light-weight travel gift which will bring back memories for many meals to come and keep you inspired and creative in the kitchen. If you can’t find any spices that appeal, pop into the nearest liquor store and pick up a bottle of Amarula, it’s a creamy aperitif made from the Marula tree fruit – elephants love them too!
Biltong is a traditional South African snack of spiced and dried steak and boerewors sausage. In South Africa it is easy to find a local biltong supplier or pop into the local butchery. A special biltong slicer makes a great addition to a gift pack. If you prefer to give a vegan or vegetarian gift then you are sure to fall in love with our famous Prince Albert Olive Oil.
Perhaps you got to taste a sip of traditional African beer while visiting a cultural village? Take back the brewing recipe handed down by word of mouth by your local guide or keep an eye out for your own DIY beer brewing kit, also available at Duty Free shops at South African international airports.
Witblitz is another home-made local Brandy-style drink made from grapes, usually by using leftovers from the winery. Prince Albert’s local Fransie Pienaar Museum still houses an original distillery and gives demonstrations on the process of how Witblitz is traditionally made.
South Africa produces local and export quality wines easily accessible from just about anywhere in the country. Most wine estates and wine stores will ship boxes of wine direct to your home on your behalf.
Arts & Crafts & Beautiful Things
The African arts and craft industry is a thriving entrepreneurial platform where one’s personal tastes come into play and where many small, affordable keepsakes can be found. Choose from wooden carved bowls and salad spoons to intricately carved wildlife statues and dramatic colorfully-beaded jewelry.
World-renown Avoova plays a role in uplifting the local Prince Albert community with training and the production of intricately designed objects d’Art decorated with shards of beautiful creamy coloured ostrich shell. Find examples of their functional art pieces in every bathroom and bedroom @ De Bergkant Lodge. The factory and local gift shop is situated down the road from De Bergkant Lodge and we can point you in the right direction; alternatively visit www.avoova.com to see their other flagship stores in South Africa.
Another locally-based artist is photographer Louis Botha who exhibits his photographic books, framed artworks and postcards for sale @ De Bergkant Lodge, which offer a forever keepsake of the people and landscapes of the Karoo.
Rhythm and Beat
Music has powered people down the centuries and Africa has its own unique set of home-made yet simple instruments to keep an African beat drumming through your heart. Choose from hand-carved xylophones to handy-sized Djembe drums.
Alternatively, listen to the local radio station’s hit list and pick up a CD of their local soundtracks. Some traditional favorites over the years have been Johnny Clegg and Miriam Makeba but many young upcoming traditional musicians are charting a path for themselves too.
Monopoly is a global game played all over the world; pick up a local version and revisit South African streets and towns by a roll of a dice!
Another favorite gift idea is a hand-carved stone chess board and chess pieces which will last for many years and can be passed down through the generations to avid chess enthusiasts.
Books & Movies
Nelson Mandela is intrinsically linked to the past and the future of South Africa through his political career powered by his humanitarian spirit. Learn more about his personal journey of life and politics with his biography Long Walk to Freedom.
A DVD of the movie 'Out of Africa' is a wonderful memento of Africa, especially if you are traveling on safari. Younger generations will related to the more recently produced South African film offerings such as 'District 6' and 'Tsotsi'.
For lovers of a glossy look-book read, give a magazine subscription to the locally produced Getaway magazine with travel highlights and information from around South Africa.
Even if we aren't yet ready to travel, just having the right gear can be an exciting start to the journey. Gift yourself or others with handy travel gear essentials such as binoculars, camping head lamps, an authentic safari pith helmet, or a set of ‘walkie talkie’ radios. Visit local adventure and outdoor store and get some ideas of must-have items to purchase for your next adventure holiday in the Karoo.