No matter where you live, these typically South African souvenirs will remind you of the beautiful Rainbow Nation every now and then.
From intricately-carved sculptures and regional African masks to wall art and animal miniatures, wood art is a hit with tourists. You will find craftsmen selling wooden animal figurines including the Big 5 on the roadside in towns especially around Kruger. Even in cities such as Johannesburg and Cape Town, you will find many wooden artworks and home décor products.
Leather shoes, crocodile belts, and kudu jackets—you can never go wrong with leather products in South Africa. For fine and genuine goods, go to a local designer store.
South Africa takes prides in its superior wines—some consumers even consider them better than French. Get a bottle or two of the famous wines such as Stellenbosch, Rupert & Rothschild, or Meerlust. You will often encounter a liqueur called Amarula, which is made from fruits of marula tree in wine shops—this sweet and creamy spirit is special to South Africa and makes for a great souvenir.
What beef jerky is to America, Biltong is to South Africa. Centuries ago, natives started preserving meat by cutting it into strips, salting it, and hanging it to dry. When the Dutch arrived, they added vinegar and spices to the mix. Today, this nutritious and delicious dried snack is available in different meats such as beef, chicken, kudu, wildebeest, and ostrich.
Anything that’s beaded is a South African trademark. A legacy of local tribes, beaded jewellery and artwork have always been significant to different cultures in the country, and craftsmen and women still painstakingly make them with hands. Colourful and vibrant costumes, accessories, collars, and home décor products are local and tourist favourites, and are readily available in markets and shops.