Luxury Christmas Gifts for Africa Aficionados
A variety of African safari lodges have boutiques selling gorgeous, locally made gifts. Others can direct you to local artisans where you can buy handmade crafts straight from the workshops. Many of your purchases will benefit communities and wildlife so if you are looking for Christmas inspiration, here are some of our favourites.
Singita Handcrafted Wire Chargers – from £45 each
A common talking point amongst Singita guests across its 12 lodges and camps are the spectacular table settings at each meal. Taking pride of place are exquisitely hand-crafted wire underplates, expertly created by a group of Zulu weavers in Durban, South Africa. These talented ladies work with Singita’s designers to develop unique patterns, complementary to the design of the particular camp, which are then interpreted by local artisans who create these striking, handmade plates.
Singita table accessories are manufactured to the highest quality standards, are eco-friendly and fairly traded, ensuring sustainable incomes for more than 350 home-based craft producers in four different communities. The tableware line also includes napkin rings, bread baskets, and drinks coasters. Available in Singita lodge boutiques or alternatively contact Singita direct to ship to the UK: email@example.com
Tumbled Glass Pendant – from £90
Katundu bespoke lighting range is 100% handmade on Likoma Island, on the shores of Lake Malawi. The designs are seen inside the sumptuous interiors of Kaya Mawa and Ndomo Point House. Working mostly with recycled materials, Katundu’s lights are made from disposed glass bottles or glass industry off-cuts. Tumbled on site and hand wrapped in copper wire these lights will surely brighten up your home. Katundu also create lighting from grey seeds, coconut shells and recycled copper. Each piece can be ordered bespoke to your exact size and colour preference, from statement multi-tiered chandeliers to elegant pendant lights and table lamp shades. See the range of designs at Katundu
Africa Geographic Yearbook 2017 – $57 / £42 including UK delivery
The Yearbook is a must-have for any African wildlife, landscape and culture lover. Celebrating the sheer beauty and diversity of Africa, this elegant edition showcases the best images from the past year, including the overall and main category winners and best entries in Africa Geographic’s prestigious Photographer of the Year competition. Pre-order your very own copy which will be ready for worldwide delivery in November – don’t delay too long, 2015 and 2016 editions both sold out.
Babylonstoren Wine from £11 plus P&P
Babylonstoren wines are produced in a state-of-the-art winery and are made to showcase the soils and climate where its grapes are grown. The vineyard has 72 hectares (178 acres) under vine and produces 13 different grape varieties with their highest vines – pinot noir and chardonnay – lying against Simonsberg at some 600 metres above sea level. Babylonstoren also has a range of locally grown organic gourmet foods, kitchenware, homewares and gardening gifts in the Babylonstoren online shop.
Singita Growing to READ Craft Crates – £35
In an attempt to address the importance of early childhood development, Singita has been working in partnership with the non-profit organisation READ Educational Trust to enhance the quality of education offered by the pre-schools that serve the villages near Singita Sabi Sand in South Africa.
To support this initiative you could purchase a “Craft Crate” which will be delivered to one of 20 local pre-schools in the nearby villages of Justicia and Lillydale. Each crate costs £35 and goes to a teacher who will use the contents to enhance the education process for their class. As a symbol of Singita’s appreciation you will receive a photograph of the crate being received by the school. The Singita Craft crates email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Maa Trust Honey Project, Masai Mara – from $100 / £70
With bee numbers across the world plummeting we particularly like this initiative in Kenya. The Maa Trust Honey project combines the conservation need to support African bees with the need for sustainable income generation. The hives are owned by women’s groups who help with the harvesting and bottling of their golden nectar which is then sold to camps across the Masai Mara.
Beekeeping is a great investment opportunity for women in the Mara and enables them to earn an income from the area’s wildlife of the insect kind. In order to be able to cover the running costs of the project without subtracting from the ladies’ profits the trust is looking for people to partner with a women’s group and cover 50% of the cost of a beehive. The group covers the other 50%. $100: Buys 50% of a beehive. Further info on Asilia Africa’s community projects
Original fine art paintings and sculpture of African wildlife and culture – paintings from £395, sculptures from £750
Having lived and worked in Africa for many years and with a true understanding of the bush, Julia’s paintings evoke a real sense of the rhythms, shapes and colours of Africa and its wildlife. Working from life and her own sketches, which, she says, are often a mass of energetic lines and vibrant shading, her subjects are portrayed as if ‘caught in a glance’, unaware that she is there. Watercolour is her favourite medium but she will often use charcoal, ink, mixed media or whatever is necessary to express the fluidity of movement. She has been short-listed for the David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year for the last four years.
Now based in Hampshire, Julia’s paintings and sculptures are exhibited in the UK and abroad, with her work being found in private collections around the world. Following the publication of her book ‘How to capture movement in your paintings’ in 1996, she was invited to teach, initially on painting safaris to Zimbabwe, and now on holidays to Zambia, Spain and Greece. Julia also runs art courses and workshops from her studio at home. Julia Cassels
AYA – from £665
Chirundu Bangle – Ruby £2,385, Twa earrings – Ruby £3,000, Lupata Bracelet – Ruby £1,480, Mana Bracelet – Ruby £890
AYA is an exclusive jewellery range that captures the beauty of Africa through its rare and precious gemstones and exquisite African craftsmanship. Owned by Chelsy Davy, the daughter of the family that owns Anabezi Camp. The collection of unique 18-karat solid gold pieces captures the essence of Africa, with each piece telling its own story. From emeralds in Zambia, to rubies in Mozambique and tanzanites in Tanzania, every gemstone has been sourced through ethical mining. AYA is also committed to improving the quality and accessibility of schooling in the local communities, which means that as one wears a piece of the collection, it possesses more than a radiant beauty, but has a bigger tale to tell. AYA online shop
Rhinos Without Borders – from £10
Fund a rhino’s safe passage to the Okavango Delta, Botswana
Great Plains Conservation, alongside industry partner &Beyond, has committed to undertake a relocation of rhinos on a magnitude never done before – to relocate 100 rhino from South Africa to safe havens in Botswana. Since the project began, they have moved 37 rhino and their dedicated rhino monitoring team has reported the birth of five calves in their new home. Due to of the generosity of individuals, the tourism industry, and partners they are over half-way to their goal of raising funds to move 100 rhino.
About Africa by Harry Hook – £54 incl UK delivery
In 2017 Harry was awarded the Royal Geographical Society’s prestigious Cherry Kearton Medal and Award for “original documentation of Africa through photography”.
Over the course of a lifetime taking photographs, Harry Hook tells the epic visual story of Africa’s urban migration. From pristine wildernesses to the heart of the continent’s expanding cities, this unusual collection of images covers a vast span of places and people and shines fresh light on Africa past and present. For more information, images and to buy visit AboutAfricaBook
Harry will be talking about his travels at ‘Books at the Barn’ near Andover, Hampshire. R.S.V.P. client tickets.
David Yarrow limited edition prints start from £8,000 + VAT
Yarrow’s evocative and immersive photography of life on earth is most distinctive and it has earned him an ever growing following amongst art collectors. His large monochrome images made in Los Angeles are on display in many leading galleries and museums across Europe and North America and his work is also a regular feature at established art fairs. By the spring of 2017, he had firmly established himself as one of the bestselling fine art photographers in the world, with the limited edition prints (just 12 in an edition) regularly selling at over $30,000 a piece and his well-received recent work is now priced even higher. Limited edition archival pigment prints in monochrome and colour. All prints are made to order in two sizes. Each print is signed, dated and numbered by David on the front. David Yarrow Photography
Cheeky hippo bronze and glass round dining table – £14,995
For over 25 years Mark has operated from his workshop in his Scottish homeland. Mark has been inspired during his travels around the world especially his visits to Africa where he has viewed animals in the wild and on nature reserves, forming the basis for many of his best-selling pieces. Each sculptured bronze table design is an original handmade piece within a total of 99. The collectable nature of these limited edition tables has resulted in placements all around the world, including some customers famous in the media, sporting and political worlds. Custom designs to order. Mark Stoddart
Round Tablecloths – handpainted by local artists – from $145
Tribal Textiles mix traditional African art with contemporary designs, drawing inspiration from the stunning Zambian wildlife and surroundings. Each piece is drawn and painted by local Zambian men and women in a rich palette of hand-mixed colours, providing jobs in an area where employment is scarce. Available in more than twenty countries worldwide and include table and bed linen, cushion covers, wall-hangings, a kids’ range and a selection of t-shirts, bags and accessories. Tribal Textiles also offer you the chance to go on a safari with a difference. Join the Tribal headquarters and work side by side with our highly experienced and friendly team of artists amidst the buzz of our industrious outdoor workshop in in a textile painting workshop class. Tribal Textiles
Fari Tree Candelabra’s – sterling silver candelabras start from £7,150
Marrying intricate craftsmanship with an intrepid family heritage, the Mavros’ have not only designed some of the most extraordinary creations in Africa but have also created around them an environment just as magical and bold. At home, the workshops, the family homestead, the wildlife sanctuary and the studio are all built to form a small village on the family estate in the wild hills outside Harare in Zimbabwe. Patrick Mavros designs jewellery, ottomans, silverware; object’s D’Art, table lamps, cuff links, belts, sculptures, wine coasters, and dining tableware including these African savannah inspired silver acacia tree candelabras, as seen here grouped with giraffe sculptures to create an awe-inspiring centrepiece. Patrick Mavros