29 November 2017

Santa Safari: Christmas Gifts for Travellers to Africa

With the festive season fast approaching, we’d like to share with you our top gift suggestions. Whether the recipient is a seasoned safari-goer or a first-timer, our safari-themed gift ideas are sure to be a hit this vacation season:

#1. FOSTER AN ELEPHANT

This is the perfect gift for all ages, and perhaps even more importantly, it gives an elephant a better quality of life. At Yellow Zebra, we have now arranged more than 90 adoptions of elephants with the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust on behalf of our clients, and we can arrange for you to foster an elephant too. As well as helping an orphan become rehabilitated, fostering an elephant also gains you entry into the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, where you can meet the elephants that you are helping to support.

To learn more, visit The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

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#2. Photograohy Equipment

This varies from photographer to photographer, so it’s best to check with the individual! One piece of equipment we recommend is a GoPro.

For more expert advice, check out our interview with renowned photographers Will Burrard-Lucas and Marc Muench, asking for their opinion on the best photography equipment to take on an African safari.

#3. THE RIGHT-SIZED BAG

Finding the perfect bag to take to Africa can be very tricky. Weight and size restrictions within Africa are much more limiting than international allowance/bag type. Because of that, we are great fans of The North Face’s Base Camp Duffel Medium (available direct from The North Face, or from Amazon) as well as L.L.Bean’s Medium Adventure Duffle, as they are soft, easy to carry and a good size for a vacation. If you need more information on the exact dimensions and weight-restrictions, take a look at our guide on luggage limitations

#4. Childrens Books & #5. Books for Adults

In between morning and afternoon game drives or during post-safari beach break, there will always be some time to catch up on some reading. For children headed on safari, we recommend Dan Kainen and Carol Kaufmann’s Safari: A Photicular Book. While for any first-timer on safari, Peter Allison’s Whatever You Do, Don’t Run: True Tales of a Botswana Safari Guide is a great choice! From classic novels to essential field guides, we’ve listed a few other books that we recommend you take on a safari to Africa.

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#6. BRACELETS AND CUFFLINKS

Project Playground, a non-profit organisation aiming to improve the life opportunities of children in South Africa, has just released a collection of bracelets and cufflinks, which are perfect Christmas and year-round gifts.

#7. TRAVEL JOURNAL

This can be as simple or as elaborate as you see fit - a personalised journal would be a nice touch!

#8. A NEW NEUTRAL-COLOURED WARDROBE

For more advice on a safari packing list, check out our in-depth guide, but a safe bet would be neutral clothing suitable for chilly evenings, for example a fleece. If you are planning on going on safari during Christmas, we suggest visiting the camp or lodge’s boutique as many will have a wide range of cosy fleeces there.

Also, a wide-brimmed hat, a scarf (useful for chilly mornings or dressing up a bit in the evenings – handy for blocking out the sun, too, or keeping out the dust), a headtorch, needed for when the sun goes down, and walking shoes – something comfortable is all that is required, but do bear in mind it can get quite dusty on safari!

For a neutral-coloured wardrobe, try online safari clothing companies such as The Safari Store. Use the discount code "yellowzebra" when you check out for 10% off most products at The Safari Store.

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#9. TRAVEL WASH BAG

Travel wash bags are a great stocking stuffer and perfect for the essentials. A personalised bag is sure to be a hit!

#10. PLAYING CARDS

Many camps and lodges will have a set of their own, but just in case and for when there’s a bit of downtime, we think these playing cards could be real fun!

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#11. BINOCULARS

For a first safari, you would need a magnification of between 8x and 10x – remembering that the more you zoom, the shakier the view becomes – and 32–42mm objective lenses (the bigger, the better!). So ideally 10 x 42. Binos from Nikon, Zeiss and Swarovski are all trusted brands with exceptional optics.

#12. Experiences

There are many ways to make someone’s safari extra special, whether it’s a hot air balloon ride, a night drive, a walking safari, or spa treatments. Contact us at Yellow Zebra directly and we’ll happily add an experience to your loved one’s safari. For inspiration, check out some of our experiences below: