SANTA ON SAFARI
Safari Gifts for the Holiday Season
However you celebrate the holiday season, it is a time of kinship and giving.
Unlike the rewarding feeling of contentment and compassion instilled by presenting your loved ones with a wonderfully-wrapped present that induces a beaming smile, shopping for such gifts can be head-scratchingly frustrating.
Fortunately, we’re here to help. With our decades of extensive travel and safari experience, we have discovered a collection of items that, though perhaps not always essential, make any adventure a great deal easier. From generous presents to stocking fillers, we have compiled a collection of safari gifts to suit every traveler and any budget.
Although curated for safaris, these gifts are equally as suited to travelers of all kinds and even simply for lovers of the great outdoors.
Find inspiration with our sack of holiday season safari gifts:
- Vuori Activewear
- Swarovski Binoculars
- Nikon Cameras
- LARQ Water-Purifying Bottle
- Monos Packing Cubes
- Blissy Silk Eye Mask
- Ceptics World Travel Adaptor
- Patagonia Backpack
- Brixton Safari Hat
- Apple iPad Air
- PowerTraveller Solar Adventurer Charger
Activewear has long left the yoga studio and is now the go-to apparel for street, sand and safari. Long gone too is activewear’s adherence to tight-fitting lycra and revealing crop tops, now incorporating sweaters and jogging pants, buttoned shirts, looser garments and even snug winter jackets. Vuori creates products for the active and adventurous, but that is equally applicable to sexagenarian travelers as it is to gym junkies.
Wonderfully comfortable and of superb quality, Vuori apparel is light and compact, layerable and provides a wide range of applications, from long-haul flights to city walks and game drives. Don’t let the dashing twentysomething models dissuade you – Vuori is for everyone.
Added to this, Vuori is a company with a conscience. Materials are sourced ethically and sustainability is a strong consideration throughout their range.
The gold standard in ocular assistance, Swarovski leads the world in binoculars. Their high-grade crystal lenses surpass almost any other brand and, even with the same level of magnification, your view is noticeably and profoundly clearer with Swarovski.
Swarovski has become the preferred choice of rangers and guides across the planet, and many African safari guides have adopted them. Whilst you may think that any pair of binoculars will do, trying Swarovski for the first time, you will immediately understand just how wrong that assumption is. Not only do they provide crystal-clear vision during the day, they also work spectacularly well in low-light or overcast conditions, making them a winning choice for game drives, which often happen as the sun is rising or at the other end of the day and on into the night.
For optimal game viewing, we would recommend 10×45 magnification, but the more compact 8×32 or 8×25 options are more convenient to travel with while still providing excellent magnification. An added bonus is Swarovski’s VPA 2 variable phone adapter, which turns your binoculars into a telephoto lens for your phone.
Nikon has long been an industry leader in the realm of photography, and with the digital age upon us, they have remained one of the best in the business.
A camera is a dream safari gift for anyone venturing to Africa in 2024, but equally as cherished for any vacation, event or outdoor exploration. With their myriad dials and settings, cameras can be a little daunting to the inexperienced, but even the most professional models feature fully-automatic settings, and Nikon’s intuitive design makes its range wonderfully accessible.
For beginners, a point-and-shoot model such as the CoolPix P950 provides plenty of zoom power and the option of interchangeable lenses with the addition of digital zoom, which doubles the distance. It’s also incredibly easy to use – it’s not called a point-and-shoot for nothing! Despite this, there are numerous technical capabilities behind the lens cap, and the P950 is bursting with features.
For the more advanced photographer, the D750 DSLR is a superb mid-range option. From fully auto to full manual, settings are completely customizable, taking in a range of conditions, subjects and circumstances. A vast array of lenses is available, enabling users to create hair-fine portraits of distant game, or switch for indoor shooting or images at close quarters.
LARQ Water Bottle
If there could be one perfect yet completely affordable safari gift, it might well be the LARQ water bottle. Hydration is an essential part of travel, especially in warmer climates, and the LARQ gives you fresh, purified water wherever you go.
LARQ’s PureVis technology uses a UV-C light built into the cap to eliminate 99% of all waterborne nasties, giving you pure, clear drinking water anywhere you go. Whether topping up before a flight or filling from a mountain stream, LARQ eliminates bio-contaminants at the single press of a button. Its 20-second cycle kills all bacteria, while its insulated construction keeps water cool in any climate.
Especially when visiting third-world countries, LARQ is an endless source of delicious, clean, safe drinking water.
Monos Packing Cubes
We love packing cubes! Unlike many other vacations, safaris incorporate a significant amount of traveling and transfers, and you may visit multiple different lodges within a single two-week itinerary. Due to this, your packing needs to be on its A-game, and packing cubes are the ideal way to make this possible.
Using individual cubes for different items – shirts, underwear, pants and shorts and so on – you can quickly and conveniently find precisely what you are looking for without having to don a miner’s lamp and belay your way into the depths of your suitcase.
Added to this, you can completely unpack, using each cube as its own drawer or basket and laying all of our items out in a wardrobe for easy viewing. When it’s time to move on, simply flip the lid, zip up your cubes and pop them back in your luggage.
Monos has a wonderful and stylish range of packing cubes with see-through covers for easy identification. The versatile four-piece set incorporates four sizes of cube, giving you plenty of options; a small cube for undergarments all the way up to a large cube that can accommodate folded shirts without causing wrinkles.
Blissy Silk Eye Mask
Long-haul flights, early mornings and new surroundings can often interrupt sleep, and it’s always important to wake bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for morning game drives.
Whether taking a flight or staying in camp, Blissy’s wonderfully soft and comfortable silk sleep masks ensure a good sleep in complete darkness. The cool and soothing silk surface lulls you into slumber, while the soft padding and band ensure complete comfort while comatose.
A sleep mask may seem like a small and insignificant safari gift, but we have found them to be worth their weight – albeit an incredibly light weight – in gold whenever traveling. Easy to pop in a purse or pocket, no traveler should leave home without a sleep mask.
Travel adaptors have become an essential part of vacations in this age of gadgets and accessories.
There is a vast amount of choice in travel adaptors, but what we have noticed is that the equally-vast majority fail in some areas. They may have five USB ports but no socket, which is essential for charging camera batteries or powering other travel accessories. When they do include sockets, they only have one USB. Most frustratingly, those that will serve the purpose are often bulky and have numerous parts to contend with.
Ceptics’ all-in-one adaptor features two USB-A ports, two sockets and a built-in micro-USB cable, allowing you to plug in up to five devices at one time. It is wonderfully compact and features a range of interchangeable plugs, allowing it to be used in over 200 countries. It is also surge-protected and has a voltage meter, ensuring the safety of your electrical goods from even the most volatile of power sources.
Patagonia Black Hole 25L BackPack
Patagonia has led the world in outdoor apparel and gear for decades, and its products are of an incredible quality while being sustainable and ethical.
Used on every continent and in any climate, their products are built for the outdoors and are a superb choice for travelers of all kinds.
Their Black Hole luggage range provides a suite of fantastic bags for travelers, from large duffels and wheeled carry-ons to totes and hip packs.
A backpack is one of the most incredibly useful safari gifts. During flights, it makes convenient carry-on baggage, leaving both hands free to deal with tickets, passports and other paraphernalia. On safari, a backpack can store your camera, a jacket, sunscreen, insect repellent, water and anything else you may wish to take – especially valuable on a walking safari.
The Patagonia Black Hole 25L is small enough to be compact, but capacious enough to fit all you could need. Intelligently designed, it includes a secure padded slot for a laptop or tablet, a front compartment to easily access smaller items and documents, and numerous inner pockets to keep everything organized. Side pouches provide the perfect spot for a LARQ water bottle and a water-resistant coating makes it thoroughly weatherproof.
Made with 100-percent recycled fabric, it is also incredibly sustainable, and Patagonia’s iron-clad guarantee ensures that it will last for years and any repairs or replacement are always covered.
Brixton Safari Hat
A good hat can be an invaluable accessory in the bush, but you still want to be stylish.
Brixton’s wide range of hats has something for everyone, including fedoras, caps and classic safari or rancher hats. Impeccably made of 100-percent wool felt, classically designed and available in a range of sizes and colors, Brixton’s range has a hat to suit every head.
Long days under the African sun make a good hat vital, and a Brixton chapeau an ideal safari gift.
Apple iPad Air
Though photography is so integral to travel, especially when on safari, editing on the go can prove challenging.
The small screens of phones and cameras makes photo editing a fiddly process at best, and transferring to cloud services or sending to loved ones can be awkward, if not impossible.
Apple offers a range of different iPads for work, play, entertainment and photo editing on the move, with an infinite number of apps to choose from. Photography isn’t the limit of an iPad’s usefulness though. Travel documents and itineraries can be safely stored, guide books and favorite novels can be downloaded, games or movies can be played, friends and family can be emailed, social media can be updated and one can even keep up to date with work on the go if such circumstances require.
Apple’s iPad Air is powerful yet small and lightweight, making it the perfect travel companion and an endlessly useful safari gift.
PowerTraveller Solar Adventurer Charger
There is little worse when on safari than having a once-in-a-lifetime scene unfolding before you and realizing that your phone has snapped its last photo.
Energy drained, screen blank, it’s little more than a pointless paperweight, and your magical moment will remain only in your memories.
The PowerTraveller Solar Adventurer Charger gives you juice on the go and an endless source of power. Its foldable solar cells keep it topped up for any emergency, so even if you forget to plug it in to recharge, you can still top it up with the sun. No more dead phone, no more moments missed, the Adventurer Charger will keep a phone ready for action 24/7.
Forgetting to charge a phone overnight, far too many things to photograph, lots of video time and all the other usual functions of a smartphone can induce a large and rapid drain on even a robust battery, so packing a portable charger is a fantastic way to ensure that you never run out of power again.
There is a lot to remember when planning for a safari. Numerous items can be forgotten and small challenges can crop up.
If you have friends or family members soon to be departing for an adventure – and hopefully taking you with them – our collection of recommended safari gifts will help you select the perfect present this holiday season.