11 Things You Can Only Buy in South Africa

Courtesy of Sapmok
Courtesy of Sapmok

Everyone wants the chance to bring home unique souvenirs and keepsakes from their holidays spent travelling abroad. From pairs of leather shoes and natural skin care to craft gin and artisanal toffee, these proudly South African items are worth stocking up on—and not sold in stores outside the country.

A wooden Indalo bag

Inga Gubeka’s beautifully designed wooden decor and fashion items have become the envy of local and international celebrities. Founded in 2013, Indalo is based in Cape Town and produces a variety of products from backpacks, purses, clutches, phone accessories, and décor items. An Indalo clutch bag or backpack is the perfect accessory when out and about in South Africa and can be purchased via the online store.

Courtesy of Indalo

Statement furniture from Pinda

Those after a statement furniture piece—that they can bring home with them—look no further than Pinda by Siyanda Mbele. Founded in 2012, the Durban-based interior design studio combines traditional African prints and patterns with modern designs. Think loads of wood and tribal carvings inspired by Ndebele, Zulu, and Venda culture.

Mvelo desk

Unique porcelain jewellery from Nina Bosch

Jewellery is the perfect trinket, gift, or reminder of a holiday destination. Those after something special Nina Bosch’s unique porcelain pieces will do the trick. Working from a studio in Witrivier, Mpumalanga, Bosch creates striking earrings, necklaces, and bracelets each different to the next. Inspired by nature, Bosch’s handmade jewellery takes on organic shapes with splashes of gold thrown in every once in a while.

White, triangular earrings

Natural skincare products from Wass

Cape Town based Wass produces a wide range of natural skincare products, each inspired to suit a specific season. From a detoxifying body balm perfect for spring to the hydrating mandarin lip balm ideal for crisp winter days, each small batch product is handmade, hand poured, and hand labelled. What’s more, the products aren’t tested on animals and include no parabens, unnecessary chemicals, or toxins. Wass products are found at artisanal markets the country over and is also available for purchase via their online store.

Rose Geranium Lip Balm and Body Balm (Spring)

Sleepwear from Home Time

Home Time’s beautiful designs made using only the best quality cotton could easily result in days spent in bed. Kim Saunders and Nicky Franklin launched the local PJ and loungewear brand in 2013, and all manufacturing takes place in Durban. The small range includes comfy trousers, strappy tops, and matching sleepwear, all making the perfect gift (or a treat to keep). Home Time sells at markets across the country as well as online.

Matching pj’s from Home Time

1. Pienaar and Son craft gin

Market, South African

A great range of gins can be sampled at Pienaar and Son
© Neighbourgoods Market
Pienaar and Son, a small craft distillery in Cape Town, is run by a father-and-son team who creates top quality spirits with a local twist. Their Empire gin is made from South African maize and infused with flavours of citrus while the Orient gin boasts sweet vanilla and mandarin orange notes. Distillery tours and tastings are available by appointment, so plan ahead and make sure to stop by.

Culture Trip Summer Sale

Save up to $1,395 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article