If you are planning an African safari, no doubt you will be bombarded with requests for souvenirs by family, friends and coworkers. It’s always nice to bring a little something back with you after your trip. Not only do they serve as a great memory of your trip but also give you something to gift your loved ones. But before you embark on a journey to Africa, here are some things you need to know about buying souvenirs during your African safari.
Pack Light for Your Trip
This is good advice whether or not you plan to bring back many souvenirs. Your African safari might include a lot of walking and travelling from one place to another. Packing light means it will be easier to check off all the spots on your wishlist without your luggage holding you back. Additionally, once you’re there, you might just find a lot of things that catch your eye that you’ll want to bring back.
Buy Local Goods from Local People
While you might assume that everything you buy there might be local, check the packaging to be sure. You don’t want to travel all the way to an African country and come back with something from another. Ask your African safari guide to take you to the local markets for your shopping needs. Here, you can get handwoven garments, various kinds of crafts, beaded work, wooden sculptures and you could even try some local delicacies.
Avoid Buying from Malls or Airports
Local shops and markets are not only cheaper but also help the locals make a living. Malls and airport gift shops might be convenient during your travels but they’re not worth the added costs. Plus, the souvenirs there won’t feel as authentic as the ones purchased from local markets and villages.
Bargain to Get Good Deals
Another advantage of shopping locally is that you have the opportunity to haggle. This is a skill not many possess, so if you’re not comfortable bargaining, get help from someone who can. It will help you lower your gift budget by more than half. Be polite but stern. Even if the seller is not willing to negotiate, you will find many others who will. So don’t just get anything for the price stated to you at first. Haggle and then haggle some more.
Do Not Buy Illegal Items
You will find a few shops during your African safari that might contain elephants tusks, furs of various wild animals, tortoise shells, corals and more. Note that these items are illegal and purchasing them can get you in trouble. Do your research about what items you are allowed to carry out of the country you are visiting and what you can bring back to your own country. Getting into legal trouble for some illegal goods is not worth it.
We hope this guide makes your shopping experience during your African safari easier. For the best itineraries and deals on safaris, contact Bushman Safari. Our customized plans will make your entire experience worth the while.