1. Sapmok Vellies
Back to basics. Anyone on safari—guide, tracker, or guest—wants to wear trustworthy, comfortable shoes that are stylish and yet can stand up to the rigors of a bushwalk. Look no further than Sapmok. This Pretoria-based company specializes in hand-crafted shoes in both leather and vegan materials that are based on traditional vellies (or veldskoen). Sapmok’s shoes come in a variety of styles and colors to suit any occasion. They also make cozy slippers, easygoing flip flops, and classic belts (to match the shoes, of course). Don’t know what size to buy? They also offer gift cards. And it will be hard to not get yourself a pair at the same time—EcoTraining students receive a 10% discount on vellies from Sapmok.
Email [email protected] to receive your discount code. (Discount is only good on veldskoen.)
2. Travel Scarf
Another basic need of the safari lover is a place to stash valuables that don’t call attention to themselves in the city or get in the way on a game drive or trail walk. For this, there is nothing better for a man or woman than a piece of clothing with an unexpected hidden pocket, like this travel scarf offered by Waypoint Goods.
This infinity scarf hides a secret pocket amongst its folds, and the Yellowstone scarf is patterned with topographic lines any outdoors person will appreciate. A big plus is that purchases of this scarf support the National Park Foundation in the United States, making it a gift that gives back to nature. You can buy directly from their website for shipping inside the US or from their Amazon store for international delivery. The best part? One size fits all!
You might consider giving the gift of the multi-tool if you are really stumped. (There are some items you really can’t have enough of, so don’t worry if you think your gift recipient already has one!) Leatherman offers a range of multi-tools, from heavy-duty camp tools to keychain tools for lighter jobs. No guide should leave camp without one.
And a fun fact you can tell your gift recipient over the campfire is that the company was founded by Tim Leatherman—his real name! He dreamed up the multi-tool when he traveled through Europe in the 1970s and found the average pocketknife couldn’t meet his demands for an all-in-one tool for roadside vehicle repair, plumbing leaks, and all the rest of those little troublesome spots adventurers find themselves in. Leatherman ships internationally, with limits, from their site, or worldwide through their Amazon shop.
4. Hansa Cuddle Creations
Would you like to give a gift that is a little plusher and a lot less practical? Try popping over to the Hansa toy store webpage and telling us you can resist their cuddle-worthy creations. From the 16′ tall “life-size” giraffe to the tiny 6″ tarsier, Hansa has something for every budget that will melt the heart of even the most serious globetrotting zoologist on your list. They ship worldwide.
5. Pajama Sets and Robes
The holidays mean comfort, so why not get the safari lover in your life some loungewear that shows off their love of the wild with fantastic prints? C. St. Quinton offers amazing pajama sets and robes for women. Sales of these gorgeous creations support rhino charities in South Africa and are made from eco-conscious materials in a fair-trade factory.
For him, look no farther than Printfresh’s delightful catalog of designs (which include shirts, robes, and sleep sets for the gents and the ladies). Made in Jaipur, India, these jammies are made by socially and environmentally conscious vendors and artisans. The sapphire Bagheera set is particularly fun for the leopard-loving man in your life.
6. Tilley Hat
Perhaps you are looking for a more enduring gift? The Tilley hat comes with a lifetime guarantee. And, yes, it is true that an elephant keeper in Ontario had his hat eaten (and passed) three times by one of his charges—each time he washed it and wore it again. He refused to let the company replace his favorite hat, although eventually, he allowed the company to display it in their Toronto store. Tilley has been making hats since 1980, and they offer a range of styles for all kinds of weather for both men and women. Don’t let your loved ones leave for the bush without one of these Canadian-made dependables.
About the Author:
Lee Bellware is an EcoTraining alum of our Trails Guide and Theory courses and lives in Austin, Texas, USA. Lee holds a degree in Ecology and Nonfiction writing and has a keen interest in Wildlife and Botanical Conservation Research and Education