What is Your Most Treasured Souvenirs?

Mar 15th, 2007, 12:26 AM
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What is Your Most Treasured Souvenirs?

With so many fodorfolk who have travelled to Africa - we've been wondering what kind of things people bring back and how meaningful they are to folks?

What are your favourite souvenirs, where did you get them?

My favourites are:
The guninea fowl feather found by a waterhole in Savute
The locally made leather and aluminium (Samll strips of drinking cans) bracelets I bought at Baines Camp
The bracelet with the "trunk to tail circle' of ele's I got from the Royal Livingstone gift shop visited only briefly on a driveby to pick up guests on the way to the airport on our last day at the Falls.
The kikoi (sarong) that was in the room at Baines for "use" that i ended up buying and it was invaluable later in the trip as shade, light blanket, pool-side wear and a lovely reminder of the trip - it is going back with me on the next trip.
A Mali cloth jacket from Solveig (RedPig) from the Red Shed at V&A waterfront in Capetown.

Thembi is offline  
Mar 15th, 2007, 06:42 AM
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pillow cases and wall hanging from Tribal Textiles in Zambia, porcupine quills and an elephant's tooth found in Hwange.
matnikstym is offline  
Mar 15th, 2007, 07:11 AM
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Red sand from the Namib desert.

We have it in a nice crystal pot in the lounge so I see it every day.
Some times I think; " probably i should not have taken it ... what if every body that goes to the Namib does the same thing and they take a bottle of water full of sand .... probably the dunes would not exist ... " then i realize the dimension of the dunes ... the dimension of the desert ..... ok.. no problem.

We always carry a massai blanket in the car.When we go picnic always put the blanket on the floor and always brins good african memories.

Pictures....of course,i have dozens hunging at the house walls.Never get tired to look at them.

PacoAhedo is offline  
Mar 15th, 2007, 07:55 AM
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batik pieces we have framed, seeds and seed pod from mahogany tree (Ruaha), Tanzanite from Arusha, soapstone bowl, necklace from Masaai village, feather from lilac-breasted roller (Serengeti), carved Masaai warrior and wife (Kenya), numerous framed pictures, and menus from lodges/camps. I think my favorite would have to be pictures (on cd) from all our trips showing God's creations including wife and daughter. Dick
rsnyder is offline  
Mar 15th, 2007, 09:22 AM
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A small piece of amethyst I purchased from a peddler in Namibia.
A small cloth doll from a roadside stand in Namibia.
Shells and a piece of driftwood from the beach at Skeleton Coast.
Sand from the Namib Desert.
Two small collage pictures of African village life from Kings Pool Camp in Bostwana. (Didn't stay there but when our plane to Kasane was late, our guide took us for a quick look).
Batik Pillow cases from Victoria Falls.

I did lots of shopping on my two hour layover in Joburg on the trip home, but airport souvenirs don't carry the same meaning that the others do.

And, of course, the pictures and the memories.

panecott is online now  
Mar 15th, 2007, 11:08 AM
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Great question.

Most treasured is a small lion hairball from North Luangwa, Zambia. I don't know if the lion was small, but the hairball is.

Last time something like this was posted, I gave the same answer and got replies from around the world inquiring if my hairball was for sale.

Then I got scared it was authorities trying to bust me for importing animal parts. So I responded no it is not for sale.

The batik of the first animal I saw--a giraffe--never presented such worries.
atravelynn is offline  
Mar 15th, 2007, 11:26 AM
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That's very cool Lynn. Was the lion attached when you obtained the hairball?
cybor is offline  
Mar 15th, 2007, 01:05 PM
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Photos, and memories of sights, sounds and smells (especially from 10 years ago when it all started for me).

afrigalah is offline  
Mar 15th, 2007, 01:23 PM
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Lynn: that's a great one, I wish there was a way I could have brought back a buffalo skull and black mamba skin shed that I found. Those would have gone well in my current collections but if I tried to bring those through customs there is no way I could claim ingnorance with my profession had they been found and the skull was enormous so no way that wouldn't have been spotted.

By far my pictures are my best tangible momentos but a large drum and bushman made ostrich shell bracelet that I brought home for my daughter would be my favorite purchases.

Of course on a trip to Belize I unintentionally brought back a couple of ticks that had secretly attached themselves for the flight home. After removal I kept them for a year in a jar just in case I came down with some unknown tropical disease.
PredatorBiologist is offline  
Mar 16th, 2007, 07:49 PM
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Zulu beaded necklaces that I've been collecting for years and finally was able to buy at the wonderful markets in the greensquare in Cape Town and the fabulous Sunday market near the stadium.

But what I truly treasure are the beautiful, playful and charming beaded animals and dolls made by the members of Monkeybiz, the extraordinary collective of HIV-positive women, based in Cape Town. Shopping in the shop in Bo-Kaap was like entering a fantastical world filled with vividly beaded tiny and very large springbok, giraffes, rhinoceros, and many other domestic and wild animals native to South Africa. And getting to meet some of the women who create these wonders was a very special experience indeed.

And, of course, our photos which are my screensaver so that I get to enjoy them every day.
520 is offline  
Mar 17th, 2007, 02:39 PM
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520 - I have heard of Monkeybiz and will definately put their studio on the list for our next stay in Capetown in Sept. 08. Sounds enchanting work and interesting to meet the craftswomen who do the work.
Thembi is offline  
Mar 17th, 2007, 07:04 PM
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forgot my piece of elephant dung. When I need a reminder of Africa, open the bag and sniff...instantly taken back!
matnikstym is offline  
Mar 17th, 2007, 08:05 PM
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Thembi, their work is sold in NYC at ABC--they now have a very large display of their pieces, but the store in Bokaap IS enchanting. The pieces are sold at different stores in Cape Town but the store is ONLY their pieces and is, as I said, a little fantasy land. The women who work there are part of the collective, and as I went a couple of times, I met a couple of them. The collective meets there on Fridays, but they don't generally interact with customers. We didn't see it in any of the guidebooks and had to search it out--which is a shame, since it's such a special place.
520 is offline  
Mar 18th, 2007, 12:51 PM
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Hmm, this is a hard one...

1. Photographs and travel journals -- nothing else brings back the memories like they do.

2. Wild dog sculpture by Barry Jackson (his studio is in Cape Town, http://mysite.mweb.co.za/residents/barryej/wildlife.htm). I bought the pack and plan to pick up the pair of dogs on my next trip in May.

3. A silk-filled duvet from AfricaSilks on the Panorama Route (http://www.africasilks.com/). Much better for my allergies than down duvets! I did have to buy an extra dufflebag to get it home, though...

4. Embroidered wall-hanging made by Shangaan women at Kaross (http://www.kaross.co.za)

5. Pangolin cufflinks from Patrick Mavros (http://www.patrickmavros.com/) (actually bought in London, but only because neither Mombo nor Singita stocked them).

6. My Singita dufflebag, which is now my safari bag of choice. A nice simple (but extremely well-made) green canvas bag with one large compartment.

7. Ceramic animals from The Fenix in Somerset West (http://www.thefenix.co.za/)

I've also bought some lovely gifts at Monkeybiz. They now have an online shop:


jasher is offline  
Mar 18th, 2007, 01:28 PM
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What is the story behind the dung? Did you find it in a special place? How did you transport it back? Do you display it or keep it sealed and away from humidity?
atravelynn is offline  
Mar 18th, 2007, 02:03 PM
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I bought two beautiful masks at the shop at Jao Camp that sit on our mantle and have a smoky scent to them-always reminds me of sitting around the fire after dinner recalling all of our wildlife encounters that day. Another souvenir that brings back good memories is the itinerary that was left on our bed for the following day at the Wilderness camps-one of them had a small, delicate drawing of an elephant.
moremiles is offline  
Mar 18th, 2007, 05:31 PM
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Lynn-there was a thread back in 2005 about blowing the budget and somehow got to asking about dog toys. Someone posted dogs love the smell of elephant dung from the bottom of your shoes. So the dog got a souvenir and got bored with it, so it's in a plastic ziplock hidden away.
matnikstym is offline  
Mar 18th, 2007, 05:47 PM
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Was that Mat, Nik, or Stym that tired of the dung?
atravelynn is offline  
Mar 20th, 2007, 12:00 AM
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Like so many other posters, I have to agree that the most precious are the photos and memories.
Strictly on souvenirs, I love the ostrich egg lamp I bought at the V&A, Capetown. It is etched over with small spirals, some picked out with pin pricks so when the lamp is on they look like little galaxies. The lamp also has random pin pricks with etched star bursts eminating from their centres, highlighting the 'starry sky' affect.

I wear my Presidential shirt, from their shop in Capetown, with pride.

I walked Capetown in search of an (affordable) kneeling warthog, but to no avail. I have since found one on the Internet and I'm hoping that it will be here soon.
Bit jealous of other Fodorites 'found objects'. Lion fur ball ( Lynn I am curious to know how it was identified as 'lion'), porcupine quills, elephant teeth and dung!
Mega4namaddy is offline  
Mar 20th, 2007, 07:27 PM
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I bought a couple of braclets at the "tourist" Maasai village that are unique enough that people comment every time I wear one, and they bring back happy memories.

I also brought back a small, handcarved wooden bowl that sits on the table beside my chair in the living room. My grandson likes me to put snacks in it for him and calls it the "lion bowl" because he pretends to be a little lion when he eats from it.
nevermind is offline  

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