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Top 15 Traditional Things to buy in South Africa

Top 15 Traditional Things to buy in South Africa

Vacations are accompanied by the assurances of coming home with lots of good memories and of course, souvenirs, gifts, and what not? After all, shopping in a radically distinct offbeat country has its own appeal and gives you a delightful shopping experience.  If you’re wondering “what are the best things to buy in South Africa?” then, you’re at the best place. Here, is the list of top 15 traditional things to buy in South Africa. The listed items can be added to your souvenir collections or, bestowed to your loved ones as a precious and thoughtful token of love.

1. Ardmore ceramic art

Ardmore ceramic art

Commenced in 1985, Ardmore ceramics is famous for bizarre, colorful and attractive pieces, ranging from platters to bowls, tea sets, and vases. The ceramics are one of the unique traditional things to buy in South Africa, which is meticulously prepared by local artists and each item is brilliantly beautiful and uniquely made.

2.  South African wine


South Africa is world’s famous wine-producing region.  You can explore the largest wine cellars and sip the exotic vintages in South Africa. If you’re looking for the best things to buy in South Africa to take back home, you can bring home a bottle or, a crate of exotic South African wine. Indulging in wine tasting will help you find your favorite wine in South Africa.

3.  Beadwork crafts

Beadwork crafts

From curio shops to street corners, Beadwork crafts are sold anywhere in South Africa. Ranging from almost any animal you can think of, the beadwork goods are all meticulously handmade. From flowers to animals, candle holders, and anything you can think of, they all come in different sizes and color.

4. Decorated ostrich eggs and ostrich products

Decorated ostrich eggs and ostrich products

One of the unique and outstanding things to buy in South Africa is brilliantly decorated Ostrich eggs. Souvenirs ostrich eggs are beautifully embellished, large, and hollow, either carved or plain, exceptionally painted and are perfect for interior decorations. Other useful ostrich products are feathers that can be used as dusters and are very durable.

5. Diamonds

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Since the discovery of diamonds in 1867, South Africa is still one of the leading countries in the world for diamond production. If you still consider what to buy in South Africa, the walk in at one of the high-end jewelry shops in the city. Most of the visitors prefer buying diamonds in Cape Town due to the favorable exchange rate.

6. Leather handbags

Leather handbags

While exploring in South Africa, you will find many local designers making beautiful and finest quality leather bags. You can also find many of those working ostrich leather, which is mostly used in South Africa. You can pick up from sling bags, handbags, backpacks which are available in various designs, and beautiful patterns.

7. Rooibos tea

Rooibos tea

Containing amazing health benefits, Rooibos Tea is a fragrant caffeine free tea, grown only in Cederberg region, just north side of Cape Town on the West Coast of South Africa.  Making an excellent gift Rooibos Tea is a popular beverage in South Africa and comes in different flavors, which makes it one of the best things to buy in South Africa.

8. Xhosa Shweshwe fabric

Xhosa Shweshwe fabric

Traditionally worn by Xhosa women, Xhosa Shweshwe fabrics are intricately and beautifully patterned and colored cotton fabric. You can choose the exotic Shweshwe from ready-made clothing, bags, cushion covers, and a lot more.  If you want, you can simply purchase fabric cuts as per your requirement to take home.

9. Biltong


Originating from South Africa, Biltong is a cured and dried meat flavored with various spices. The early ‘Voortrekkers” used to make Biltong for meat preservation purpose, today; it has become a very popular snack in South Africa. Traditionally, Biltong is prepared from beef but it also comes in variations like Kudu, Ostrich, and shark. You can purchase a large piece to take back home so that you have no regrets.

10. Amarula Cream

A product of South Africa, Amarula is a cream liqueur whose main ingredient is the delicious Marula fruit. If you’re looking for a perfect skin grooming kit for your loved ones, you can buy Amarula cream for various seasons, like winter, summer. It is a perfect souvenir or a perfect gift to convey love for your loved ones.

11. Amarula liqueur

Possibly the best known and the best loved South African liqueur, Amarula drink is a cream liqueur, prepared from the fruit of the African marula tree.  It’s delicious over ice cream; you can serve it at room temperature. It is one of the best souvenirs to buy in South Africa for your spouse.

12. Handmade baskets

Handmade baskets

So, you love handmade goods? If you are looking for traditional things to buy in South Africa, you can pick handmade baskets, which have gained immense popularity as an interior décor.  You can purchase these handmade baskets ranging from a wide range of colors, shapes, style, and sizes.

13. A makarapa hat

A makarapa hat

Basically worn by sports fans, a makarapa hat is a painted hard hat made in South Africa. These hats are basically sold at sporting events. Regarded as the South African craft, these hats are embellished with diverse colors cutouts and flags of various sports teams.

14. Tanzanite

Tanzanite

Originally mined in Mount Kilimanjaro and found only in a small region in Tanzania, Tanzanite is a beautiful blue-violet gemstone and one of the rarest gemstones in the world. Presently, it is a highly sought after souvenir by many visiting Cape Town. Most of the shops in South Africa have Tanzanite for sale.

15. Carved wooden items

Carved wooden items

Intricately carved and painted wood carvings are the best souvenirs that you can buy in South Africa. Coming in various shapes and sizes, suitable for the interior decors, it can be a perfect reminder of your visit to South Africa.  You can pick from African masks to animal figures, carved spoons to wooden bowls, It can even be the best gift or, can be added to your exotic collections.

How do I bring wine from South Africa?

South Africa authorizes consumable goods in accompanied luggage. Duty-free allowances are 2 liters of wine and 1 liter of spirits.  You can either carry a bottle in your baggage or have it shipped to your home address via the wine farm. A number of wineries export wines all over the world.

Can I transport liquids from South Africa?

  • All liquids, gels, creams, lotions, pastes, drinks and other items of similar texture must no more than 100ml with containers having the same capacity.
  • They must be carried in a re-sealable, transparent 20x20cm transparent plastic bag.
  • Only 1 bag is allowed per traveler.
  • Exclusions will be made for baby products, medications, and specific dietary elements.
  • Duty-free possession such as perfume, liquor, and cigarettes are also released in decent quantities.

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