This is an African inspired Christmas Gift Guide with a difference. All the companies listed in this guide are businesses owned by ex-Zimbabweans or ex-South Africans who now live in the UK. Back home we have a saying, “Local is Lekker”, which is basically our version of support local. Whilst we all love to support local and most of us do every day, supporting the new local communities we now call home, sometimes being so far away from Africa means you want to have a little bit of Africa in your home. Be that a craft or product featuring Africa, or one you bought from someone who has been on a similar journey to you in terms of a change to their lifestyle.
I have been actively seeking out African crafts or products to put into our new home, but also to buy as gifts for my kids and my husband. I have found so many amazing African Gifts available in the UK that I knew I had to put together an African Gift Guide that I can keep updated regularly. Not only does this gift guide of African products available in the UK offer gifts for everyone, but I’ve tried to give you some insight into the owner of the business because I truly believe in making that human connection and supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs.
9 African Inspired Gifts Available in the UK This Christmas 2021
So without further adieu, here are a few of the brands and products I’ve found that I would love to share with you if you are looking for African gifts in the UK or for anyone who fancies an African Gift Guide.
Disclaimer: I have not received anything in return for this gift guide. Any purchases made from the businesses listed below are between you and them, and I can’t take responsibility for those transactions.
Run by the lovely Abby, Delicate Earth is proud to be the sole UK stockist of Delicate Dugga handmade pottery. Delicate Dugga is a home run business established in Harare, Zimbabwe in June 2018, when they acquired Ros Byrne Pottery. They continue to produce the iconic Ros Byrne collection and are developing their own unique style and range, the Delicate Dugga Collection.
Abby went to Zimbabwe on a placement year after Uni, and forgot to leave. She lived in Africa for a few years as a child too. Now resident in the North West of the UK, Abi runs Delicate Earth making iconic Zimbabwean Pottery available in the UK.
To see more of the lovely products they stock, please see their website and do check out their Facebook page too.
Billies & Tong
Billies & Tong is owned & run by Gerhardus (Gerry) Koen. Gerry (34) was born & raised in Zimbabwe. He lived on a farm in Selous for most of his life and in 2008 made a giant leap and came over to England to start a new chapter. (He also happens to be married to my step-cousin – yes, us Zimbos all know each other somehow … almost)
In 2014 he began doing what he absolutely loves, working with wood & of course anything biltong related. Billies & Tong supplies delicious biltong and biltong related products including biltong makers, cutters & spice. He also does droewors too! Gerry has been doing local markets in Wells, Somerset and yearly he does the Celebrate Southern African markets. His products are predominantly offered online with free delivery is available to the UK mainland.
Products such as the biltong boxes/makers & chopping boards come with the option of being personalised with a name/quote of choice. This is a big hit with people surprising their loved ones, especially those who are also biltong / droewors fans.
Whilst we supply delicious biltong (& the Facebook reviews speak for themselves), Gerry loves the fact he makes biltong boxes where a) this saves people money and b) people have the choice of playing around with flavours of their choice. See our Facebook & Instagram posts where some of our customers share their amazing recipes with us.
Bespoke My Oak
Now, the very clever Nats & Gerhard are master craftsmen and skilled entrepreneurs. They have another business, brand new for this African gift guide in 2021! They handmake wooden crafts and furniture out of oak. You have to see their stuff to believe just how beautiful it is!
The Impala Collection
The Impala Collection is run by Beth, who is originally from Zimbabwe and now lives in Oxfordshire with her husband and kids. She curates beautiful, characterful crafts from Zimbabwe to share with the world. The crafts are carefully sourced and sold in small quantities. Beth also writes an online travel guide about Zimbabwe, called Great Zimbabwe Guide.
Unfortunately, due to the pandemic Beth was unable to travel back to Zim to restock. Instead, she does what all Zimbos do and made a plan! Here’s what she had to say:
The Impala Collection has teamed up with Teemill to bring you a range of clothing that not only looks good, but has African wildlife at the heart of its designs and is produced in a sustainable way.
All the clothing is made in the UK from certified organic cotton, giving you an item that’s not only softer to the skin but kinder to the planet. Every item sold is made in a wind-powered, ethically accredited factory. Once made, they’re shipped to your door in plastic-free packaging.
Best of all, for every item that you buy, 5% of profits will go towards community-driven conservation in Zimbabwe.
Shop now and help support Africa’s unique habitats, as well as the wildlife and communities who call them home!
In particular, we love the cheeky but cute kids t-shirts that have a ‘secret’ message about conservation. If you know any young dinosaur experts and little unicorn lovers, they will love these designs!
You can place orders with The Impala Collection via the Facebook page or by emailing [email protected]. For more images and other African Gifts in the UK please do check out the Impala Collection on their social media:
YeboBox is a Proudly African Curated Subscription Box. I love this idea!
Matt and Tracy are cousins from Zim. Tracy now lives in Johanesburg and Matt is in Bristol.
“We are a family business that is run by two ex Zimbabweans and have recently launched Yebobox which is a monthly subscription box of Zim and South African treats serving Zimbabweans and Southern Africans living abroad. We offer gifting options as either gift certificates to use on the site, gift subscriptions or single boxes as gifts too.”
This subscription box with a purely African inspired twist is perfect for anyone who wants a little bit of Africa through their mailbox every month. I love that not only do they offer subscription boxes, but you can buy the subscription box for a loved one or friend as a gift. As far as African gifts in the UK go, this is surely the gift that keeps on giving! Let me know if you want my address! *wink wink, nudge nudge*
Their website is YeboBox South African and Zimbabwean Subscription Boxes and Shop. You can also check out their social media:
The Crafty Chameleon
Kim Greyling, originally from Durban, now lives in Kingston-upon-Thames. She is the creative owner of The Crafty Chameleon, an online laser cutting business offering personalised gifts. Most of the products that Kim offers are African inspired crafts, everything from Christmas baubles for your tree to placemats, to notebooks, clocks, bottle openers, all customisable to ensure you can personalise the gift you’re buying. As far as African gifts in the UK go, there are some amazing products to choose from.
Fore more African gifts in the UK, check out Kim’s social media: Facebook @KimTheCraftyChameleon
Daniella is originally from Zimbabwe but now lives in Fife (where a number of my family live and are from actually). Daniella is extremely talented and makes Bespoke Crafts such as crochet, macramé, air drying clay products and giant knitting (I need one of her blankets!). Here are a few of the products she’s currently featuring.
I absolutely love these Christmas crafts for kids to paint at home! They would make great Christmas eve gifts, wouldn’t they?
Please do check out her Facebook page @danielladingwall to see more of her amazing creations.
Guys, I can’t tell you how excited I was when I discovered this page. I found them on Instagram first and then Facebook, and stalked them all over and even found a Youtube video! So who are they:
“ZimXcite Apparel is a culture fashion brand, selling not just a range of high-quality clothing internationally, but also promoting a fun spirit of inclusion and global diversity, inspired by all things Zimbabwean. As a Zimbabwean tourism brand, we are also passionate about letting the world know that Zimbabwe is an attractive holiday destination in the region, so we have designs especially for that purpose. Our store is completely online and we ship to regions across the globe with online delivery tracking as well as free shipping. We are based in Ibiza Spain and our founder is a Zimbabwean who is usually travelling between the UK, Spain and Zimbabwe.”
Ryan, the guy behind the brand is also a member of the Zim/SA band Mann Friday, as well as being the composer of the score for one of my favourite Netflix movies, Cook-Off! If you haven’t seen it yet, do it, do it now!!! It’s flippen brilliant and made me instantly homesick!
Now if I had to choose, I’d pick the following 3 items for my Christmas Wish List:
Check out their social media at:
- Facebook: @ZimXcite
- Instagram: @ZimXcite
African Gifts in the UK
The Soapy Chameleon
Debbie Rousseau is the lovely lady behind The Soapy Chameleon. Here’s a bit more about her:
Having grown up in Gweru, Zimbabwe I was always outdoors and in nature, so I’m a big believer in looking after the environment. I genuinely love making soap & shampoo bars and every single one of them is made as if I was making it for myself by using simple, natural ingredients that your skin will love. I now live in Tetbury, Gloucestershire and use a local provider for my honey and beeswax as I try and support local businesses as much as possible.
I embarked on my soap making journey by buying a few homemade soap-making books and doing a lot of research online. The main inspiration for me was all about going plastic-free and using natural ingredients. I have long hair so the amount of plastic I was going through by buying shampoo & conditioner was astounding, not to mention all the shower gel too! After all, our skin is porous so what you put on it ultimately gets absorbed. I feel that the fewer chemicals we use in our hygiene and cosmetic products, the better it is for our overall health.
Join me on my plastic-free journey today and let’s save the planet, together!
I absolutely love these soaps! Debbie was very kind enough to send me a few to try. I received them today and my kids attacked the box! I’m not kidding! They smell amazing. Keep an eye on my social media for a review!
- Facebook: @soapychameleon
- Instagram: @soapychameleon
If you’d like your business to be added to this list, please email me at [email protected]
A Bit About Me …
If you want to know a bit more about me, and who I am and the journey my husband, kids and I have been on, check out my About Me Page. This is my personal blog so you’ll no doubt get a fair idea of who I am if you read a few of my posts. I’m on a mission to grow my network of Zimbos and Saffas and other ex-Southern African businesses with a view to supporting each other.
In the mean time, please do take a moment to visit my social media pages. You can find me all over, but namely:
- Facebook, where I share my stuff, as well as anything that resonates with me and my parenting and family travel theme (note, I am quite sarcastic!) lol : @amoreintentionallife
- Instagram: My feed is fairly curated, featuring mostly the days out and things we get up to. My stories are more laid back and I’ve jumped on the Reels bandwagon too … I think I’m hilarious and so do my kids. lol @a_more_intentional_life
- Twitter – which I love but I kinda get a little political on there. It must be the gvt school Zimbo in me: @momof2lgs
- Pinterest (I actually wrote a book on how to get started using Pinterest for your business): @momoftwolittlegirls
- TikTok – Yes, I’m on TikTok, this is where the crazy, sarcastic, silly mom side of me comes out. My kids think I’m hilarious, my husband, not so much! If you’re on TikTok, please give me a follow: @amoreintentionalife
- Podcast – The Migration Generation Podcast – around this time 2019 I had a Podcast running where I interview South African & Zimbabwean ex-pat moms about why they left, where they are now, and how it’s changed their lives. It was a great series and one I’d consider a second season of if anyone was interested. Take a listen and let me know.
I hope you’ve been as inspired and blown away by the varied and creative craftsmen and entrepreneurs in this African inspired Christmas Gift Guide. I would very much appreciate it if you could share this post, comment and take a few minutes to visit the pages of those featured above. If you would like to be added to this list, please drop me a line at [email protected] .
Disclaimer: I have not received any compensation in return for this blog post. I hope this Gift Guide of African Gifts In The UK helps you with your Gift Shopping!