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. It occurred to me that I could create this Africa gift guide to support local is lekker in the UK, and to find a few more African Crafts for my home as a way of keeping that bond with our heritage.
10 African Inspired Gifts Available in the UK!
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.
The fabulous name of CathCurios was always going to be called just that as its origin comes from ME! “Cath“! Why wouldn’t I put my own name on the products I love. Originally born & bred in Zimbabwe, now a married mom of two.
CathCurios is purely an online store based in Exeter, UK offering a unique range of products inspired by the beauty of Southern Africa.
*sharing the best of Africa with the rest of the world”….
For more of Cath’s lovely curios from Africa, do check out her website, or get in touch with her via email: [email protected]
Bloomtide Gifts is an online family run business with a passion for creating beautiful luxury gifts containing carefully selected natural bath and body products, lovingly made in the UK . Charlene, the mom behind Bloomtide Gifts is originally from Karoi in Zimbabwe and now lives in Warfield, Berkshire.
“Our online luxury gifts business is situated in Warfield, Berkshire where we are spoilt for choice on location with the famous Ascot Race Course, Legoland and the magnificent Windsor Great Park on our doorstep. As a mum, time to relax and unwind is what inspired me to start my online business making these gorgeous luxury gifts and to share my passion with you.”
One of my favourite features of this shop is that you can build your own gift box too. I love the personalisation. You can buy from Bloomtide Gifts by purchasing direct on their website, or via Facebook. The links to their social media are:
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.
As we head into a second lockdown, Gerry is offered FREE local and online delivery. If you’d like to post something from the website to a loved one as a special gift, this can be done & can include a special message too!
Peace of Afrika
We are a husband and wife team ( Christo & Sherryl ) based in Bristol, originally from Cape Town. We sell, stock and distribute South African footwear, Cotton Knitwear, Sterling Silver 925 African themed jewellery and accessories, all made in Cape Town.
We carry most of our boot range and vellies in the UK but our ladies leather shoes are all ordered in advance & then we ship a consignment to the UK (Normally once per month). We are very USER FRIENDLY and should you need to exchange anything, no problem.
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.
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:
As an aside to this one – the products pictured are by Zimbabwean brand SimpliSimbi, and once upon a time when I still lived in Zim, my mom and I had a little gift shop in Kadoma called The Shoppe where we stocked these exact products! I absolutely love the fact that these African gifts are available in the UK!
Ally Mannix, the creative genius behind Wongeez, is a family friend and has recently launched her creative business. She says,
“I sell bold and vibrant artwork patterns of unique faces. I sell them as prints or on gorgeous accessories such as Facemasks and tote bags. They are the perfect way to jazz up any outfit or add a pop of colour to any room.”
All Wongeez products are available in their store online, and Ally is kindly offering a 10% discount for anyone purchasing via this post. Use code WONGEEZ20 for 10% off.
You can see more of these awesome products on their social media and please do give her a follow. I can’t wait to see the new products she’s currently working on:
Lindsay Holt – Tropic Skincare Ambassador
Originally from Johannesburg, now living in Binfield in Berkshire, Lindsay is an independent ambassador for Tropic Skincare. “Our products are natural, vegan, cruelty-free, Skincare, body care and haircare including gift sets, all made in the UK.”
Whilst the Tropic products aren’t necessarily African Gifts, I have personally used Tropic products and think they are amazing! Their ambassador scheme is a really great way to earn extra money as part of a supported team of distributors.
To order any of the Tropic products via Lindsay, please check out her online shop or join her Facebook Group where I’m sure she shares information about the products and any specials that are coming up.
A Personal Touch by Sally
Hand made gifts to someone special (or yourself ?) that can be personalised however you like. I also offer an upcycling service! ❤
Sally is offering a gift wrapping and a name/word on their chosen gift for free to everyone that likes, shares and invites 10 or more of their friends and family to her Facebook page. Head over there now to check out all the awesome products she has available.
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:
Turning Pages with Sam
Samantha-Leigh Colley is an independent Usborne organiser, originally from Ballito KZN in South Africa, she now lives in Fritwell near Oxford. Sam sells Usborne books online. They have various methods of ordering books from online to Usborne parties and school events.
Again, whilst this is necessarily an African gift, all children love to read and be read to and the gift of books is one that all parents and children appreciate. Usborne is another one of those business like Tropic that offer ambassadorships to allow their agents to work from home, around their family life. Thanks Sam for this, I think books are a great Christmas Gift for kids.
African Gifts In the UK
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.
Here are 3 of the featured products available at the moment:
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.
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
Lisa, a mother with four very active ‘angels’, and a hard-working farmer husband, had more than enough to-dos on her daily lists to keep her hopping from dawn until bedtime. But, like many stay-at-home mothers, Lisa found herself longing for a form of creativity and personal fulfilment beyond her beautiful family. Mulling over her inner thoughts one evening with a late-night cup of tea, Lisa was about to dunk into her tea a slightly sweet, twice-baked sliver of comfort-food when she stopped. This humble little dunker, that had been a constant in her life, could be the very thing that she had been looking for. And so, AfriDeli was conceived.
Rusks are a go-to snack in Southern Africa where Lisa was born and raised. Rusks can be sweet, or savoury, made like cake, or bread, eaten as a snack, or with a meal. Their underlying commonality is being a dried ready-to-eat staple that can be store for long periods of time in airtight containers. In our pantry, however, they seldom last very long at all!
At AfriDeli the rusks, and biscuits, are made in small homestyle batches using quality ingredients – sourced locally wherever possible. Each batch is made with love and passion. Whether you are a dunker or prefer the crunch, take a moment to taste the love and laughter we have tucked into every single one of our rusks and biscuits. Facebook: @afrideliuk Instagram: @afridelishropshire
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 Christmas Gift Guide of African Gifts In The UK helps you with your Christmas Shopping.