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Discussing Curios in Kruger Shops

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Bush Baptist
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Unread postby Bush Baptist » Sun Oct 01, 2006 10:00 pm

Hi Mizeet,
There are two parts to your question.
Firstly, there are unofficial vendors at the side of the road to most gates in the south, that sell carved ellies, cheetahs and the like.
You would have to make your own postal arrangements.
I have a cheetah of 13kg that flew from Joburg to Cape town as hand luggage.

Inside the park there are also vendors who are more pricey, notably the parks' shops and maybe they can make a plan about shipping, as this must be a common problem.
Any off-shore forumites done it?
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Unread postby fannymays » Mon Oct 02, 2006 4:13 am

Never done it, but a 2 foot ellie is not that big.
Most airlines will allow you to take a box kind of that size as baggage.
Maybe check with the airline in advance, I have a mate who is a pilot and has taken so many things back to SA, from power tools to golf clubs, some really weird stuff.
Last year my wife took her dad a car accessory, which was in a 8ft X 5ft box and it was checked through no problem.
Your biggest problem might be the weight, rather than the size.
But as I said call the airline and ask them what they will allow.
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Unread postby glabah » Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:24 am

I agree completely that this is not going to be easy.
From what I saw, I also agree that what was in the stores seemed to be aimed primarily at those from overseas, as a fair amount of it seemed to be for sale in the stores in the Jo'burg airport as well.
Yes, it is true that I purchased some of those types of things, but I think it should also be understood that the average person from overseas might come to Kruger just once in their lifetime, while the average South African lives close enough to the park to visit far more than that.
For those repeat South African visitors, you are going to want something for them that they can't get in some store just down the street from where they live.

Unlike me, the average South African visitor is going to know where to get the average South African memorabilia.

Also, despite the trading of the Rand vs. other currencies, I think it needs to be understood that many people who travel do so with a certain budget in mind for spending on this type of thing - this may be money limited, or space in baggage limited, or baggage weight limited.
Money spent in one store on some items is money they will probably not spend elsewhere.
Thus, careful selection to appeal to a wide assortment of budgets (and airline baggage restrictions!) isn't just something that will appeal to the local tourist.

The other problem is that the average Kruger visitor is probably going to purchase their memorabilia at the camp where they spend the most over nights - unless somehow they know that unique items are available at one particular store in one particular camp (which means some creative advertising, which means higher expenses).

Certainly, an adequate supply of local hand crafted items can be problematic, particularly if you wish to verify that sustainable wood harvesting methods were followed, etc.
Considering the large area that could be considered "local" in Kruger ( Makuleke people in the north, plus Mozambique and Zimbabwe ) it seems like it should be possible to get some good hand crafts into the park.
The volume and quality of some of the carvings sold in the open markets in Maputo and Livingstone indicate to me that you wouldn't have to go too far away to find some good hand crafts.
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shoping tips and advices ..?

Unread postby homer.s » Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:05 pm

Hi all,

would like your tips and advices on shoping:

after all the game viewing there is the presents issue
(other wise im a dead man when i return back home... and i wanna live and maybe visit the kruger afew more times :wink: )

ok so ...
1. what would you buy as presents or souvenirs (from the park or from South Africa) ... (for kids, love ones etc...)
2. where would be the best place to buy these things... (air port duty free on the way back? on the way to the kruger somewhere? one of the camps...?)

interesting answers as well as any other thoughts would be welcomed..

thanks in advance to all!!

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Re: shoping tips and advices ..?

Unread postby saraf » Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:27 pm

It depends on how much you want to spend. All the shops have a variety of fridge magnets, souvenir photo books, postcards etc. which are relatively inexpensive.

They all sell "nature" themed clothes - tee-shirts, socks etc. Expensive but the quality is good. But they are imported, not made in SA. You can get candle holders place mats, crockery etc.

At a couple of the gates (Numbi and Phalaborwa) are community shops run by the locals, selling things that they have manufactured themselves. Some really lovely and unique things but remember - anything you buy has to be transported back to Israel with you. Not sure if these can be found at any other gates.

The caretaker of the picnic site on the way to Giriyondo gate has a collection of unique can sculptures, very impressive. However I know the picnic site has been closed due to the floods and I don't know whether or not it has opened again or if he is still selling his sculptures.

We have bought South African wine and brandy for friends, sorry can't advise on where to get it or what the quality is, I'm tee total :wink:
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Re: shoping tips and advices ..?

Unread postby Nina! » Thu Aug 30, 2012 4:03 pm

Hi Homer,

We found that the souvenirs made of elephant dung (like e.g. coasters) are a great souvenir. These things are beautiful, something special and easy to transport as they are extremely light. And don't be afraid: they don't smell :D

Regarding the heavier stuff, like wood carvings, candles, wine etc., we usually buy these at the Airport after check in, in the boarding area. They have several shops there which are more expensive than at other places but a great advantage is that you can take a bag with souvenirs with you on the plane in addition to your hand luggage.

Further more, sometimes you find shops that offer shipment. It's not cheap, but you don't have to worry about transportation, weight limits etc. and it is really nice when you get a package from South Africa after some weeks.

Hope that helps.


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Re: shoping tips and advices ..?

Unread postby Hippotragus » Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:55 pm

I think the airport duty free shops are a rip-off!! Rather buy in Kruger or close to the gates. Depending on your weight allowance, you can buy carvings, wooden fruit bowls or just lovely tablecloths.
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Re: shoping tips and advices ..?

Unread postby ecojunkie » Fri Aug 31, 2012 3:08 pm

Don't buy wood carvings on the roads. The wood may be from endangered trees, and it may not be treated so you may be buying a lot of trouble! Stick to park shops or the community shops mentioned (the latter are probably the best!)
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Re: shoping tips and advices ..?

Unread postby norms » Fri Aug 31, 2012 3:43 pm

I totally agree with EcoJunkie - Do NOT buy any wooden carving from the road side sellers. These articles are from indegenous trees, some endangered and threatened. This wood also has not been treated and you will probably take home more than you bargained for - like bugs and worms!!
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Re: shoping tips and advices ..?

Unread postby leervis » Sat Sep 01, 2012 5:38 am

Would love to see someone explaining to Aussie customs officer how the Ellie dung coasters are perfectly safe!
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Re: shoping tips and advices ..?

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Sat Sep 01, 2012 7:28 am

Good question Leervis :lol: :lol: :lol:

Ellie dung paper also makes a lovely gift. I have a painting of Meercat done on ellie dung and it is delightful.
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Re: Discussing Curios in Kruger Shops

Unread postby Bush Baptist » Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:50 pm

We always 'treat' any wood carvings we buy, irrespective of the source.
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Boring insects in wooden souveniers from Kruger area

Unread postby wildebeeste » Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:11 am

We bought some wooden carved Yellow-billed Hornbills from Numbi Gate's craft stall.
Purchased date was May 2012.
In late October 2012 we noticed some wood borings on the floor under the souvenir and found some small holes had appeared in the souvenir which is light wood.
What would this insect be and is there a danger of the insect spreading to other wood in the house?

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Re: Boring insects in wooden souveniers from Kruger area

Unread postby Guinea Pig » Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:13 am

It's a wood boring beetle and yes it can spread all over the house.

We bought masks at Maropeng in 2010 and the same thing happened.
We got stuff from a place on one of the Dutch Islands - Texel.
You spray it with it etc etc.
Took a couple of treatments to get rid of it.
I have no idea what to use in South Africa though.... I would suggest going to a Hardware store or Garden centre immediately.
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Re: Boring insects in wooden souveniers from Kruger area

Unread postby Hugh » Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:35 am

I suggest though I might be wrong
Get a stong plastic bag pop the wood carving in it spray with "doom" or any crawling insect spray and seal and leave it a day or two . repeat if necessary . Has worked for me .
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