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Discussing Curios in Kruger Shops

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DuQues
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Unread post by DuQues » Tue May 09, 2006 3:31 pm

Here is a list of plants and and animals that are in Appendix I, II or III. Import and export of them, or parts of them is forbidden.
Not posting much here anymore, but the photo's you can follow here There is plenty there.

Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c

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Unread post by Bush Baptist » Fri May 12, 2006 5:01 pm

Albert wrote:What I find quite irritating regarding the "curios" and momentos for sale in the Kruger shops is that many are virtually the same as that available, for example, in the shop at Tsitsikamma. I get the impression the stuff is bought in from elsewhere in bulk.
I know it is kitsch, but I used to buy beer mugs as momentos. Back in the day I could buy something inscribed/printed with the camp's name where I bought it (Satara, Shingwidzi, whatever). Then that disappeared, and then the only differentiation was "Kruger Park", "Kgalagadi" etc etc. Now every beer mug you get in any park is the same..."big five" "africa" bla bla bla......
Uniformity sucks.


Its all geared for the foreign tourist. I will never buy a t-shirt that says South Africa, but I usually buy camp ones.

Ask Stephen to show you the Biyamiti ones, I have 2 and they are priced reasonably.
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Unread post by Foxy » Fri May 12, 2006 6:16 pm

I think the Kruger shops are outrageously over-priced - in Dec I wanted to buy my 6 month old niece in Canada a T-shirt with the the little five on, you've guessed it, hopelessly over priced at R105-00!!
I agree they should bring back the items that had camp names on such as coffee mugs etc

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Unread post by Jay » Fri May 12, 2006 7:38 pm

Freda wrote:I agree, if you have looked in one camp shop you can give all the others a miss.
Afsaal have their own merchandise with Traders Post on, so why can't the rest?


Ok, now I am going to stick my scrawny neck out far enough to get it chopped off....before I begin, SANParks, you are an amzing organisation that does an awesome, awesome job BUT the shops, virtually all of them are stocked and run by one retailer, I will be kind and not mention their name. That's why all the stock is the same. Also this particular retailer is and I quote "not interested in goods that are not mass produced ..." And in case anyone is wondering, this same stock is available in every flippin nook and cranny of this country. And local and foreign tourists alike are complaining like crazy. I dunno, but I think maybe this does require some thought being put into it :?

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Unread post by Jazil » Fri May 12, 2006 7:52 pm

Your right jay, and that one retailer buys from outside companies, not even SA ones, so very little is locally made, I mean SA made. I know that there is a heap of Swazi made stuff in those shops, at an enormous mark up :shock: (Ingwenya Glass and Swazi Candles and Gone Rural Grass baskets and mats mainly)

But then I dont really know the answer to this problem either :cry:

I just know that all touristy type shops add an enormous mark up because they dont think the foreign tourists will either notice or care, not sure which. I have a friend here in Swazi who runs a very successful touristy type job, with real up-market goods in it, at the Royal Swazi Sun, and the mark up is horrific.... good for her, but not for the tourists.
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Unread post by Fizzpop » Sat May 13, 2006 11:56 am

Just to really but a big stick in this Topics 'Can of Worms',...
have you ever looked to see where the items are being made?

I am sure the majority of the clothing items - hats, T shirts etc are made in the Far East - the hawkers in Durban beachfront sell similar items.
There are ornaments made in Swaziland - proudly advertised.
in a SANpark shop.
I really used to enjoy buying a Camp momento, after each visit, even a simple sticker, but even those are not available for every camp anymore.
It must be because the Shops are run under a single concession? Not sure, but the truth is, there are still people queing up to buy the overpriced "kitsch" every day.. just look at Lower Sabie camp shop.

My point - we (our SANPS) must suport SA industries, and curios must be derived from proven, renewable/ sustainable resources.... eg Elephant Dung Paper :wink:
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Unread post by DebM » Sat May 13, 2006 4:53 pm

As a foreign tourist I do try and return home with locally made produces from the country I am visiting, hopefully produced from renewable/sustainable resources, and at a reasonable price, but often it is difficult to achieve.
Jazzy, I can cope with Swazi goods, but don't often buy them now, as I don't like the horrendous mark ups on the goods, as long as locally made goods are also available.
As the shops in KNP are now outsourced, I assume that the profits go to the company that runs the shops and not SANParks.
If I knew the profits went into the park I would probably find the prices more acceptable.
I suppose that the reasoning for the high cost of goods, are that the majority of foreign visitors only visit once and that they'll pay anything for a curio to remind them of their trip.
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Unread post by Foxy » Sat May 13, 2006 5:25 pm

And that's just where the problem lies and the company knows that some foreigners will pay their price.
Ever noticed how the prices of the curios vary from outlet to outlet in KNP.

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Unread post by Bush Baptist » Sat May 13, 2006 11:42 pm

Jay wrote:Bouf, as far as I now a certain percentage of the turnover of the Kruger shops does go to SANParks.


They must obviously also pay rental to SANParks and employ local people to serve in them
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Unread post by fannymays » Sun May 14, 2006 4:12 am

Look at it from the other side, that T shirt at R105 is only around $16, which is a steal for a Kruger shirt as a memento. These guys running the stores now know that as well.
South Africans will really struggle to haul out that money to pay for it, but those from across the waters see it as an absolute steal.
The sickening thing is that that shirt is probably not even made in SA, and probably costs around R10 - 20 if that.
As a result there are jobs being lost left right and centre.
That is why when I am in the park I will not buy any such curios, as it is day light robbery, even though my Dollar makes it pretty cheap.
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Unread post by cougar » Tue May 16, 2006 5:13 am

I also thought the prices in the shops for a lot of the items (especially clothing) were much too expensive.

I like to try to buy a nice shirt as a souvenir when I go different places. I would have liked to get a nice, long-sleeve "safari"-type shirt with a Kruger logo on it, but I couldn't find anything like that.
I found the type of shirt, but the logo was something that I wasn't familiar with, so I didn't get it (and it was close to US$50).

Would others buy apparel with the Kruger logo? I'm guessing there are licensing issues surrounding this.

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Getting souveniers home

Unread post by mizeet » Sun Oct 01, 2006 6:22 pm

My husband and I will be travelling to Kruger in February 2007 all the way from Western Canada (32hrs flying).
Our home is an African theme and we want to add to our collection of African art and curios, one of which will hopefully be a 2ft high wooden carved elephant.
My questions to you are, where would you recommend to find the best curios and this size of elephant.
The next question is, how do we get it home?
Do you know if they crate and ship from the curio shops?

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Unread post by 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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fannymays
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Unread post by 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 post by 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.
I wish I was on my way to Kruger right now to help you clear out some of your excess inventory!
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