It’s easy enough to find things to buy this time of year (maybe too easy!), but getting that unique, exciting gift that is as fun to give as it is to receive? That’s a tough one.
Luckily, Thomson Safaris has you covered. We’ve got gift ideas for everyone on your list, starting with:
East African Photography Books
It never hurts for an amateur photographer to get some inspiration from the greats. Two of our favorite photogs are Cyril Christo and Nick Brandt.
Christo’s most recent book (with Marie Wilkinson), Walking Thunder, is a stunning tribute to the beauty and dignity of the African elephant, a creature Christo works hard to protect.
Brandt’s third book, Across the Ravaged Land, is the final installment in a trilogy that shows the disappearing wonder of East Africa through hauntingly beautiful photographs.
Point-and-Shoot That Packs a Punch
Waterproof, freezeproof, shockproof, crushproof: the Olympus TG-2 iHS is perfect for adventurers who want the convenience of a point and shoot without sacrificing image quality. In addition to lens adaptors and 1080p full HD video capability, it also includes a Manometer that can pinpoint your location on an active map. No matter where you’re traveling, this fun point-and-shoot can take a beating even in the worst conditions!
The only thing more exciting than jumping out of a plane, skiing down a remote slope, or scaling a vertiginously sheer cliff-face? Showing video of your exploits to eager (less adventurous) friends and family.
Of course when you’re doing those things, you MAY need your hands. That’s where these high-tech helmet cams come in…well, handy. GoPro’s Hero3 cam is easy to use, lighter weight than earlier versions, and conveniently WiFi connected.
Sabi Camera Stabilizing Bags
Of course photographers also need tools to pursue their own craft. One of our absolute favorites for wildlife and outdoor photography nuts are Gura Gear’s Sabi stabilization bags. Easy to carry, set up, and smush into the optimal position, these will help the shutterbug in your life get a perfect picture every time!
The Vintage Fan
Remember the days when travel was incredibly glamorous? No? Well at least your walls can have that bygone dash of elegance with a few vintage travel posters. If you’re shopping for a true vintage connoisseur, consider bypassing the reproductions and looking for originals on eBay (just search “Africa travel poster)!
No one epitomizes the glamour of old Hollywood quite like Ava Gardner, which is why any retro-loving adventurer would be thrilled to get a copy of Snows of Kilimanjaro, starring Gardner and Gregory Peck in the adaptation of the Hemingway classic. And of course any safari-lover’s movie list would be incomplete without a mention of the Meryl Streep/Robert Redford classic, Out of Africa.
Need more movie ideas? We’ve pulled together some of our favorites here!
The Outdoor Adventurer
Mammut Biwak Down Jacket (Women’s)
Even on an icy mountaintop or trudging through swirling snowdrifts, the Mammut Biwak Down Jacket will keep you toasty-warm! This 800-fill goose down jacket defends against even the coldest conditions, and it compresses easily, allowing adventurers to tuck it away on warmer days.
Arc’teryx Alpha SV Jacket (Men’s)
It’s won more awards and topped more editor’s choice lists than we can count; simply put, the Alpha SV Jacket from Arc’teryx is the best of the best! This water resistant GoreTex jacket keeps you so warm and dry, it may be the last jacket you ever buy.
Outdoor Research Flurry Mittens
Wind-resistant and non-bulky, Outdoor Research’s fleece Flurry Mittens are so warm, you won’t even need mitten-liners. Perfect for high-altitude climbs…or high-octane snowball fights!
Hand-made and available in gold- or silver-plate, these Africa pendants are understated while still making a statement.
You’ll feel as good as you look when you wear one of these beautiful “Cause An Uproar” wrap bracelets, the proceeds of which go to help big cats.
Whether you’re shopping for kids, or just kids-at-heart, these fun and whimsical gifts will be a hit.
Louise Tate Illustrations
Perfect for a nursery or child’s bedroom, but charming enough for anyone, these beautiful handmade pieces of art are incredibly unique. Images in the “_ is for” series, featuring an animal for each letter of the alphabet, are distinctly child-oriented, but Tate also has a series of dog illustrations that would please pup-lovers of all ages!
Know a little adventurer-in-the-making? He or she will probably love sinking into this Kilimanjaro beanbag-style chair by Swedish designer Little Red Stuga. With patterns drawn from the East African surroundings, and the mountain’s elevation printed right on the cover, it will inspire the next generation of trekkers to reach new heights (or sink into new levels of comfort!). Also available in “Mt. Fuji” and “Everest” styles.
Young Naturalist’s Kit
Get your kids out of the house and into nature with this fun, multi-faceted naturalist’s kit. Filled with essentials like binoculars (and a magnifier, for smaller finds), a pop-up bug habitat, a butterfly net, field guides, and an explorer’s journal where kids can record everything about their discoveries, this backpack full of fun is sure to spark an interest in the great outdoors!
The Wildlife Nut
Mature? No. But(t) these safari animal butt magnets are sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face (assuming you have that half of your giftee in sight!).
National Geographic Subscription
For nature lovers of all ages and all stripes, the stunning images and involved stories in National Geographic are unparalleled, and can be returned to for years. For younger wildlife lovers, National Geographic Kids (or for the youngest, National Geographic Little Kids) is a fun treat (with an added bonus: there’s nothing better than getting mail at that age).
Anyone and Everyone
Foster an Elephant
It can be hard to shop for the person who has everything, but it would be even harder to find someone who wouldn’t be moved to help an adorable baby elephant or rhino, orphaned by the ongoing poaching crisis in Africa.
For just $50, you can foster one of these beautiful, disappearing creatures. Being an adoptive elephant-parent? That’s a pretty unique gift!
Handmade Travel Journals
There’s something about recording your travel experiences at the end of the day that heightens your appreciation of every new experience…not to mention the details of your memories! These handmade travel journals feature hand-sewn bindings and a map cover. Customize them with a map that will get the traveler in your life especially inspired! Made locally in Providence, Rhode Island by Kristin Crane.