10 Best Things To Buy In Cape Town, South Africa

what to buy in cape town
| 4 min read

Many globetrotters may not have Africa on their list of destinations to visit for a vacation. But, it is a must to visit Africa at least once in your lifetime, especially the southernmost country of the continent, South Africa. A trip to South Africa will not be complete without visiting its capital city Cape Town. Stunning natural landscapes and wonderful people make Cape Town a treasure of South Africa. Head to Boulders Beach and enjoy the clear waters and pristine sands, and don’t forget to greet the waddle of penguins who reside there. Hike through the beautiful trails and observe diverse flora at Table Mountain National Park. Other top-notch attractions include Robben Island and Cape of Good Hope. While visiting as many attractions as possible, be sure to spare some time for souvenir hunting. Read on to learn about the best things to buy in Cape Town, South Africa.

1. Zulu African ceremonial spoon

<div class="fn">
Snuff Spoon</div>
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user [Unknown] used under CC0

Zulu African ceremonial spoon holds a dear place in the heart of The Zulu people, of the Bantu ethnic group in South Africa. The Zulu tribe makes these beautifully carved ceremonial spoons that are used to share festive meals during various traditional celebrations. One such celebration is during a wedding where the bride will receive a set of Zulu ceremonial spoons as a wedding gift alongside other things. When the spoon is not in use, the Amazulus store it carefully because they believe that if it is not handled with care, it can bring stomach issues like indigestion. Bringing it home will be like bringing home a part of South African culture and tradition.

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2. Vin de Constance

Klein Constantia wine farm - panoramio
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user ~ souTH AFRica ~ used under CC BY 3.0

This may come as a surprise, but Cape Town is also known for its wine. If you come to the suburb of Constantia, you will be able to see a vineyard and a wine estate called Klein Constantia. The suburb of Constantia is a region that produces the best wines in the city, one of them being Vin de Constance. The wine tastes sweet and delicate, perfect for relaxation in the evening or as an accompaniment to a meal. Bring a bottle or two home, we suggest.

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3. Beadwork

Beadwork Wire Art and Crafts (27)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Aurobindo Ogra used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Locals in South Africa wear or carry around an item or two made of beads, as per their traditions. In Africa, beadwork comes in plenty of shapes and sizes, easily available in the local markets. The most popular beadworks include animal figures and key chains. Beadworks are the most practical souvenirs to take home to your friends and family, as well as keep for yourself, serving as a constant reminder of the wonderful memories that were forged on the trip.

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4. Rooibos tea

Rooibos tea
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user KENPEI used under CC BY-SA 3.0

You may have heard of rooibos tea and its benefits before, but did you know that it originated in South Africa? It is known for various health benefits, thus making it a popular contender for the best tea out there. Produced in Cederberg area in the northern part of Cape Town, this caffeine-free tea is rich in antioxidants. Buy as many packs of this South African herbal tea as required to gift your loved ones.

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Cape Town Tour Guide

Santie Gouws

Santie Gouws

Santie Gouws is a full-time registered and accredited Adventure Guide for Hiking, based in Cape Town, South Africa. A born and bred South African, she is passionate about mountains and the region's magnificent and highly bio-diverse fynbos vegetation, and offers exquisite, tailor-made, professionally guided hiking experiences to private groups, as well as 'open' scheduled group hikes, on Table Mountain and the Cape Peninsula, as well as the nearby Boland Mountains, Groot Winterhoek and the Cederberg. If you love hiking in nature and would like to really get to know these mountains in a safe, fun, mindful and compassionate environment, then a guided hike with Santie, aka the ‘fynbos fluisteraar’/'fynbos whisperer', is for you. Well-experienced, having hiked nationally and internationally for the last thirty years, she knows these mountains like the back of her hand and apart from taking you on curated routes that takes in the most magnificent spots, she also shares her knowledge about their UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE fynbos vegetation, history and geology in a relaxed manner that young and old will enjoy.

Tours by Santie

Cape Town Tour Guide

Elsje Erasmus

Elsje Erasmus

5. Kalahari salt

Kalahari salt is no ordinary salt. The salt is specially harvested from the majestic Kalahari desert. It is one of the most natural salts ever, as it does not contain preservatives or additives. The salt is pristine and crystal white, you are going to want to use the salt for everyday cooking. Kalahari salt will make for the perfect gift for a friend or loved one who loves whipping up new recipes daily.

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6. African wood carvings

Wooden African Statues
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user MaggiePublisher used under CC0

What do you think of wood carvings? If you are a huge fan, wait until you see the African wood carvings, which are claimed to be among the most exotic carvings in the world. Whether it is a spoon, a statue, a bowl or a vase, you will find various other shapes that come in differing sizes. The African wood carvings will help beautify your house.

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7. Wire art

Beadwork Wire Art and Crafts (22)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Aurobindo Ogra used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Similar to beadwork, wire art is another practical souvenir that will be loved by your friends back home. Depending on the creativity of the local artist, you can see wire art in the form of toys and figures, among others. Many artists combine wire art with beads instead of making the usual plain wire products.

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8. Decorated ostrich egg

Ostrich egg for storing water
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Grahn used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Ostrich is one of the native animals of South Africa. When traveling in Cape Town, you will be able to see tons of ostriches. While the flightless birds may not be as friendly, you will love their eggs, especially when they are decorated beautifully by the local artisan. Bring home the decorated ostrich egg and you can add a dash of African culture to your home. The decorated ostrich eggs also make for excellent gifts for your friends or family. Do not worry, the eggs are empty on the inside. But, you have to be extra careful when bringing them home; or else, they may crack.

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9. Tanzanite

Zoïsite (Tanzanite)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Didier Descouens used under CC BY 3.0

Do you have a piece of jewelry and don’t know where it was produced? It might have been produced in South Africa because the country is among the top jewelry producers on Earth. You will be tempted to visit many of the jewelry stores in Cape Town, and you should. If you’re wondering what kind of jewelry to bring home; tanzanite is your answer. The gemstone exudes a perfect blend of violet and blue colors and whoever sees it is going to be left speechless. Of course, since the gem is quite pricey, you will not buy a lot. Buy one for yourself because you deserve luxury indulgence during your vacation, and buy some for the dearest people in your life.

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10. Mebos

Last but not least, Mebos completes the list of the best things to buy in Cape Town. Mebos is one of the most popular snacks in Cape Town, especially among those who have a sweet tooth. Mebos is a kind of sweet whose main ingredient is dried apricots. Then, to make it even more delicious, sugar and salt are added. You can find mebos in either sticks or circles.

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You cannot leave without getting a classic souvenir

After reading through the article, you can see that Cape Town offers a lot of unique souvenir items ranging from food, tea, or various objects and trinkets. Which ones are your favorite among them? Make sure you spare time to go hunting for them as these are definitely some of the best things to buy in Cape Town, South Africa.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Tenissa is a content writer, translator and editor. She enjoys being a globetrotter and has traveled to many countries around the world. So far, her favourite destination is Switzerland. She looks...Read more

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