Score big brownie points on your Cape Town trip by surprising your loved ones with a beautiful and distinctively Cape Town gift!
Here are our top places to get great local gifts.
Vannie Kaap is a locally run gift and apparel store in Cape Town, with a great and user-friendly online store too. It was started by a mystery founder from Mannenburg in the Cape Flats, and the items are a homage to coloured culture in Cape Town. The brand is all about humour, and many of the shirts, mugs, and other items are emblazoned with quirky, proudly Capetonian sayings.
Streetwires has a shop and working artists’ studio in the colourful Bo-Kaap. You can take a tour of the studio space, and browse the custom-made artworks and South African mementos at the shop. Streetwires is a fair trade organisation with over 60 permanently employed bead and wire artists, and by shopping here you’re helping to support these local artists and crafters.
Original T-Bag Designs
Original T-Bag Designs employs people from Imizamo Yethu Township in Hout Bay, who create greeting cards, artwork and a variety of other products from recycled tea bags. Enjoy a cup of tea in the store and see how the used tea bags are dried, emptied, ironed and then painted in the individual style of the artist. These tea bags are then applied to stationery, wooden boxes, trays, coasters and other décor items, making for the perfect gift or souvenir to take home.
Khayelitsha’s Finest Wines
Take a really unique gift back for your wine-loving friends! Khayelitsha’s Finest Wines currently offers a petit verdot rosé, a chenin blanc, and a mourvedre. The delicious small batch wines are available from some Khayelitsha venues, including Rands Cape Town and King Steak. They are also available to order directly through Facebook or Instagram, and make for amazing local gifts.
Macassar Pottery Studio
The Macassar Pottery Studio was founded in 2010, working primarily with the community of Macassar to train the youth in the art of pottery. The studio is co-owned by the employees and as a self-sustaining enterprise has been recognised in the field of responsible tourism. Here, you can find hand crafted musical intruments such as the Nigerian Udu drum or African Ocarina (a unique clay flute).
Imveli Designs is a Khayelitsha-based clothing brand that produces modern, chic garments with a traditional and vintage twist. The store at Lookout Hill, Khayelitsha, carries a range of the vibrant and trendy garments. The stunning pieces are unlike anything you’ll find elsewhere in the world, and would make special gifts for your fashionista friends.
The Bo-Kaap Bazaar is just as colourful as the surrounding houses, and offers a wide variety of local handcrafted items, ranging from fridge magnets, designer clothing, and bronze castings to ostrich leather handbags, shoes, and bric-a-brac. While you’re there, you can also enjoy a cup of coffee and a toasted sandwich from the Bo-Kaap Bite counter.
Theo Ntuntwane has been hand crafting and painting his stunning ceramics since 1992, and his studio is located in Khayelitsha. Studio visits include meeting Theo and other local artists who share the space, and the opportunity to buy some of the bold, colourful, and truly African designs. The mugs, platters, and teapots make the perfect gifts to bring a splash of colour to the kitchen.
If you don’t have time to make it to one of these speciality designers, you can pick up great gifts from any Woolworths store in the city. There’s even a small Woolworths at the airport. At any of the Woolworths stores nationwide, you can grab a beautiful tin of rooibos tea, a selection of great local wines, local natural beauty products, or other South African ingredients, clothing, and accessories.