Africa Travel Gift Ideas

Elderly Muslim men sitting around the market in Iringa, Tanzania, playing a game called Bao. Bao has many names all over the world but is probably best known as Mancala.
••• In Pictures Ltd./Corbis/Getty Images

Below you'll find some gift ideas for people traveling to Africa. CD's, donkeys, newspapers, air travel vouchers and phone cards are some of the recommendations included, which should please the ones who love Africa.

  • 01 of 09

    Traditional African board games are great fun for the whole family and often beautifully made. Many of Africa's traditional board games are strategy games, the forerunners to checkers, mancala, and tic-tac-toe. If you can't find a board game for sale, the beauty of these games is that they can be created using pen and paper, or stones and dirt.

  • 02 of 09

    Reading about a country before you travel there really enhances your experience. Reading about a country you've just visited is equally satisfying since you can picture the scenes perfectly. We've put together a list of top 10 books set in Africa. You can't really go wrong with any of them, although some are not too cheery. If you're traveling to Kenya, check out contributing author David Bristow's picks for books to read before you travel to South Africa.

  • 03 of 09

    We ran a poll about movies in Africa and The African Queen came out as the winner. But there have been plenty of excellent movies set in Africa since then. We have a list of favorites, which should please most Africa enthusiasts if they found a DVD tucked away in their Christmas stocking.

  • 04 of 09

    Everyone likes the flexibility of a gift voucher and what could be better than the gift of travel. There are several companies out there who offer travel vouchers. Most seem to be located in the UK, which is actually a good place to book a trip to Africa from, since it's often cheaper, even if you have to add on a transatlantic flight. Here's a list to check out:

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  • 05 of 09

    Travel gear is always fun to buy but those water filters, mosquito nets, first aid kits and Swiss army knives get expensive. There are several excellent outdoor retailers who carry a good range of products:  REIEastern Mountain Sports (EMSEagle Creek, and  Travel Oasis.

  • 06 of 09

    A subscription to the excellent Travel Africa Magazine will really impress anyone who is interested in African travel (or those who like beautiful photography). It's such a well-written and informative magazine. We even enjoy reading the ads.

  • 07 of 09

    African carvings, furniture, masks, jewelry, mud cloth, Kente cloth and much more are available through a number of quality online stores. Recommended shops include:

  • 08 of 09

    You can listen to many African radio stations online, but if you're traveling it's not always possible to get a good internet connection. So it's back to i-tunes and filling up your music library with the latest African beats. Check out some of Stern Music for a great selection.

    We're big fans of African contemporary art, but it's a little bulky to travel with and the airlines are getting more fussy about bringing huge carvings and paintings on board. Luckily the African Colours website offers art for sale direct from the artists, and they'll ship it to you for a reasonable price. Just browse for inspiration!

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  • 09 of 09

    Buying a cell phone or calling plan that can be used in Africa will enable you to not only keep in touch but also share the adventure. Listen in on the rumble of the Victoria Falls or the latest band in Soweto with your loved one who is traveling in Africa. There are plenty of plans available, so find out more about staying in touch while traveling in Africa. An iTunes or gift card is a great gift idea. Your loved one/friend can download some handy travel apps (or books and movies) before they head out on their African adventure.