After one of our morning drives on the second or third day in the “bush” we decided to drop by the hotel shop to check it out. Located closer to neighboring Singita Boulders which was closed for some renovations, the shop is located in a free-standing building and houses an incredible selection of 100% South African made products. If you must shop in the “bush” this is the place to be, reported to be perhaps the finest collection of tempting things at a safari lodge location.
The space was enormous, and filled chockfull of things you didn’t know you wanted. Animal hides were draped on one side of the space (upwards of $2,000 for a nice zebra hide to just $100 or more for a small impala hide) along with gnu hides, etc.
Native masks, beautiful black and white photos enlarged and framed, as well as beautiful colored photographs of the scenery and wildlife as well were on offer.
There was a dedicated women’s section with safari outfits as well as linen and cotton blouses, pants, etc.
An impressive selection of crocodile and ostrich handbags, wallets, belts etc. had us amazed at the quality of materials, design and workmanship.
The “man cave” as they referred to it, was exactly that, filled with safari jackets, hats, scarves, crocodile doodads, gun cases, bags, magnifying glasses, mounted horns, hides, etc. I could furnish my den desk in this one store alone!
The housewares section featured beautiful blankets and lines, mohair throws, feathers, etc. Oh, good grief, how could they tempt guests with this while only having 20 kilos in baggage allowance?! Easy. Buy as much as you want and they arrange to ship it home for you! Yipes. Imagine if they had balikbayan box service from South Africa, I would have been in SERIOUS trouble!
Ostrich egg doodads, polished horns of all kinds mounted, as bases for candelabra, as handles for magnifying glasses, silver, handmade leather bracelets… the showcase of South African talent was most impressive.
There was some kitschy stuff, but you need to have things for all ranges of desire I suppose.
But just look at this ottoman covered in a zebra hide?! I liked that. And the large crocodile satchel was over the top. But I did end up buying the two magnifying glasses with horn handles, for very reasonable sums each. We would later compare prices at this shop with some places in Cape Town, and I can tell you they were comparable, and thus, quite reasonable, considering you were shopping in the middle of the bush…