New designs and Souvenir Gift Ideas inspired by 10 things I love about Africa

We’ve got so much in our country to be proud of and excited about. Here’s my 10 reasons I love living in Africa.

  1. The beautiful scenery we are surrounded by every day. One of my favourites also happen to be one of the new Seven Wonders of the World – Table Mountain. I was so inspired by this magnificent mountain that I illustrated the ever-popular Royal Kaap design, that soon became a popular souvenir gift. Table Mountain Ariel Cableway liked the design so much that I designed a smaller version to place on the smaller products that they sell in their souvenir gift shop. Another proud moment was when the shop owner of Batavia in the Bo-Kaap sent me a picture of one of her customers that got the Table Mountain design tattooed on her arm!

Table mountain ceramic platter

  1. Diverse and interesting people and cultures. South Africa are one of the top countries with the most official languages (11). We have such a varied mixture of people and this can be seen through our food, fashion and music. I come from an Afrikaans and English background and that’s why I’ve brought out the Afrikaans and English quote mugs. I’ve also brought out the Xhosa quote from our national anthem: “Nkosi Sikilel’ iAfrica.”, which means “God bless Africa.” What a fantastic souvenir gift to give to a friend.

Afrikaans quote mugs

  1. Delicious cuisine, world-class wine farms and the freshest seafood. I don’t think it’s possible to ever run out of things to do in South Africa. We have so many wonderful restaurants and wine farms to choose from. At the moment my favourite restaurant is the Mexican-inspired El Burro. Choosing a favourite wine farm is pretty impossible but  I highly recommend going on the wine tram in Franschhoek and visiting a few farms in the area. Just be sure to take a taxi home after all the wining and dining please!

South African food is the best

  1. No need to leave our country to travel to exciting places, as the most astonishing destinations are on our doorstep. For our honeymoon in December my husband and I travelled around the country for a month and it just made me realise again that we’re really spoiled for choice in South Africa. I loved Knysna most, but would recommend going out of season, as its super busy over the holidays.

South African beautiful scenery

  1. Incredible hiking trails. I’ve done the five- day Whale Trail hike in the Overberg, hiked up all three mountains in Cape Town – Table Mountain, Lion’s Head and Devil’s Peak a few times. I still want to do the Otter Trail and and and I always find that nature recharges my mind and motivates me with a new zest for life.

South African hiking trails

  1. Splendid sunsets and sunrises. This ties in so well with the previous point about hiking. There’s nothing that revitalises your energy like experiencing a sunset or sunrise. It just makes you realise how marvellous life is and puts life in context for you.

South African sunsets and sunrises

  1. The exquisite exotic animals, including the big five, which inspired me to create the Elephant design. Another souvenir gift favourite! In December we visited an elephant sanctuary in Plettenberg Bay and touched these huge mammals, which was such an awe-inspiring experience.

Elephant ceramic platter

  1. We braai with real wood and make braai broodjies! Check out our delicious recipe for a Mexican inspired braai broodjie that we shared with you last year on Braai Day. It doesn’t look too bad served on our Table Mountain platter, fits right in with the South African theme (hint hint, nudge nudge!).

South African braai broodjie recipe

  1. The most stunning flora ever. I’m talking Proteas and Fynbos, of course. They are my most loved flowers. You will notice that I often use these flowers in my product shots. I illustrated this Protea Dreams design with a doily in the background and created a line drawing of a Protea in navy on the limited-edition ceramics with gold rim. These Protea designs printed on our various products, makes for a great souvenir gift for an overseas friend.

Protea ceramic mug

  1. Remarkable weather. Summer in Cape Town is just the best! Though I’m not a fan of winter, I still like getting snug under a blankie with some red wine in hand and a crackling fire going. At least we can’t complain about below zero temperatures. Recently I was exchanging emails with a client in Canada when the temperature on her side was minus 25 degrees on the same day it was 33 degrees in Cape Town!

Celebrating all the good things in Africa, made me bring out these two new designs:

African Tales and Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika. (both excellent ideas for souvenir gifts)

African Inspired ceramic mugs:

New African inspired ceramic white mugs

African Tales Fine Art Print:

Africa fine art print

African Inspired Greeting Cards:

African inspired greeting cards

Natalie Van Dijk owner of Sugar and Vice


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