What $100 Buys In... Johannesburg


Safaris aren't the only (big) game in town: South Africa's largest city has plenty of wild design finds and homegrown gifts worth tracking.

$6 Olives
Mark and Melissa van Hoogstraten opened their first specialty food shop, Melissa's, in 1996. Now, nationwide grocery chains like Pick 'n Pay stock their line of homemade snacks, which includes regional goodies like Cape gooseberry jam and South African olives—an increasingly popular export. At select Pick 'n Pay stores, pnp.co.za.

$20 Bangle
A copper bracelet engraved with Nelson Mandela's prison identification number is the ultimate feel-good souvenir: All sales proceeds go toward funding the Mandela Foundation's efforts to fight HIV/AIDS. American Swiss, U60 Upper Level, Rivonia Rd., 011-27/11-685-1434.

$9 Soap
Native honeybush and rooibos plants dominate the tea selection in South Africa, but their subtly sweet scents and natural anti-inflammatory properties are put to new use in Essential Earth's shea-butter-based Ultimate Cleansing Cubes. Chocolate, cinnamon, and ylang-ylang extracts add to the aromatic brew. Essential Life, 17 4th Ave., 011-27/11-447-2142.

$1 Postcards
In a nod to South Africa's status as one of the world's biggest diamond producers, graphic designer Katy Taplin prints four-inch-by-six-inch, black-and-white illustrations of cut gemstones. They're technically postcards, but they also double as affordable (and frameable) art. Dokter and Misses, 44 Stanley Ave., 011-27/82-952-7798.

$11 Tea towels
The patterns of antelopes, zebra colts, and Nguni cattle on designer Heather Moore's Skinny LaMinx cotton tea towels were inspired by millennia-old cave drawings in South Africa's Cederberg Mountains. Abby & Ross, The Parks Shopping Centre, Jan Smuts and Wells Aves., 011-27/82-825-1834.

$25 Plush toy
Artists Elaine and Pete Woo employ a small team of stitchers—Elaine's mother and a handful of Congolese refugees among them—to sew up their whimsical Woo-men toys, including a special-edition set of four dolls modeled after members of local-sensation rock band Cassette. The African Toy Shop, 7th and 4th Aves., 011-27/11-442-2643.

$23 Candle shade
As part of an Aid to Artisans project, a group of carvers transforms translucent segments of cow's horn into decorative shades like this one, perfect for tea lights or votives. Imagine Nation, 44 Stanley Ave., 011-27/11-726-8865.

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