This year, finding that perfect gift seems an ultimate challenge when the option to peruse the shops is rather limited. It took me a long time to come up with ideas to add to my own wish list because I like to look at things in person, rather than online before I choose what I would like to ask for. I did however manage to come up with a list and I have a varying list of ideas to suit a number of different budgets and interests within the wildlife and travelling sector. Wildlife lovers are often travel lovers and so all of these gift ideas cover both areas.
As helpful as Amazon is, I’m trying to avoid using them so much for the reason that supporting smaller businesses and independent businesses need the support more than Jeff Bezos.
Gift Idea 1
A very simple, yet amazing idea for that wildlife lover in your life is wildlife books. There are so many available, covering the whole range of wildlife interests from butterflies, to birds, to mammals, to fish and even reptiles. There are so many different books to suit everyone’s interest that it is rather difficult to go wrong (unless they already own the book you have gifted them, so maybe sneak a peak at their bookshelf before you buy).
Some websites that I can recommend include:
- Bloomsbury https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/non-fiction/natural-history/
- Elliot & Thompson https://eandtbooks.com
- Lynx Edicions https://www.lynxeds.com
- NHBS https://www.nhbs.com/books
- Eastern Biological https://easternbiological.co.uk/collections/adult-books
- Natural History Museum https://www.nhmshop.co.uk/books.html
- Pelagic Publishing https://pelagicpublishing.com
Gift Idea 2
Optics! Any wildlife lover could always do with a good pair of binoculars, or an optic scope. Yes, these can be expensive depending on the brand, but there are some really good ones that you don’t have to fork out hundreds of pounds for. Camera stores quite often sell binoculars and scopes as well as camera gear. Binoculars come in a variety of different optic abilities, for example 8×42, 10×42, 10×21 etc. The first number, so 8 or 10 are the magnification of the lenses, the second number i.e. 42, is the diameter of the end lens. To make binoculars worthwhile, the best recommended optics are 8×42, these can usually be found for slightly less than higher magnification binoculars. Mine are 10×42, I’ve had them for about 6 years and they still work perfectly.
Some website recommendations to find binoculars:
- Camera Centre UK https://www.cameracentreuk.com/optics-astronomy/binoculars
- The Safari Store https://www.thesafaristore.com/en/safari-binoculars
Gift Idea 3
I’ve already brushed over it slightly, but camera gear is a great gift if you have the budget for it. There are multiple options for a range of different budgets, and wildlife lovers are often passionate about capturing photos of wildlife to either hang on their walls, or to print and sell for others to have. Some tips for camera gear: find out what they already own, find out if they prefer telephoto lenses or wide-angle lenses, find out which brand they use (Canon, Nikon, Sony), remember second-hand kit is just as good as brand new – provided you get it from a reputable place.
Camera gear website recommendations:
Gift Idea 4
Camera bags can also be great presents. Maybe the photographer in your life needs a bag upgrade to fit more kit in, maybe they’re sizing down and need a good quality, but smaller bag. I’ve asked for a smaller camera bag this year, mainly because I’m looking into travelling carry-on only in the future and my current camera bag would cause issues with that.
Camera bag brands and places to shop
- Crumpler https://crumpler.co.uk
- Peak Design https://www.peakdesign.com
- Tenba https://www.tenba.com
- Think Tank https://www.thinktankphoto.com
- Mindshift Gear https://mindshiftgear.de/en/index
- Camera Centre UK https://www.cameracentreuk.com/bags-cases
Gift Idea 5
The wildlife lover and traveller in your life might appreciate a new travel bag. Maybe they want a more luxury safari style bag, maybe they’re downsizing and starting to travel more minimally, or maybe their current travel bag is just trashed and they could really use a new one. I’m asking for a travel bag this year to fit with my new love of minimalist travel; the bag I’m hoping for is the Osprey Fairview 40 litre backpack.
Brands and places to shop for travel bags:
- Tom Bihn https://www.tombihn.com
- Osprey https://www.ospreyeurope.com/gb_en
- The Safari Store https://www.thesafaristore.com/en/safari-luggage
- The North Face https://www.thenorthface.co.uk/bags-and-backpacks.html
- Patagonia https://eu.patagonia.com/gb/en/shop/luggage-backpacks
- Eddie Bauer https://www.eddiebauer.com/c/770001/gear-equipment?cm_sp=topnav_g_equipment
Gift Idea 6
There is nothing more annoying (at least to me personally) than having a disorganised travel bag. One of the easiest ways to fix the chaos is by using packing cubes. Packing cubes would be an awesome present for that travel lover you know, and are fairly cheap to buy as well. There is such a variety out there that you will be able to find one to suit the person’s needs. I got mine from Amazon a few years ago, but there are multiple brands out there that make them.
Places to buy packing cubes:
- Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gonex-Packing-Rip-Stop-Travel-Organizers/dp/B074M6GJPB/ref=sr_1_6?crid=154J5E3TMMSCQ&dchild=1&keywords=gonex+packing+cubes&qid=1607027165&sprefix=gonex+pa%2Caps%2C157&sr=8-6 (these are the same as mine, just search packing cubes and loads will come up on Amazon)
- Eagle creek https://www.eaglecreek.com/shop/packing-cubes
- Antler https://www.antler.co.uk/collections/packing-cubes
Gift Idea 7
Eco-friendly toiletries. As boring as that sounds, there are people who basically live out of their backpacks and so it is unfeasible to buy them large presents because they might not have anywhere to keep it. Eco-friendly toiletries means that you’re being kind to the earth, as well as purchasing your travelling friend something that they will be able to use wherever they are, you can always use toiletries and you never know, they might be in need of a top-up. A lot of eco-friendly products also come in bar form which is accounted for as a solid, making it easier if they are travelling carry-on only.
Eco-friendly shops for travel toiletries:
- Peace with the wild https://www.peacewiththewild.co.uk
- Lush https://uk.lush.com
- The Wild Tree https://www.thewildtree.co.uk
- The Green Turtle https://thegreenturtle.co.uk
- A simple “eco friendly shops” search on google will bring up lots of results
Gift Idea 8
Wildlife art or photos. A lot of wildlife lovers like having pictures of their favourite wildlife hung up somewhere in their house. Sometimes these pictures and artworks can just add a bit of a cheery atmosphere to a home when it’s dark and dreary, or remind someone of an amazing wildlife encounter they just had. An even better idea is if they are a photographer themselves and they’ve taken an amazing photo, sneakily getting it printed for them because you love it as much as they do would be an amazing surprise. There will hopefully be wildlife photos available to purchase from my Etsy store next year, so next year I’ll be recommending myself in the list.
The list of recommendations for this year includes:
- Tom Way Photography https://www.tomway.co.uk/index.php/signature-line/
- Etsy stores
- Wildlife photographers on Instagram often sell prints too
Gift Idea 9
Anybody who works with wildlife, watches wildlife or is just simply passionate about it will need a nice field notebook to record their findings. List making is very important to some of us in the community so that we can remember everything we have seen, whether it’s just a day out at your local nature reserve, or a big adventure abroad.
Notebook shopping recommendations:
- Eastern biological https://easternbiological.co.uk/collections/notebooks
- Dingbats Notebooks https://www.dingbats-notebooks.com
- Wildforms http://www.wildforms.co.uk/gifts-and-cards/wildlife-stationery/
Gift Idea 10
Well, if you used the previous idea and bought them a wildlife themed notebook, don’t you think it would be a good idea to buy them some wildlife themed stationary to go with it? Sometimes it’s fun to decorate your notebook to make it more your own, so wildlife themed stationary such as washi tapes, sticky notes, and other things are great ideas (especially stocking fillers if you still do that).
Stationary shopping recommendations:
- Eastern Biological https://easternbiological.co.uk/collections/stationery
- Search on Etsy too (help support those small businesses)
Gift Idea 11
Experience days. Although this year might make it difficult to arrange experience days, quite a lot of places have very long waiting times to actually book these anyways. You can always gift an experience day voucher which often is able to be used up to 12 months after it’s purchased. There are so many different experience days, for example, keeper for a day experiences, falconry experiences and many others. If this pandemic is sorted out, I would love an experience day in falconry, but I’m waiting it out for now. Experience days are also great to gift people who might be down-sizing their lives to live more minimally or people who just don’t like actual things as gifts.
- Local zoos
- Falconry centres
Gift Idea 12
Animal adoptions. Animal adoptions are great presents for wildlife lovers, usually they require a very small donation, maybe £20 for the year or something like that. These adoptions then usually have gift packages that come with them such as a plushie animal, photos and updates about that animal. The money you spend to adopt the animal then goes towards conservation efforts or care efforts to look after those animals in the wild or in captivity.
- Local zoos
- The Wildlife Trusts
- Born Free
Gift Idea 13
Wildlife clothing. There are many new brands appearing that design clothing with animals as the main feature, and a lot of these companies also give back to conservation. A lot of these wildlife clothing providers and charities now stock reusable, wildlife themed face masks in their stores, so if you’re in need of more, go check them out.
- Rhino revolution https://www.rhinorevolution.org.uk/product-category/clothing/
- The Mountain https://www.themountain.com
- Big Wild Thought https://www.bigwildthought.co.uk/
- RSPB https://shopping.rspb.org.uk/clothing-adults/
- WWF https://gifts.worldwildlife.org/gift-center/gifts/apparel.aspx
Gift Idea 14
On the subject of clothing, outdoor clothing and gear makes a good present. Maybe you’ve heard the person you’re shopping for talk about wanting safari clothing, or a good winter coat, maybe they want packable jackets which are easier to travel with. There is all sorts of outdoor clothing and gear available these days to suit everyone’s travel needs, whether it’s to somewhere cold, hot, travelling minimally or not.
- Mountain Warehouse https://www.mountainwarehouse.com
- Go Outdoors https://www.gooutdoors.co.uk
- Millets https://www.millets.co.uk
- Cotswold Outdoor https://www.cotswoldoutdoor.com
- The North Face https://www.thenorthface.co.uk
- The Safari Store https://www.thesafaristore.com/en/
- Outdoor Gear https://www.outdoorgear.co.uk
- Blacks https://www.blacks.co.uk
- Barbour https://www.barbour.com/uk/
Gift Idea 15
This one may be a little out of reach for most peoples’ budgets, but there might be a rare few who read this who are capable of this one. The best gift of all, in my opinion, would be a surprise holiday to their favourite wildlife location. Perhaps a trip to Africa (hint, hint to my bf (one day)), maybe they want to explore the Galapagos or go diving in the Seychelles. The holiday could even be a volunteering experience to go and work with their favourite species; volunteering experiences are often a lot cheaper than a fancy holiday. The budget could also be smaller with a more localised holiday, such as for UK residents, Snowdonia, Yorkshire, the Cairngorms in Scotland, the New Forest, so many places that maybe we don’t think about because they don’t seem like exciting places compared with destinations further afield. This present however is huge and requires a huge budget, so this might need to be saved for a very special occasion, or something that you and your partner could discuss and arrange together.
Some great wildlife holiday/volunteering companies
- Naturetrek https://www.naturetrek.co.uk
- African Impact https://www.africanimpact.com
- African Conservation Experience https://www.conservationafrica.net
- Wildlife Worldwide https://www.wildlifeworldwide.com
I hope that you can gain a range of gift ideas from this list that I’ve tried to create for you guys. The links I’ve provided are a tiny range of what’s out there, but please remember to find and support those small businesses if you can. None of these links are affiliate links and I earn nothing from you using them at all. I have simply provided the links in this blog to try and give you guys some good starting places for a number of the different things I have mentioned. Always remember to be careful when you do your online shopping, and I hope this blog can help you to put a smile on that wildlife/travel lover in your life.