The gift ideas below have been chosen to appeal to curious-minded people with a love of geography. We’ve made an extra effort to pick items that are ethically produced and/or donate money to charity. We don’t make any money from the links (with the obvious exception of a Geographical gift subscription!)
The game lover
There’s plenty of board games out there designed to appeal to those with a love of wildlife and nature. In fact we made a whole list of them.
Our top pick is Conservation Crisis, the game that allows all ages to learn about the challenges of protecting wildlife. Developed alongside experts, players take control of a wildlife reserve in crisis to save an endangered species, making critical financial, ecological, and societal decisions.
Tunza Games uses a share of revenues to fund conservation projects around the world. Tusk, The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, The Pole Pole Foundation and The CCG Trust are all supported in their protection of national parks and endangered species.
The wildlife lover
Several organisations, charities and zoos offer animal adoption programmes. We think one of the best is offered by WWF. A year’s adoption will cost £36 pound (although you can opt to donate more). Gift recipients receive an optional cuddly toy, a welcome pack (standard version or for children), regular updates and a certificate.
Find the full list of animals here. WWF also specify those animals most in need: at the moment this includes elephants, tigers, jaguars and polar bears.
Alternatively, if you fancy adopting an animal you can actually visit, the Donkey Sanctuary (situated in Devon) lets you choose your favourite donkey by name.
The book lover
We couldn’t possibly pick just one book so we have created several guides, curated by theme.
To make the birdwatcher in your life happy we recommend heading straight to those in the know. The RSPB has an online shop full of birdwatching gifts. Click the FSC button to view products approved by the Forest Stewardship Council.
The map lover
If you read Geographical it seems safe to assume you don’t mind the odd map, and we’ve no shortage of recommendations:
Personalised maps are all the rage, with options you can write on, stick pins in, get wet, crumple up and even wear.
The Amnesty International shop offers Crumpled World Maps – write your travel stories directly onto them with the included marker.
Scratch-maps are a good bet for anyone who likes tracking their travels. This one from Not On The High Street is made in Italy.
Splash maps are a UK-based map and clothing company. Inspired by the fabric maps used by soldiers during WWII they’ll print any map of your choice onto a variety of fabrics and clothes.
As part of the Ordnance Survey’s range the UK mapping authority offers a custom-made map service. Just choose your preferred locations and they’ll print them for you with a fun title of your choosing.
For those who prefer their maps traditional, it might be time to take a trip to London’s The Map House. For over a century, The Map House has specialised in collecting fine cartographic material.
Finally, don’t forget to check out our guide to the perfect mapping books for geographers!
While most of us will have done very limited travelling this year there’s nothing to stop us dreaming and preparing for freer days.
We like these logbooks from Bear in Mind. The small US-based company (cheap shipping to the UK applies) makes pre-printed logbooks for hiking, backpacking, diving and road trips – enough to satisfy most adventurers. The logbooks are printed exclusively on stone paper (a tree-free process).
Many of today’s eco-friendly products are also useful for travel and make great gifts. From plastic free toothpaste tabs and bamboo camping cutlery, to reusable coffee cups and solid shampoos – a hamper containing a few of these could make a great gift for anyone looking to travel light and sustainably.
For a bigger gift you might consider luggage. Patagonia’s Black Hole duffle bags are made from recycled plastic bottles and are designed for serious travel.
Puzzles are having a bit of a moment.
Our favourites include the Women in Science puzzle from the Science Museum, the Fauna puzzle by Cloudberries (who partner with Eden Reforestation Projects) and anything from Touch Wood who make beautiful 3D puzzles including globes, animals and solar systems.
The eternally curious
Time for a plug. We’d love it if you would consider buying your loved one a subscription to Geographical!
Geographical is available as a monthly print magazine, delivered straight to your (or your chosen person’s) door. It costs £9.50 for three months, or £38 for a year.
Packed full of stunning photography, maps, infographics and more, our aim is to bring you stories from every corner of the globe, told though the lens of geography – stories that inform, entertain and amaze. Our writers are award-winning journalists, photographers, explorers and adventurers who span the globe covering the most important issues facing the planet today.
As the official magazine of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) we also bring readers all the news from the Society, dipping into its phenomenal archives to share stories from the past and to celebrate the explorers who opened the eyes of our ancestors to the magnificence of the Earth.
For the serious geographer in your life why not consider the gift of membership to the Royal Geographical Society Society (with IBG). Gift membership unlocks one year of geographical inspiration, professional opportunity, and community connection with the Society. You also get access to Geographical!
Gift membership is available as:
Ordinary Membership: Includes access to online Monday night lectures and events programme, plus the back-catalogue of events and talks. Members also receive a subscription to Geographical. Gift membership for an Ordinary Member costs £149 for one year.
Young Geographer membership (for anyone aged 14 – 24): Includes access to the digital edition of Geographical magazine, the Society’s entire range of online academic journals, and a host of educational resources – from podcasts and videos explaining core topics on the geography curriculum, to professional advice for those in their early careers. Also includes access to our member-only events, including live streamed Monday night lectures. Gift membership for a Young Geographer costs £52 for one year.