Shopping in Kenya

market kenya You can buy a variety of arts and crafts in Kenya, all made with love

Nairobi and to a lesser extent Mombasa and Malindi are equipped with a fair selection of shops and malls, at least by African standards. Shops in smaller towns are less varied and more poorly stocked, but most regulation items likely to be required by tourists will be available. Once on safari the only options are usually gift shops in lodges and camps, which generally stock a fair selection of basic toiletries, books about Kenya, expensive touristy clothing, handicrafts and a few packaged goods such as chocolate bars, crisps and chewing gum.

makonde carvings Modern Makonde carvings

The opportunities for craft shopping in Kenya are practically endless: there are handicraft shops and stalls dotted all around Nairobi and the various coastal resorts, as well as along several of the more widely-used trunk roads and outside game reserves and national parks. In addition to an almost limitless choice of tacky identikit wildlife carvings and paintings, a range of more interesting and individualistic items is available, including intricate Makonde carvings and fantastically stylised Tingatinga paintings, from neighbouring Tanzania, inventive batiks, traditional musical instruments, Akamba basketwork, Gusii soapstone carvings, malachite knick-knacks, Masai beadwork and other tribal items, as well as toys made inventively from wire, wood or whatever other materials the creator found to hand.

Craft shops generally charge fixed prices, though there may be some slight wiggle room for negotiation. Bargaining is essential at craft stalls. To get a feel for prices, ask the price of a few similar items at different stalls before you actually contemplate buying anything.


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Popular Kenya Safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

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Amboseli, Lake Nakuru and the Masai Mara are southern Kenya's superstars, the best places for your safari...

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Search for the near-extinct hirola antelope in Tsavo East, find Africa's largest elephants and visit Chyulu Hills to see Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak...

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Why not visit more than one exciting African destination? See the Great Migration, Victoria Falls and wildlife-rich Hwange National Park...

 | Masai Mara Safari Adventure (6 days)

Masai Mara Safari Adventure (6 days)

Explore the jewel in Kenya's crown; the wildlife-rich Masai Mara National Reserve...

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Best of Africa Safari (16 days)

Experience the best of Africa, from the Okavango Delta – one of Africa's Seven Natural Wonders – to the endangered mountain gorillas and East Africa's Great Migration...

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Unforgettable experience in the jungles of Rwanda to track the last Mountain gorillas on earth and view the awesome Great Migration river crossings...

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