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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Kenya food and tipping

Tip your safari guides and helpers if you feel that your expectations have been exceeded, which happens often in Kenya | Credit: Sambuk Lodge Tip in local currency where possible; it may be quite difficult for locals to exchange small amounts of hard currency into Kenya shillings. Tipping is not standard at eateries or bars catering mainly to a local clientele, but that doesn’t mean a small something won’t be appreciated by the recipient. Tourist-oriented restaurants operate on…

Changing money in Kenya

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Getting around in Kenya

Roads in northern Kenya A good network of scheduled and charter flights connects Nairobi to other major cities in Kenya, for instance Mombasa, Malindi and Kisumu, and light aircraft flights connect and all the main game reserves to Nairobi and to each other. Not that most but not all domestic flights to/from Nairobi depart and arrive nor from Jomo Kenyatta Airport but from the smaller Wilson Airport (WIL), so check your booking. Most people explore the country on an organised group…


Popular Kenya Safaris

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

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Enjoy East Africa's most celebrated highlights, from a snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro, to sailing above the Serengeti in a hot-air balloon and meeting mountain gorillas...

Lion cubs | Kenya’s top 3 southern attractions (EA 9 days)

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Witness the wildebeest migration in Kenya's iconic Masai Mara National Reserve with HerdTracker...

Giraffes | Samburu’s Special Five, rhino and bongo (EA 8 days)

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Even if you've seen the Big Five and the Great Migration, you'll appreciate the different beauty of animals like reticulated giraffe, Grevy's zebra, gerenuk and bongo...

 | Masai Mara safari adventure

Masai Mara safari adventure

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

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Africa's biggest elephant and the endangered Hunter's hartebeest

Search for the almost 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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See the beauty of nature's greatest wildlife spectacle on one of the grandest stages of them all...

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Experience one of Africa's greatest spectacles – smell the dust and hear the noise of thousands of animals crossing the Mara River in an epic struggle for survival...

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Experience the best of the migration and wildlife in Kenya, then travel to Zambia to witness Victoria Falls, ending your adventure at Hwange National Park....