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Shopping in Kenya

Kenyan products are as diverse and unique as the country itself. There are traditional artifacts, fantastic jewelry, beautiful carvings, the world's best coffee, precious stones, furniture, beautiful cloth, excellent local music, wonderful modern art and so much more to be found in Kenya. Excellent, well stocked gift shops can be found in many hotels, lodges and camps throughout the country. But often real finds can be found a little further off the beaten track. For the dedicated bargain hunter, Kenya's markets are the place to be.

Nairobi, the safari capital of Africa, is a perfect place to combine the safari and shopping experience. Nairobi is a place of great contrasts where diverse cultures all become components of a unique Nairobi character. The city hosts several separate open markets on various locations around the city commonly christened the Maasai Market. Bargaining is the expected norm in Markets and even in some shops throughout Kenya. The art of bargaining has deep roots in Kenyan culture, and is regarded as an essential business skill.

Major streets in Mombasa have numerous souvenir shops and galleries, and trader stalls are abundant on Moi Avenue and Nyerere Street. Tribal beads and bracelets are predominant, and will be presented to you for purchase almost anywhere you go. Soapstone from Western Kenya has been carved into an infinite variety of souvenirs, and can be acquired at very affordable prices. Wood carvings are economical and are widely found in every animal shape as well as salad servers and napkin rings. Lamu is an ideal place to shop for well priced coastal handicrafts. Lamu is famous for its woodcarvers, whose specialties include the famous carved Lamu Doors, Furniture, signboards and Swahili boxes, intricately carved and inlaid with brass, copper or marble work.

Maasai Market offers a range of colourful African artifacts such as baskets, Musk, bangles, earrings and Bead necklaces, wood carvings, T-shirts, safari hat etc. One of the great experiences for souvenir hunters is the Maasai Market, which can be found in Nairobi on different days.  Shopping malls in Kenya are very convenient, places where you can do all your shopping in one location. Diamond Plaza, The Junction, Adams Arcade, The Village Market, the spinner’s web, Diani Beach shopping centre, Yaya Centre etc are some of the most famous shopping malls in Kenya.

Built to withstand tough terrains while still providing great comfort to the wearer, the Safari boot, hand stitched at the Bata Limuru factory has been a Kenyan icon for decades.  You also get a chance to do duty free shopping at Nairobi Airport, which host a wide range of stores. There are African clothes shops, jewellery shop, book shop, fashion shops and Liquor shops, cosmetics, toiletries, gift items and much more.

Amarula Fruit Cream Liqueur, distilled from the fermented fruit of the Marula tree, a native of the African plains is also very famous in Kenya. The spirit is aged for three years, and then blended with cream. If you like Bailey's you should give this a try. And the favorite tusker beer.

Last but not the least Kazuri's hand-painted ceramic or glass beads jewellery.  Every bead which makes up a necklace or bracelet is shaped by hand by one of the 300 local women employed by Kazuri. The beads are then kiln fired once, glazed and fired again before being strung. The workshop is in Karen, named after Karen Blixen of 'Out Of Africa' fame, on part of the farm once owned by her. Karen, a beautiful area just a few miles outside Nairobi, lies under the Ngong Hills between Kenya's bustling capital and the spectacular Rift valley.



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