Safari Shopping...

Feb 13th, 2007, 10:48 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 18
Safari Shopping...

Ok, I admit it - I am one of the few that likes shopping in Africa almost as much as the animal watching. I was never into the 'safari look' or African/tribal decor until I went on my first safari. I think I spent about $6 grand just on souvenirs! Who can pass up the exquisite hand carvings, true-to-life paintings, authentic jewelry and all the other great items from the local people? So my question is - do any of you have the website addresses or contact information for upscale shops in Africa that sell authentic local items? Thx much!
LionQueen is offline  
Feb 13th, 2007, 11:32 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,871 but I think prices and selection will be better if you deal with Nairobi directly.

Don't know if these are the types of items you're looking for.
Patty is online now  
Feb 13th, 2007, 11:41 AM
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for handpainted textiles (pillowcases, napkins, wallhangings etc.) made in Mfuwe, Zambia.
matnikstym is offline  
Feb 13th, 2007, 12:00 PM
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Kazuri Beads and Tribal Textiles won't sell to you directly unless you are a business, buying in bulk. My sister and I had a small African imports business and we imported some of the texiles. We've decided to close down the business, but still have some of their items. E-mail me at [email protected] and I can tell you more, if you're interested.

Do you have a trip to Africa coming up? If so, we could give you better ideas for local shopping. Most of the places in Africa won't ship you individual items directly unless you're a business because of all the hassles of exporting the goods. There are quite a few shops here in the US, though, that have done the importation and sell authentic African crafts. One is Swahili Imports (Eugene and Portland OR.) They also have a website at
ShayTay is offline  
Feb 13th, 2007, 02:48 PM
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Heritage Culture Center (Cultural Heritage Limited, P.O. Box 647, Arusha, Tanzania. Telephone 255-27-250-7496 and email at :[email protected]) just outside of Arusha had huge selection of African crafts and related stuff. According to notes from our 2004 trip Manager, Saifudun Khanbhai said internet sales were possible and that they had a "speedy" delivery service.

Some posters on this board felt prices were a bit high for the area but we found them to be right in line and in some cases lower than those in other shops and certainly at lodges. I think a 5 percent surcharge for use of credit cards.
Enjoy the shopping. Dick
rsnyder is offline  
Feb 13th, 2007, 03:02 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 18
I went to Kenya & Tanzania for my first safari, next up will be Botswana. There was a place in Nairobi called the Collectors Den. This is one of the places that Micato likes to show its clients. They were expensive, no doubt about that, but there was a difference I thought.

Many of the artists would come into the shop, so when I saw a cheetah ebony wood sculpture that would have looked great on my coffee table, but told the artist & manager that I prefer problem. As long as you're willing to wait for an personalized item of your liking to be painted, carved, etc., they will make it for you. I was still getting shipments in 2 months after I had returned from my safari! Expensive yes, but where else can you get upscale, quality items just the way you want them? I'm willing to pay extra for flexibility like that! Unfortunately, so many things are one-of-a-kind that they can not put all of their offerings on their website, but if you are ever in Nairobi, go to their shop. I promise, you won't be disappointed! I haven't been to this shop in 2 years, and I'm STILL buying stuff! The manager knows what I like so whenever he gets pieces in, he sends me photos from all angles, and descriptive information about the piece. Right now, I'm waiting on him to send photos of a Masai bridal necklace. Anyway, thanks for the shopping tips everyone!
LionQueen is offline  
Feb 13th, 2007, 04:24 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Botswana has some nice baskets, but be aware that you'll be flying in REALLY small planes with little room for luggage. There is not much room left for souvenirs, but many of the camps have small gift shops. We bought some lovely baskets at Tubu Tree, made by the ladies that worked at the camp. During their mid-afternoon break, they brought out all their baskets and weaving supplies. It was fun to watch them at work, chatting amongst themselves. It reminded me of the quilting circles I watched when I was a girl.
ShayTay is offline  
Feb 13th, 2007, 06:35 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
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In South Africa, Ilala Weavers has lovely locally made items and will sell by email I believe. Very nice restaurant there as well.

In Namibia, the Namibia Crafts Centre has very nice local crafts, especially baskets and the craftspeople directly benefit. Here is a description:

"The Namibia Crafts Centre (Tel: 242 222) offers the discerning tourist top quality crafts from all over the country under one roof. The centre houses some 26 stalls. Here exquisitely hand-embroidered textiles, batiks and African clothing can be found. Various stalls sell jewelry ranging from ostrich eggshell and other beads to individual designer pieces. Traditional and recycled crafts, locally produced oils and soaps, candles and ceramics and a variety of other crafts are available. Sleeper wood furniture and woodcarvings are some of the most interesting items made in Namibia. Karakul carpets of varying sizes and colours are also produced in-house where the visitor can watch these being woven. "

They also have a nice cafe.

Contact info is:

40 Tal St // PO BOX 24204
Windhoek, Namibia
Tel : 264 61 242222
Email : [email protected]

tuckeg is offline  
Feb 14th, 2007, 10:13 AM
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Here's another one
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