Shopping in Kenya


Dec 10th, 2004, 03:49 PM
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Shopping in Kenya

Any recommendations for interesting or unusual items that you purchased or any particular shops you'd recommend? We'll have some time in Nairobi at the end of our trip to do a little shopping. Looking for ideas/suggestions for any locally produced goods. Is there good quality coffee available for purchase? Thanks.
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Dec 10th, 2004, 04:21 PM
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if you are going to be in Narobi on a Sunday, I would suggest stopping at the open market. Don't get carried away with buying things. We did on our first day there and later found the same stuff at every rest stop on safari. However, I did buy an old wooden "basket" for about 80 dollars. I recently had it appraised at over 1000.00! Look for the old stuff or the handmade items. We bought key chains for friends made out of beads (that use to be used for trade)and the old coins before they changed to the schilling. Make sure where ever you are, you offer 25% of what they are asking and don't pay a dime more, unless it is something that you really want. You will be suprised that the same stuff is sold even at the most remote place!
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Dec 11th, 2004, 04:54 AM
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You might want to check out the Collectors Den, located on the lower level at the Hilton Hotel - if it's still in operation (your hotel or guide can advise). If I recall correctly, there are no sales people to bother you, but can answer questions. The front room had the usual inexpensive items, while the rear room had the more expensive and object d'art where someone will wait on you.

We found some wonderful batiks (small about 12"x16" and bought these in pairs to be framed at home -framing costing $60 each for $1 batiks!!!); larger pieces were available; bracelets & necklaces; carved animals - wood and stone in all sizes; dolls; hematite and malachite jewelry; tee-shirts; skirts, masks; shields; speers; and lots of other stuff. Prices here were a whole lot less then what you'd find at game lodges/camps; but competitive with what you'd find at roadside curio shops, but bargaining was more pleasant at the shop then while out on the road.

They did take credit cards, USD and local currency. If this shop still exists, check it out.
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Dec 11th, 2004, 10:16 AM
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Thank you both for the suggestions.

sandi, I'll definitely check out the Collector Den if it's still there since we're staying at the Hilton.

katj232, where is the market? We'll be there all day Monday and part of Sunday afternoon. What time does it shut down on Sunday?
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Dec 13th, 2004, 04:06 AM
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There is a pottery and bead making enterprise run solely by Kenyan women in the Karen district - near the Blixen house.

I dont remember the name of the place, but I did find the address in the Fodors TZ-Kenya travel guide. I simply gave the address to the taxi driver and he found it.

It is run by local women, and all the profits go to them so it is a good cause. You can watch them making the beads. They also make various pottery dishes, vases etc.
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Dec 13th, 2004, 08:49 AM
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That sounds like something I'd be very interested in. We'll be visiting the Blixen museum among other places so will have our driver stop there as well. Thanks.
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Dec 19th, 2004, 07:58 AM
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Whatever you do, consider hiring the taxi driver to stay with you in Nairobi, and pay by the hour or some other predetermined rate.
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