Mar 1st, 2002, 06:18 PM
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I'm going to Kenya this summer and was curious about what is the best types of things to bring back. I'll have limited space and was unsure about shipping things as well. Is there something from Kenya (precious stones, carvings, etc) that I should especially try to bring back?
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Mar 6th, 2002, 03:45 PM
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Last year when we went to Tanzania & Kenya we found lots of things to buy. The lodges (Serena and others) have a good supply, reasonable prices Variety and prices seemed to vary a little from lodge to lodge. We didn't see precious stones - tanzanite, etc. at very many places, probably available in Nairobi stores. Native pieces were everywhere, wooden carvings - animals and natives, soapstone (this is heavy) - little bowls, frog box, Candy dishes. Jewelry-Maasai necklaces, bone bracelets and earrings (if you have pierced ears note that the earwires tend to be brass or metal, just replace them when you get home), Big 5 necklaces are every where, and I'm sorry that I didn't bring more home, because all my friends wanted one. They are wooden bead and carved animals necklaces, long enough to go over the head without a clasp. A good price was about $3.00 each, but some (at Ngorongoro Crater) were much more. Metal bracelets and elephant hair bracelets (it's a style - I got one in silver - not made from elephant hair anymore) were also everywhere.
Please do not buy ivory, it encourages poaching and is illegal to bring into the US. We didn't see any, but just don't look for it.
Kangas are the pieces of material that the women wear. I bought a bunch in a Nairobi store for $3 - 5.00, they all have a saying on them in Swahili that our guide translated for me, they make a great skirt or coverup and I found a cute book on many ways to wear them. T-shirts were available at one lodge that we were visiting and the Nairobi airport had a wonderful selection. I didn't think I was going to want any, but after 6 hours in the airport I did end up getting a few. Sisal is a fiber that they grow in East Africa and it weaves up very well to make purses or bags, it is so sturdy my purse still looks like new after a year. Maps of the parkswere pricy, but we love to look at the now Most of the lodges had tons of books which amazed me. We got a bird book (the same one as our guide, so we could read along and a few smaller ones, but the coffee table books were just too heavy to consider. We also brought home a small package of coffee and some pili-pili spice. The only thing I regret not getting was one of the large giraffe wooden statues that were everywhere in the airport. They would wrap them up for you, so if you only had one carry-on you could take it as your other piece. Shipping from there was quite expensive. None the less, when we got home and pulled out everything we had bought over 15 days we were amazed at what we fit in our luggage!
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Mar 31st, 2002, 05:39 PM
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