During my Switzerland tour, I did find best Souvenir shop giving stuff in half the prices and many of the blog readers found it useful during their Switzerland trip. Similar experience I had during Souvenir Shopping in Kenya, they are available inside the lodge gift shops but pretty costly. Also during the road travel you will find many Curio shops, however since you need to head down to the destination for game rides, there is no time to bargain.
So I recommend to reserve dedicated time only for shopping & bargaining during Souvenir Shopping in Kenya (in Kenya you need to bargain and only bargain) Get into Nairobi or Nakuru town to explore local markets. Surely you will find the same stuff for 1/3rd prices !! and good variety.
Remember I bought the mummy papa in the first stop to Equator line, where I got them only for 2600 Kenyan shillings ( $25 USD) including the Kikoy (scarf) and that turned out to be the cheapest deal in the complete trip !!!! Same experience during my Swiss trip !!!
That shop details are
Shop 79 Curio shop, Nyahururu
Owner name – Enock Achuti phone +0725293492
As we moved on the way from Masai Mara to Nairobi, we spent lot of time in different roadside shops, but most of the time we all came out due to astonishingly high prices quoted by the shop owners !!! and in spite of getting such large business they were not ready to get down on prices !! So it was mere waste of time !! loosing 2~3 hours on the last travel day !!!
Finally at Nairobi we found the Westlands Triangle Market similar to Tulsi baug in Pune, where variety of souvenirs were available at bargain prices, unfortunately I got only 30 minutes to bargain and get my stuff, so it was a compromise for me 🙁
Anyway here is what I saw in the markets which you can plan to buy .. I have also indicated prices so that you can plan your budget beforehand
Photo of Shop no 136 at Westlands Triangle Market (Elizabeth, phone 0726072925)
Souvenir Shopping in Kenya guide
Re-commanded shop is … stall no. 7 which is located quite inside this shopping complex owner is Risper Njeri Woweru, phone 0722-300726, the owner is very kind and provided best quality souvenirs with best bargain prices for my friend.
Most interesting fact for Souvenir Shopping in Kenya is that barter exchange is possible in these shops (and all over Kenya in Curio shops) … Specially they like Pen, Goggles, Indian Jewelry, but be careful and bargain hard (do not handover things to them before you bargain, in a minute the person can vanish getting your goods !! this is my personal lesson’s learnt !!)
Now looking at typical roadside curio shops … they are having typical layout … The toilets are located at the end of shop and the way to toilets goes diagonally through the entrance, so obviously they ensure that you pass through the complete shop before you reach to wash rooms, and between that they catch you up to sell the souvenirs …
Shields and Spears
The Maasai artistic shields displayed outside the shop in below photograph. The shields are bit large to carry back on the plane, but check with shop keeper and he will show how to fold/separate and pack inside the baggage.
The Kamba people carves out beautiful ebony carvings which are worth buying. enlighten Kenya memories by displaying these in your living room. At back side of one curio shop I found this poor artist carving beautiful shapes, on asking for photograph, he happily said yes and asked if he can get some Indian sweet 🙂 ofcourse he got lot of it from me and my friends. But I could see the hard way he may be making money 🙁
While you are on the way back from wash rooms you will see lot of such carvings all around …
Every curio shop will have display of batik art from notable artists such as Senkota, Mutyaba and Lukenge.
African masks are fantastic souvenirs to gift your friends, it looks beautiful on living room walls. The Wakamba specialize in this type of carving, mostly made using mahogany or ebony. I know its difficult to identify but try to avoid buying cheap painted wood that is polished to look good.
Maasai jewelry made with intricately connected beads forming beautiful neck pieces, bracelets and earrings. Wow !! perfect gifts for dear ones and fashion accessories for your wife or girlfriend 🙂
I recommend to buy these from the Masai women at the Masai Mara entry gates .. you can get original shapes (at market you get modified to suit western world shapes) Starts from $1 USD to $10 USD.
A beautiful rectangular cotton piece used as a garment for males and females. They come in vibrant colours and designs … . Feel free to use it as a sarong, a beach towel or a turban !!! Prices $7 USD to
The Kikuyu and Kamba tribes of Kenya makes these beautiful hand-woven sisal handbags. They are long lasting due to the fiber quality. Surely those designs you won’t get anywhere but only Kenya. You can see handbag photos in the shop no 136 photo in the beginning of this blog post
Kanga (also referred to as Lesos)
While you travel across Kenya, you will see men and women wearing a rectangular piece of printed cotton fabric which has a message at the bottom side (usually a Swahili saying). You can use it as a scarf, head wrap or simply as a wrap around the waist. $4 USD to $6 USD
Akala (Chappals / flipflops)
Its Chappal or sandal made from recycled tire. Akalas are long-lasting due to the tyre rubber properties, and provides 10 times longevity as compared to normal footwear. I saw it used by most of the men .. $2 USD to $5 USD a pair (plz check out photos on internet, incidentally I did not click !)
AS Kenya has got so much plain and high altitude land available, British has use it well .. and Kenyan coffee is undoubtedly some of the best quality coffee that you can taste for. Known for its intense flavor and aroma. Be sure to buy original ground Kenyan coffee in the supermarket or Dormans (coffee houses in Kenya)
Key chains, Fridge magnets, bookmarks
Last but not the least are small wonders that help you service mass of friends to distribute souvenirs for after return !!! You can buy them in Dozens !!
Shopkeepers here never ever tell you price of one piece, hence difficult to tell prices, but during bargain you can easily assume $1 USD to $2 USD per piece of keychain or firdge magnet or bookmark.
Magnetic fridge giraff
Bookmarks for children
Key chains for friends