Shopping

Africa holds a treasure trove of unique and curious objects that will cater to any fancy and impress the most discerning of tastes. Handcrafted artefacts, colourful fabrics, contemporary art, artisanal delights, fine wines and specialty coffee, bespoke home décor, chic fashion pieces and top-quality gems and jewelry are just some items that make shopping in the continent truly unforgettable.

Private Shopping Excursions
Serious shoppers know that scouting for the best places to purchase special mementos from can be quite challenging most especially in a continent as vast, diverse and unfamiliar as Africa. So much valuable time can be spent going from store to store with the risk of falling in tourist traps and curio shops that sell exorbitantly priced goods of subpar quality.
 
 
The private shopping excursions we arrange ensure that your time on the ground is maximized, accompanied by a local fashionista, interior designer or art curator to navigate the landscape for you. We keep our curated list of shopping and store recommendations constantly updated, featuring under-the-radar artisans and small businesses who take pride and excel in crafting beautiful and extraordinary keepsakes to bring home with you.
 

You do not need to limit your shopping to items that will fit your check-in luggage as majority of merchants we work with regularly ship huge packages - from pieces of furniture to crates of wine bottles all over the world. However, we still recommend that you land in Africa with ample free space in your safari bags as a lot of safari camps and lodges in our portfolio carry handcrafted and one-off souvenirs in their charming shops or at a nearby local village that you most will not find anywhere else. Do familiarize yourself with your country’s import regulations to avoid any customs issues especially for alcohol and tobacco products.

What to buy
Because of Africa’s vastness and cultural diversity, specialty items vary greatly from region to region. Some of the most sought-after mementos worth paying excess baggage fees for are listed down below to give you an idea. Not to worry, your safari consultant will share a detailed and comprehensive insider list of where to shop prior to your departure.
 
 
South AfricaA shopaholic’s paradise, Cape Town offers the best retail experiences in Africa. Compelling art by up-and-coming painters and sculptors, exotic and modern chic top-of-the-line furniture pieces and home accents, unique accessories ranging from fashionable costume jewelry to investment pieces adorned with diamonds and precious stones, delectable delicacies such as biltong which is their local version of jerky, impressive wines from rich cabernet sauvignons to bright rosés and their signature pinotage grape, artisanal beautifully bottled gins you won’t find anywhere else, premium organic bath products and scents… The list goes on and on, most sold at very reasonable prices.
 

 
Kenya and TanzaniaShopping in Nairobi and Arusha opens you to a new world of objects reflective of East Africa’s rich culture. Tokens to look out for are: necklaces and bracelets made of colorful Maasai beads symbolizing power, beauty and love. Expertly handcrafted wildlife inspired bronze pieces from tiny animal shaped pendants to life sized decorative sculptures. Handblown glass by local artisans transform into vibrant jugs, drinking glasses and miscellaneous decorative. Kikois and khangas, their version of the Asian sarong bursting in vibrant colors and attractive patterns. Robust and aromatic coffee beans that will impress caffeine connoisseurs. Authentic and ethically sourced tanzanite and precious gems at very attractive prices – we can even set up exclusive and private appointments for the serious stone seeker.
 

 
RwandaKigali’s quirky assortment of things to bring home will appeal to the traveller looking for unique and high quality goods. Talented local artists are on the rise creating a retail scene that features traditional crafts and materials updated with a contemporary touch. Wax print kitenge accessories from bow ties, scarves and bespoke shirts. Hypnotizing geometric home décor shaped into tiles, pottery and canvas made with the oddest yet most durable material -- cow dung, a traditional method called imigongo dating back to the 18th century and exclusively practiced by women. Scented candles, homeopathic oils, handwoven baskets, artisanal jams, gourmet coffees and one of the hottest chili oils in the world called Akabanga are easy to pack, there is no shortage of unique and artisanal luggage stuffers.
 

 
EthiopiaA trip to Ethiopia is not complete without visiting a Mercato in Addis Ababa for an unconventional shopping experience. Expect to see a lot of locally made handcrafted items from handheld Ethiopian crosses, paintings, carvings, gabbi and shamma cloths and scarves, clothing, linens, jewelry and even footwear by up and coming designers. Spices, gourmet coffee and local edibles are also abundant and make for perfect transportable gifts. These sprawling markets may be intimidating to navigate even for the seasoned traveller. Our guests are always accompanied by a local expert guide to ensure an optimal and safe retail excursion.
 
 
Bringing home a piece of Africa with you
Whether you are a casual buyer looking to purchase a few special mementos or a self-proclaimed shopaholic who wants to buy everything plus the kitchen sink, our curated and exclusive private shopping excursions ensure that you bring home ethically sourced and quality keepsakes lovingly made by local artisans.
 
 
Support Fairtrade products
There are over one  million farmers and workers spread across more than 33 African countries participating in Fairtrade, and there are thousands of Fairtrade products including coffee, cocoa, Rooibos tea and even silver and gold. Each purchase of a Fairtrade product, which can be identified by the FAIRTRADE Mark, can make a real difference. It is not only about fair prices for everyone but also about decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for the farmers and workers in the developing world. We highly encourage everyone to support these products as our simple shopping choices can have a positive impact on the quality of life of the farmers and workers, and allow them to lead a more comfortable and dignified life, which everyone deserves.
 
 
There is no better way to remember a life changing safari to Africa than to bring home a piece (or a few) of it with you.

Let us help arrange your
Retail Therapy

Every safari we arrange is unique and customised to suit each client’s interests and budgets.

Contact our consultant to plan a custom travel itinerary for you.

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We do not subscribe to the ‘one-size-fits-all’ philosophy. Sample itineraries and cost estimates are meant purely as a guide. To find out more, please contact one of our expert travel consultants to plan a customized itinerary based on your budget and interests.