The safari experts
13/128 Chapter
Caption goes here

shopping

Peak Rating
Key Lodges
Jan 9.0
Feb 9.0
Mar 9.0
Apr 9.0
May 9.0
Jun 9.0
Jul 9.0
Aug 9.0
Sep 9.0
Oct 9.0
Nov 9.0
Dec 9.0
Shopping is not generally high on the list for most safari travellers, but there are some locations in Africa where the range of stores selling recognisable brand procucts is quite impressive, there are places where unique African items can be purchased and, of course, there are many locations where practical purchasing like foods and medicines can be bought ...


Price and barter

The more informal the retail space, the more likely you are to need your bartering skills. However barter in sub-Saharan Africa tends to be much less extreme than further north. Where a Moroccan carpet trader may start at ten to twenty times the price, a Tanzanian vendor will rarely start at more than double or triple.

As a relatively wealthy traveller you can expect to pay over the odds for most things. We generally try to pay as little as possible where we feel we are being hustled, but relax when negotiating direct with individuals and craftspeople.


Souvenirs and curios

African arts and crafts are available almost everywhere, from large stores in international airports, city emporiums, to town markets, lodge gift-shops and improvised village and road-side stalls. We have even encountered nomadic tribes-people who have unravelled their blankets to create an impromptu 'shop'.

Generally the larger the facility, the more likely the products are to be inauthentic. For example, lots of the wooden animals being sold in Africa these days are actually made in China.

Our advice is to generally steer towards the smallest possible outlet, where you are actually placing your money in the hand of the person who crafted the piece you are purchasing. That way the whole experience seems to have more depth and value.


Art

In most parts of Africa you will find lower quality art being sold alongside curios, but there are places where much more unique and higher quality pieces can be found. If you look hard enough you can find artist's workshops in most towns. For really high class paintings and sculptures, then there are some superb galleries in the Cape Town and the Winelands. Note that the best of these are often situated at high class wineries and restaurants rather than on the high streets.


Clothing

If you are unfortunate enough to lose your luggage and need to purchase a whole new wardrobe, then you need to get into a major city, where you should find a range of stores sufficiently stocked with international brands.

For leisure shopping of clothes and other associated items, you are likely to encounter a limited range of branded products in the various camps that you visit, whilst major cities like Nairobi, Johannesburg and Cape Town all have malls similar to those you might find at home.


Groceries

If you are planning to self-drive in South Africa or Namibia, there are international style stores which are stocked with reasonably conventional produce in most significant towns.


Medicinal supplies

The issue of pharmacies and drug stores for emergency medical supplies is covered in our section on medical facilities.


Food and drink

In most cases we would encourage you to use local stores to purchase simple daily supplies such as drinks and snacks, although you should always check the integrity and hygiene of anything you consume.
Best Lodges for shopping
Your Trip
Get in touch now and we will get right back to you
with a set of individually tailor-made sample trips
From there it should be easy
to fine tune to your perfect african adventure
Trip Search
All the trips we have ever built are here for you to browse
Select a location or experience and a price range to get started
All the trips we have ever built
are here for you to browse
Select a location or experience
and a price range to get started
Lenny Franklin
Lenny Franklin, Senior Safari Consultant
We specialise in helping
our guests to build
superb trips to Africa,
easily created, reliably delivered
and for the best possible price.