Being a top centre for tourism, Africa has many friendly markets where tourists from all over the world can buy great made-in Africa products. These markets are not like the luxurious malls which sell selected products which are usually foreign made, they are the open-air local markets with hundreds of African traders selling mostly various unique African products which reflect African arts, culture and traditions. Here top 5 tourist friendly African markets for the best made-in-Africa arts, souvenirs, and other unique resources:
- Khan el Khalili Market in Cairo, Eqypt is traced back to the 14th century, when Emir Dajaharks Al-Khalili built a large market complex on the site of the Za’afran Tomb, a burial place of the Fatimid rulers of Egypt. It is described as a shopper’s paradise and like many Middle Eastern ‘souks’ which is the Arabic term for market, there are merchants selling all kinds of colourful, shiny trinkets which most tourists love to buy. It also has a spice market, where traditional aromatic spices are sold side by side with western perfumery. The market has a variety of fabric and carpet shops in addition to antique shops and vendors offering lasting Middle Eastern pieces. It is definitely a must-visit location for tourists.
- Karatina Market is an open-air market in Karatina town, Nyeri County, a few hours away from Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. The market is the largest in East Africa which has a variety of goods, ranging from ciondos (baskets made from sisal), and many other market goods.
- Merkato Market is an open-air market located in the west of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. The commercial centre spreads across the Addia Ketema sub-city, one of the 10 sub-cities that make up Addis Ababa. Newly built modern shopping malls exist side by side with the old makeshift stores, and chains of stores selling a particular item have the word Terra affixed to them as a suffix which is helpful to newcomers and shoppers to find their way around the market.
- Kejetia Market in Kumasi which is the centre of the ancient Ashanti Kingdom is the single biggest market in Ghana. The market has an estimated 45,000 stores and stalls and covers a very wide area with a variety of traders selling foodstuffs, electronics, agricultural hardware, traditional kente strips, batik, bracelets, household goods, and so much more.
- Balogun Market is located at the centre of Nigeria’s centre for commerce Lagos state particularly at the centre of the metropolitan city known as Lagos Island. The market is the largest within the state and has thousands of variety of products both African and foreign. The market is the centre for purchasing the cheapest clothing materials, souvenirs, arts, and so many other African made products. It is definitely one to be visited by tourists who are interested in experiencing a real Nigerian market with the chance to access a wider variety of African products.
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