In and around Nairobi - A
glimpse at some of the shops
The Craft Market - A wonderful little craft store with a great selection. It's been there a long time and run by two real nice folks. Good prices. UPDATE: This wonderful shop was sold to Blue Rhino - and they fired the old mzee that was working there for a long time. It's still a cool shop, but not as nice as the original.
The Craft Banda - African handicrafts, wood and stone carvings, precious and semi-precious stone items and jewelry
Trio Craft - Hand-woven carpets and fabrics
Kiosk Africa - A self-development/support project that promotes over 50 artisans mostly from Kenya, but also includes gifted refugees from other African countries. Jewelry, baskets, fiber art, batiks, musical instruments.
The Spinners Web - Hand-woven carpets, placemats, rugs. Custom design.
Westlands Curio Shops - Hand-woven laundry baskets, fruit baskets, wood carvings, necklaces, jewelry. They are in the big market across from the Sarit Center.
Wrought Iron Design - Dealers in wrought iron crafts like candle holders and statuettes
Rinzo Enterprises - Zanzibar art works, beaded baskets, carved frames, chest lockers, metal and wooden crafts. In the downtown city market.
Jacana Designs - Creative wrought iron statues, candle, napkin, card holders.
Tribal African Art - Trading in African artifacts - masks, statues, authentic antiquities.
Jesey Gallery - Collectors of African traditional arts and antiquities.
Kazuri Beads - Ceramic beads, jewelry and pottery. Large selection of interesting items.
Jigsaw Designs - Is a
lifestyle shop specialising in innovative homeware including:
"We create ranges that combine local materials such as Iron, Seagrass, Bone, Glass, Wood and Ceramic; making our style of design contemporary, exciting, and yet uniquely African.
Set in beautiful garden surroundings, away from the hustle and bustle of town, yet comfortably close to the main shopping areas, Jigsaw is the perfect place to browse at leisure for a special gift or to just relax and be inspired!"
The art of Kioko Mwitiki - One of East Africa's most renowned sculptors. Recently installed giant metal elephants on the roundabout of the Mombasa/airport road. Really caused a stir!
Kenya Souvenirs and Crafts - All types of African handiwork and original art.
The Potter's Wheel - Handmade stoneware pottery, also instructional.
Zanzibar Curio Shop - The oldest curio shop in Nairobi. All types of African art, artifacts - from contemporary to modern, local to exotic.
Ndani Interiors - Interior designers that carry upscale carpets, antiques, sculptures and homeware.
Product Design & Development Center - Crafts of every type. One of the big exporters to stores internationally (like Pier 1-type places). Fun place to visit - and you can eat right next door.
Blue Rhino - Classic map prints of African countries, address books, photo albums, magic cubes, etc.
The Town Market - Only a mile outside of town, in the suburb of Westlands, the market is a collection of over 300 kiosks all packed into a triangle-shaped island between three main roads. There is nothing you can't find - masks, shields, baskets, Tinga Tinga boards and canvases, batiks, statues, jewelry, soapstone and wood carvings - and probably no better place to go for the best deals. With each vendor competing for your business, the bargaining can be fierce. But rest assured nobody wants to see you leave empty-handed.
This is not to be confused with the City Market in the City Center - a huge, open, multi-tiered building where you can find the same types of things as the Town Market, but also fresh fruits, veggies, and flowers - as well as meat, meat, and more meat. Imagine all of this under one roof!
"I had a farm in Africa at the foot of the Ngong Hills. The Equator runs across these highlands, a hundred miles to the north, and the farm lay at an altitude of over six thousand feet. In the day-time you felt that you had got high up; near to the sun, but the early mornings and evenings were limpid and restful, and the nights were cold." Isak Denison, the pen name of Baroness Karen Blixen. The Ngong Hills at left.
In and around Karen and Langata
About six miles outside of Nairobi. Former home of Karen Blixen, of 'Inside Africa' fame. The city was named after her, and what remains of her home and plantation is now a great place to have a relaxing meal, a beer in the garden, or a nice cappuccino! These areas are also the places to go to get out of the big-city of Nairobi. It's relaxing and quiet with a low-key attitude. Very picturesque - a part of the Kenya that is reminiscent of times of the past.
More historical background on Karen Blixen
Kitengela Glass - Creations in blown glass, stained glass, glass beads, and unique handicrafts and gifts. They now have an outlet in Nairobi, at Adams Arcade on the Ngong Road, but a trip to their stained glass studio on the other side of the Nairobi game park is a trip to remember. Their brochure reads in part, "Welcome to Kitengela Glass. If you have parked in the parking place you will see the Feng Shui picnic garden, feel free to use this and share your bananas with the Sykes monkeys who use it too...The hot glass studio is the only one of it's kind in middle Africa. Glass is blown and beads are spun, with nooks and crannies inlaid with mosaics and full of surprises. Animals are part of Kitengela - from the numerous dogs (don't be afraid, they are used to visitors), to our giant pigs, the donkeys, Mithilda the mule, Koru the horse, some ancient ostriches, and Farouk the riding camel. Ask Ali to saddle him up for you. They all like carrots."
But aside from the amusement of the place, the glassware that is produced there is incredible - it's almost impossible to leave Kitengela Glass without taking something with you!
Kitengela Glass Contact information:
Anselm Croze - Kitengela Hot Glass
Kerongerlou Workshops - Makers of unique rustic furniture made from
We strive to blur the boundaries between inside and outside. It is today's and tomorrow's answer to life in the open where everyone can feel truly at home....
"Better to light a candle than curse the darkness"
With the help of a great many bees we also make hand-made beeswax candles
especially noted for their long burning time. Our range varies from fragrance candles to
colored candles in all sorts of shapes and sizes.
Maasai Weavers - Maasai dolls, necklaces, bangles, spears, shields - all things Maasai.
Nicklin Artworks - Frames, furniture, clocks, household items - specializing in reclaimed hardwoods.
Kamili Designs Kenya - Unique hand-printed and hand-painted fabrics - bedspreads, curtains, duvets, cushion covers, lampshades, tablecloths, etc. Custom orders.
Matbronze - Fine art foundry and gallery. Precision bronze statuettes.
Arbor-Oils of Africa - Wild plant-based skin care products using only African herbs and trees.
African Tribal Art - Art and
artifacts in quantity and variety.