Kenya Crafts and Their Markets in Africa

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Are you looking for Kenya Crafts? When visitors come to Kenya, they only think of Akamba People as the only ones who can make best Artcrafts .

But I want to put it into your attention that Kenya has a lot of people with different background meaning every tribe has its specialized craftsmanship.

On this page therefore, we are able to show you all the places you can get that handcraft you've been longing for.

You should know that in addition to the markets and shops selling local Artcrafts, look out for the jua kali artisans who sell their wares at the roadside.

Jua kali, literally translates as ‘hot sun’, and refers to the informal economy.

Extremely versatile in what they produce, typical examples of their wares may be found along the Ngong road near the racecourse (as well as in other parts of Nairobi), where you will see wrought ironwork, basketry and woodwork for sale amidst refurbished lawnmowers, coffins and safari furniture, while on the other side of the road is the equivalent of a pavement garden centre, with a variety of plants and pots on display.

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Apart from City Market, Village Market (a shopping centre) and the Maasai markets mentioned above, the Kariokor Market on Racecourse Road is one of the best places to buy kiondo sisal baskets (and is also excellent for cheap eats), and there are a number of mitumba markets.

The largest mitumba (second hand goods)is Gikomba near the Machakos country bus station, and there’s also a good one behind Adams Arcade on Ngong Road.

These secondhand markets sell all sorts of things, from designer clothing to ritzy bathroom fittings.

The clothing comes from the West in huge bundles — the end of lines from design houses.

You need patience sifting through the piles, but there are bargains galore to be had, and some of the clothing is brand new. Be sure to go with small change as shirts will cost around KSh3O—50, jeans KSh300.

Also leave any valuables, cameras and large amounts of money behind — here the maxim ‘thou shalt not tempt’ is pertinent.

These markets are found across the country — they have impacted on the local economy, killing off any incentive to manufacture cheap clothes — but at the same time, poor people have access to clothing which they’d normally not be able to afford.

Best Crafts Shops and Markets Across Kenya


Mbagathi Ridge, Karen; tel: 020 884058Kazuri, meaning ‘small and beautiful’ in Swahili, makes exquisite handmade ceramic beads, jewellery and pottery.

Established more than 25 years ago, over the years it has given anumber of near-destitute women an important livelihood.

You can watch all processes of the beads being made at the workshop, a finely dexterous process, and there’s also a shop.

The designs are colorful and bold, reflecting Kenya’s culture and wildlife. Open Mon—Fri 09,00—16.30; Sat 08.00—17.30; 11.00—16.30

Jigsaw Designs

Lower ground Floor, Sarit Centre, Westlands, P0 Box 14235; Nairobi; tel: 020 440330; fax 020 444624; email:

This has a range of innovative wrought-ironwork for contemporary homes — ranging from four—poster beds to zebra-screen fire guards and stylish furniture incorporating sea grass, bone, wood, glass and ceramics.

African Heritage

Mombasa Road and Carnivore on Langata Road and Banda Street, P0 Box 17517, Nairobi ; tel : 020 333157

A wide range of pan-African curios, arts, crafts and jewellery is displayed.

The Carnivore shop includes an exhibition of the African Bead, tracing the history of African peoples over the past 12,000 years through their beadwork. Open Mon—Sat 09.00—18.00; Sun: 11.00—16.00

Banana Box

Sarit Centre, P0 Box 14477, Nairobi; tel: 020 440564; fax: 020 449596; email:

The shop has sourced a variety of quality crafts, often from small self-help groups, with interesting designs — ideal for presents as they’re beautifully packaged.

Kamili Designs

signposted off Langata Road, P0 Box 42281, Nairobi; tel: 020 883640, mobile: 0733 607025

There’s a range of animal designs screen—printed on to Americani (calico), with bedspreads, cushion covers and tea-cosies for sale.

Kiko Romeo

Westlands, P0 Box 76138, Nairobi; tel: 020 740254, mobile: 0733 835438; email:; web:

A leading Kenyan fashion house with well-made, locally designed, modem clothes in traditional fabrics.

Kitengela Glass

Adams Arcade, Nairobi; tel: 020561945, mobile: 0722 512699 This recycled glass in aquamarine and dark blue has been made into a range of chunky glasses, Jugs, beads and stained-glass panels. If interested in the recyclingprocess, the factory is not far from Nairobi and visits can be arranged.

Utamaduni Bogoni

East Road, Karen; tel: 020 884576, mobile: 0722 511231 This is a one-stop shop for diverse, quality curios and Africana, with some 18 individual craft shops located here. There’s also a good restaurant.

Le Ainiche Lavington

Shopping Centre, P0 Box 25370, Nairobi; mob; 0733 785457 Specialises in kiondos, reinterpreting traditional designs to include leather and beadwork.

Spinner’s Web

ABC Place, Waiyaki Way; tel: 020 440882This has a good collection of quality crafts, textiles and jewellery, much of it sourced from women’s groups.

Twendelee Handicrafts Shop

Lavington Church, Muthangari Road, P0 Box 25030, Nairobi; tel: 020 571642; fax: 020 576594; email:

This shop supports the Twendelee Women’s Self-help Project. Twendelee means ‘let us develop’ in Swahili, and the women have focused on knitting, although they also weave, crochet, sew and do beadwork. They have exquisite jumpers and colorful mats in interesting designs for sale.

Best Crafts Shops and Markets Across Kenya

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