Where Is The Maasai Market Location In Nairobi?
When one goes on a Kenya safari, it is worth buying some souvenirs to remind them of the awesome experience they have had. Well, Kenya has such a market where you can buy beaded jewelry, artifacts, handicrafts, clothes, and shoes made from African fabrics, carvings, utensils, handbags, etc. The market referred to as Maasai Market has specific days it operates in Nairobi. The Maasai Market days in Nairobi can vary during different seasons, most are not permanent.
The name came from the Maasai Tribe who are very popular for their rich culture and their firm beliefs and traditions. The Maasai live near most wildlife reserves and are very crafty producing hand-made artifacts. Once they realized the tourists loved their crafts, they started making them for trade. They would bring them to Nairobi due to demand and that is how Maasai Market was formed.
Maasai Market Days – Maasai Market Locations
The market moves around the city on different days of the week, typically operating from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at each location.
- Tuesday: Westgate Shopping Mall in Westlands (the upper car park) relocated to Kijabe Street opposite the Norfolk Hotel
- Wednesday: Capital Centre on Mombasa Road near the airport
- Thursday: Nakumatt Junction Shopping Mall on Ngong Road
- Friday: Village Market in Gigiri (the upper car park)
- Saturday: The High Court parking lot in the city center (behind the Hilton)
- Sunday: Yaya Centre in Hurlingham
Bargaining Tips at Maasai Market
Just like any other shopping place in the city of Nairobi, you have to be aware of the way you look, how you are dressed, and how you talk, any of these factors might be the determining factor on how much you will be charged for the items you buy.
Some tourists cannot escape this as they don’t know as they are not from Africa, you have to bargain and act like you know what you want. You can buy all your souvenirs in one go but be prepared for some serious bargaining. If you want to avoid attention, wait until the market gets busy, it becomes easy to move around and bargain for yourself.
It’s also important to note that too much bargaining can hurt the vendors, especially if they insist on not changing the price, in that case, you should just pay the amount they are asking for to make sure that you are not killing their business. It mostly creates a balance and also keeps them at bay to remain operational.
Recommended Things to Buy at the Maasai Market
1 Maasai Sandals
Maasai leather and beaded sandals are to be found at most of the markets. Do not rush and buy, but rather take your time comparing different designs and prices across a few shops. Try them on before buying, as the sizes can differ between vendors.
Jewelry, especially local ones, is featured in most of the markets. You can find some really cool stuff, ranging from brass to beads. Visitors usually buy bracelets beaded in the Kenyan national colors. Note that many of the best artisans do not display their best-quality works for fear of competitors copying them. It is OK if you ask them if they have other products to show you other than the displayed ones.
3 Shukas or Masai Blankets
Shukas are Maasai blankets. They are gifts that most people will use so they are worth buying for your friends and family members. They are perfect to use in picnics or in chilly weather.
The woven carryall bags are available in natural or colorful, striped varieties. They are perfect for carrying daily items. Besides, it is so beautifully colored and unique in design.
Buy some artwork to hang on your walls, but don’t spend a fortune on them. If your budget is more flexible, you can check out some of Nairobi’s art galleries, like those at the Railway Museum or Kuona Trust. You will also find a variety of wooden carvings, bowls, and baskets to add a little Kenyan vibe to your home.
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