One of the great experiences for safari-goers in Nairobi is a visit to the Maasai Market. At these open-air markets travelers can find curios, paintings, drawings, clothes, and fabrics with East African prints, jewelry, and wood carvings, many hand-made in Kenya by local artisans. You can buy all your souvenirs and gifts in one go, but get ready for some serious bargaining.
Time & locations of Maasai markets in Nairobi
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
Tips for shopping at a Maasai market in Nairobi
- Enjoy the haggling and expect to come away with some great deals. Keep in mind that it is their livelihood if they really stick to “no” you probably have gone below a price where they can make any money from an item.
- If you want to avoid being overwhelmed with attention, wait until the market gets busy
- If you have a choice, avoid the High Court parking lot location on Saturday and stick to the Yaya Centre or Village Market days.
- Avoid “gifts” as you may later discover that if you don’t buy anything else from that seller, that trinket is no longer a gift.
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