Shopping is an inevitable part of a trip to Angola and their diverse ethno-linguistic background is on display through the many local products. Throughout the country are lively and exciting open air markets selling everything from food and handicrafts to a wide range of other quality products like jewelry, batik cloths and art. Artisans use a variety of materials as medium for art and sculpture, including wood, ivory, bronze, ceramic, and malachite. Carved animals are of particular interest.
Food and crafts markets are often right next to each other in just about any town you visit in Angola. In Luanda, there are two prominent areas – Benefica and Futungo. Benfica offers the best prices on souvenirs and sculptures, paintings, accessories, fabrics, and all kinds of handmade goods.
Futungo Market, attracts Kikongo traders from various ethnic groups. The market is open on Sundays and is located south part of the city. African carvings are very popular, along with signature pieces of Angolan art.
Bargaining is a well established tradition and is expected by vendors, so don’t be shy to ask for a more reasonable price. Avoid purchasing antique items that might pose problems with customs and the same goes with illegal goods like ivory. You need to have all purchases stamped before leaving the country, which can be done at a local customs shop for a fee to save time at the Angola airport.