Kenya — Shopping and Leisure
Visitors will be able to find most items from large chain departments stores such as Nakumatt, although more unique Kenyan souvenirs are best purchased from markets or smaller stores. Around Nairobi, the Maasai Market stalls are one of the most famous and popular places to pick up gifts. The Maasai tribe are known for their beaded jewelry and red blankets. The market moves around, found near the law courts of the CBD on Saturdays and the Yaya Centre by Hurlingham on Sundays. Bartering is expected so aim to pay between half and a quarter of the originally asking price.
Most tribes in Kenya are known for a particular style or handicraft, with the Kisii making soap stone carvings, the Mkonde people carving wood and the Lamu producing distinctive chairs and textiles. Unisex cotton wraparound clothes known as kangas are available everywhere. T-shirts, hats and other merchandise bearing the logo of Tusker, Kenya’s most popular beer are another common keepsake. CDs of local Kenyan music make a unique and interesting souvenir and are a much better option than pirated CDs or DVDs, which should be avoided. Don’t buy animal skins or shells as export of these items is illegal. Kenya also produces excellent coffee and tea which is worth sampling or taking home to friends. Another beverage Kenya produces is wine, although it is not as well known as South Africa. One of the better brands is Leleshwa, produced at a mile high vineyard owned by the Rift Valley Winery.
Kenya’s natural riches make it the ideal place to relax and rejuvenate at one of the country’s spas, many of which offer signature treatments which incorporate local produce or traditions. By the coast, Ocean Beach Resort & Spa’s mid-range Morjana Spa at Malindi, specializes in vapor baths while inland, the upscale Spa Sasaab features nine luxury huts with private plunge pools on the Ewaso Nyrio River at the edge of the nature reserve. The treatment rooms are built in traditional style using local materials and the treatments feature sustainably sourced local botanicals, Kenyan coffee and Sasaab salt.