Mson Israel Photo by Tomas via Flickr Creative Commons

Locally-made products such as paintings, ebony carvings and bracelets make the best souvenirs from the Congo. Cities and larger towns have contemporary shopping centers and traditional marketplaces selling everything from African carvings and hand-woven baskets to fresh produce. Most shops are open Mondays to Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m., and from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The capital, Kinshasa, is home to most of the Congo’s best supermarkets where you can get soap, kitchenware, food, and beverages. Other items to consider buying include Katanga hand painted art, copper masks and wood carvings. Also worth mentioning is the famous kuba wrap, which is made from the fiber of raffia palm trees. Ivory pendants and collectible power figurines that stand with their arms crossed are popular, too.

Souvenirs and local crafts can be purchased from boutiques run by the government, but there are also genuine items sold in roadside stalls. One must be willing to deal with persuasive merchants to get the best bargain.

Click here to learn about Transportation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo