Kenya is synonymous with beautiful sights and exciting activities, and it is infused with unique African love of culture and life. After you’ve had a great time in the East African country, you should take those memories back home with a variety of souvenirs.
Kenya has an artistry heritage and creative flair, and it offers strong temptations for people with a penchant for mementoes.There’s something for everyone with a variety of quaint little shops and large markets selling local crafts and keepsakes. Thus, you should treat yourself to something beautiful or get some gifts for your loved ones at home to share your great experiences.
Here are our must-have souvenirs to pick up in Kenya during your holiday!
1. Maasai Beads
This is one of our favourite souvenirs to pick up in Kenya. Jewellery made of beads in Kenya is unique and significant to the Maasai culture. The beads are usually colourful, a combination of colours to represent beauty and love. You’ll find Maasai beads in necklaces and bracelets, and they are available in most Maasai markets across the country.
The best places to get Maasai beads in Nairobi are Kazuri Bead Factory, Maasai market in CBD, City Market, and Karaoke Market. If you’re in Kenya for a safari adventure, you should visit the Maasai villages located close to the National parks (most especially Masai Mara Game Reserve), and you’ll find many Maasai beads there.
Kiondo is a beautiful handbag hand-woven by the local artisans from the Kamba and Kikuyu tribes of Kenya. You can choose from a variety of colours and sizes. The bags are made from fibres; they are long-lasting and light-weighted, which makes it easy to carry around. You can get a Kiondo for your friends and loved ones from any curio shop across the country.
Kenya is the largest coffee producer in East Africa, and it would be really great to take the taste of Kenya home. You can get the best coffee from the local farmers during a tour to some of the coffee farms in Kenya. The popular brands are produced on local farms such as Ngunguru and Peaberry farms.
Several shops and malls across Kenya also sell a variety of Kenyan coffee brands. Whenever you take a cup at home, it will remind you of the days you spent at your favourite coffee shop in Kenya enjoying a tasty cup of coffee.
4. Macadamia nuts
Can’t get enough of Macadamia nuts? You can buy some and take home. Macadamia nuts are one of the favourite exotic snacks you can enjoy in Kenya. Other recommended snacks are cashew nuts, groundnuts, walnuts, almonds, pistachio, pumpkin seed, and dates. Kenyan edible souvenirs are mostly available in the ‘nibbles and snacks’division of any superstore in Kenya.
5. Local Wood Carvings
The East African culture is synonymous with art, and you’ll find a variety of art and crafts across Kenya. Local wood carvings are an authentic piece of Kenyan art and are thoughtful gifts to take home. There are several types of local wood carvings from different regions of the country such as Ebony carvings and Soapstone carvings.
Soapstone carvings are exquisite handmade carvings, which mostly describe animal shapes in several colours and patterns. They are invented in Kisii County, in the Tabaka Hill region, but you’ll find them in most curio shops across the country.
Ebony carvings are also popular souvenirs in Kenya; they are made from the best quality wood by the Kamba people. You can buy some shinning Ebony carvings to beautify your living room to remind you of your trip to Kenya.
Local Wood Carvings By: woodworkersjournal
Akala is a type of footwear made from recycled tires in Kenya. They come in different designs and sizes and quite common among Kenyan men. You’ll find them in the local markets all around the country.
7. Kitengela Glass
The Kitengela community in Nairobi is filled with local artisans that create glass items such as flower vases, jugs, decorative animals, glass murals, tableware, glass furniture and stained glass windows. The glasses used in creating these masterpieces are recycled.
8. Kikoy and Maasai Shuka
Local fabrics such as Kikoy and the Maasai Shuka are excellent gifts to take back home because they showcase the true heart of the Kenyan culture. For years, Shuka has been a part of the ancient tradition of the Maasai people and it comes in different colour combinations, mostly blue and red. You could buy Shuka and use it as a blanket, table cloth, a beautiful throw pillow case or make a scarf out of it. The colourful Kikoy can also be used to make a beautiful dress or sarong for women and jackets for men.
9. Kenyan Artefacts
Kenya is home to a wide range of authentic traditional artefacts, which are outstanding and almost rare. You’ll find these exclusive artefacts in the northern part of Kenya such as Samburu, Masai, and Turkana.
The artefacts include shields, bow and arrows, spears, traditional swords, gourds, wrist knives and neck pillows. They are amazing gifts to buy and you can use them for decorative purposes at home.
10. Leather products
Leather products make great gifts and Kenya has a variety of them. You can get authentic leather products in the Masaai markets in different parts of the country. Some of the local leather producers include Rift Valley leathers, Leather Masters, and Luxury Leather Africa. The leather products such as shoes, bags, and belts are durable and superior.
Leather products By: Rift Valley Leather
Ready, Steady Shop!
Now that you have the scoop on the top curio items to buy in Kenya you have no excuse to come home empty handed?
What are your favourite type souvenirs to bring home from your vacation? We's love to hear from you so let us know on one of our social media channels!
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