Tanzania Shopping and Districts
(Tanzania, TZ, East Africa)
Most tourist destinations in Tanzania offer a whole host of opportunities for souvenir shopping. Popular gifts to take back home include Maasai tartan blankets and beadwork, Tanzanite jewellery, traditional wood carvings and hand-printed batik fabrics.
As a general rule, you're more likely to locate a bargain at a local market, rather than in a shopping centre or craft shop.
When to Shop and Opening Hours
Most shops in Tanzania tend to open from 08:30 to 12:00 on weekday mornings and from 14:00 to 18:00 on weekday afternoons. Shops open for Saturday mornings only, closing anytime from midday to 12:30. Markets in larger towns and tourist destinations often stay open throughout the day, from 08:00 to 18:00.
Where to Shop
The main shopping area of Dar es Salaam
is Samora Machel Avenue. In and around this part of the city, visitors can find plenty of shops for some last-minute souvenir hunting, including printed cotton fabrics and paintings.
A cheaper option for souvenir hunting is to visit one of Tanzania's many local markets. In Dar es Salaam, the largest market is the vast Kariakoo Market, selling locally grown fresh produce as well as textiles.
Visitors can also pick up hand-carved souvenirs at the Mwenge Carvers' Market, located opposite the Village Museum.
The Msasani Slipway Weekend Craft Market is a more expensive option, although it's a much quieter affair, making it easier to browse in relative peace. A trip to the Fish Market at Dar es Salaam might not be the obvious shopping destination, although it's definitely worth a visit to capture the atmosphere. Fishermen deliver their catch at dawn, so an early start is recommended.
Along the coast is the Slipway, on Msasani Bay. As the busiest shopping and leisure centre in Tanzania, the Slipway offers a mix of shops, craft outlets and restaurants.
In and around Arusha, there are also lots of craft shops to choose from, such as Cultural Heritage and the Craft Shop. In Arusha, the Ngaramtoni Market is a colourful and lively affair. It takes place every Thursday and Sunday and sells a variety of local produce. Arusha's Tengeru Market is held every Saturday, being located several miles out of town on the road to Moshi.