Kenya is famous for many handicrafts that are often the signature of a particular tribe or region. You will find Kisii (soapstone) stone carvings, Masai jewellery, Mkonde wood carvings, Lamu chairs and batik objects. You will probably find the largest selection of handicrafts at the Maasai market, which rotates and is located in various places in Nairobi. On Sundays, for example, it is at the Yaya Centre near Hurlingham, and on Saturdays it is in the central business district near the Ministry of Justice car park.
On Fridays, they are at the market in the village of Gigiri, near UN headquarters. Gigiri, like Yaya Centre, is a well-to-do suburb, so the vendors price their goods accordingly. There is also a good selection of craft shops in Mombasa, where the atmosphere is a little more relaxed. However, the best prices are obtained by buying directly from the artisans in their rural villages.
In addition to typical souvenirs, such as wood carvings, it may be worth buying one of the large books containing photos of wildlife, nature or culture.
Don’t forget to listen to and buy local Kenyan music. Reggae is also very common on the Matatu rides.
The currency is the Kenyan shilling (KES), which can be divided into 100 cents. From April 2016: 1 USD = 101.44 KES and 1 GBP = 145.61 KES.
- Equity Bank’s ATMs accept Visa/MasterCard/American Express/JCB.
- The MasterCard/Visa can be used at all ATMs of Barclays Bank, CFC Stanbic, Kenya Commercial Bank, GT Bank, I & M Bank, Equity Bank and ECO Bank.