There are certain experiences that don’t come to mind when one thinks of visiting Harare, and shopping is one of them! But it would be shame to visit this great city and not have any gifts to take back with you. So if you are visiting Harare, or would like to take a visitor out to shop for a unique Zimbabwean gift, here are a few places to consider, in no particular order.
1. Doon estate and Chapungu Sculpture Park
This is a shopping estate with a variety of crafts and sculptures for travellers. While not all the products are made in Zimbabwe, there are several shops there that stock only locally made products. There is a café there as well so after all your shopping, you can get some lunch. Chapungu Sculpture park is also in the same property. This was still under refurbishment when I visited and I’m sure once they reopen, it will be restored to its former glory.
2. Nguni and Ngwenya – UPDATE, THIS STORE HAS NOW SHUT DOWN
Nestled in the Chisi Walk shopping centre, this really is a hidden gem in Harare. With locally made ceramics and leather products, Nguni and Ngwenya offers an authentic Zimbabwean shopping experience. Most of the ceramics are sourced from factories in the city of Bulawayo in Zimbabwe, so this allows them to offer you any customisation on their products. They can ship the products to you as well.
3. Mbare craft centre
This isn’t a place that most Zimbabweans would associate with shopping, yet Mbare is home to one of the largest and most diverse craft centres in the city. Mbare is a township in Harare, and a trip to shop here is best coupled with a tour of the township. Click here to book your experience. It is best to carry some cash as you will not be able to swipe here. Your guide will be with you at all times so he can help you negotiate pricing.
4. Avondale Flea Market
A lot has changed at this market. It however, remains a good place to buy crafts and second hand books. A lot of the clothes however are imports, and not of very high quality, so I would skip that bit of the shopping experience there. Again, cash would be the best option when it comes to making payments. But as with any market, you should ALWAYS negotiate before settling on a price.
Are there any places you like to shop or would recommend to a visitor? let me know in the comments below!
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