Let’s face it; Kenya is a tourist gem endowed with an attractive climate, rich wildlife, diverse culture, and lots of fun destinations. Apart from the guaranteed Kenya magical experience, visitors can carry souvenirs to their family and friends back home to give them a taste of the adventure. And if you are a Kenyan living abroad, finding a way to buy unique souvenirs from home keeps your roots alive in the diaspora. Then, what do you remember about your last trip to Kenya? What do you miss from this bountiful motherland? Check out these 20 unique Kenyan souvenirs/products you can buy in Nairobi or online to relive your Kenyan experience: –

Why Nairobi?

Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya and the hub of trade in the East African region. It has vibrant tourist markets with authentic Kenyan souvenirs/products from across the country. For example, the famous Maasai markets feature artisans and entrepreneurs from different communities in Kenya. The traders have lively stalls where they showcase their unique craftsmanship. Other tourist markets in Nairobi include Kariokor and a lineup of shops on Biashara Street. And some less-known souvenir shops in Nairobi specialize in selling their artifacts and hidden treasures online.

Top Kenyan Souvenirs

1.      Maasai Souvenirs

Origin in Kenya: Kajiado, the Maasai Tribe

Purpose: Clothing, Jewelry & Accessories

Where to Buy in Nairobi: The Maasai Market, Maasai Curio Shop along Limuru Road, Kariokor, Kazuri Bead Factory along Mbagathi Ridge, Most Craft Shops and Flea Markets in Nairobi

Buy Online: https://www.etsy.com/market/maasai_gifts

The Maasai are known for graceful physiques adorned with garbs and body ornamentation. In particular, the Maasai signature garment, the shuka, replaced hide skin clothing around the 1960s and is now regarded as a national dress in Kenya. It comprises a thick woven cotton blanket with a checkered pattern in blue, red, black, green, or even yellow stripes.

The Maasai wear their shukas with intricate jewelry like long necklaces, chokers, bracelets, earrings, waistbands, handmade ceramic beads, and sandals. The jewelry symbolizes beauty, power, and love. Besides, leading fashion brands and high-end jewelry designers like Louis Vuitton have emulated these Kenyan souvenirs/products in their clothing and jewelry lines.

2.      Traditional Kenyan Masks

Origin in Kenya: Across the Country

Purpose: Aesthetic Use

Where to Buy in Nairobi: Maasai Market, Kenyan Curio Shop in Westlands, the Village Market, and Most Craft Shops in Nairobi

Buy Online: https://www.etsy.com/market/kenya_wood_masks

Beautiful traditional Kenyan masks comprise wooden carvings painted by hand. Each carving represents different themes or prominent persons in the history of Kenya or the African continent. Think of tribal Maasai Moran warriors, Turkana woman statues, and protector’s statues. And these Kenyan souvenirs/products retail with the convenient strands to hook them on your wall. Then, get these beautiful pieces and bring a bit of Kenyan culture into your home.

3.      Kitengela Glass

Origin in Kenya: Kitengela, Nairobi

Purpose: Decorative Home Accessories

Where to Buy in Nairobi: Kitengela Hot Glass Ltd next to Nairobi National Park,  Anselm Kitengela Hot Glass as Westgate Shopping Mall, Village Market

Buy Online: https://www.kitengela.com/, https://www.kitengelaglassart.com/

If you are passionate about hand-blown glass artwork, get some African-inspired Kitengela glass souvenirs. These are stylish drinking glasses, lighting accessories, stained glass for windows, garden jewelry, and even funky fencing for your home. They feature functional artwork built from scrap glass renewed and refashioned on the Athi Kapiti plains in Kenya. Most of these Kenyan souvenirs/products are by disabled artisans producing the glass objects on site. If you happen to be in Nairobi, visit the workstation next to Nairobi National Park for glass blowing demos.

4.      Kazuri Beads

Origin in Kenya: Across the Country

Purpose: Aesthetic Handcrafted Ceramic Beads and Pottery

Where to Buy in Nairobi:  Kazuri Bead Factory along Mbagathi Ridge, Daisy Zoovenir Shop at the Giraffe Center, Fairmont The Norfolk Hotel, Crafts Caravan Ltd at the Kenya National Museum

Buy Online: https://kazuri.com/shop/, https://web.facebook.com/kazuribeadske/?_rdc=1&_rdr

Beads are synonymous with the tourism package in Kenya. And Kazuri Beads gives you all kinds of colorful beads such as earrings, bracelets, and neckpieces to match your mood. Kazuri is a Swahili word that means ‘small and beautiful. Hence, each color has a special meaning that you can use for your daily positive affirmations. For example, you can pick green for prosperity or red for courage or power.

5.      Visual Art

Origin in Kenya: Across the Country

Purpose: Artistic Expression

Where to Buy in Nairobi: Kuona Artists collective, Centre for the Visual Arts, Matbronze Art Gallery & Foundry, Matbronze Wildlife Art, Utamaduni Salon, Nairobi Gallery,

Buy Online: https://www.saatchiart.com/paintings/kenya, https://fineartamerica.com/art/paintings/kenya

The Kenya government nurtures a rich art culture as depicted by the multidisciplinary art centers spread out all across the country. In particular, Nairobi is home to art galleries, visual arts studios, GoDowns with evocative graffiti, and performance stages for live music. Then, if you want a piece of this culture while away from Kenya, head to the Kuona Trust Art Center, a vibrant visual arts scene in the heart of the Kenyan capital. Here, you will get lively and informative exhibitions of Kenyan contemporary artwork, multimedia displays, films, and publications. Better still, order original paintings of tribal, modern, traditional, or abstract artwork.

Kenyan Souvenirs

6.      Kisii Soapstone Carvings

Origin in Kenya: Western Highlands of Kenya

Purpose: Aesthetic Use

Where to Buy in Nairobi: Maasai Market, Kenyan Curio Shop in Westlands, The Village Market

Buy Online: https://www.zawadee.com/blogs/blog/tagged/soapstone-carvings, https://www.etsy.com/market/kisii_soapstone

Kenya’s western highlands, in Kisii country, in a region called Tabaka, lives the Kisii community that is famous for practicing soapstone carving. They mine the soapstone from the fertile Tabaka Hills. Here, entire families sculpt stunning art pieces, accentuated by the natural colors of the soapstone. Its final finish attracts local and international buyers and makes its way into global markets and galleries. Typical pieces include abstract sculptures, bowls, vases, baskets, paperweights, and other figurines.

7.      Ebony/Akamba Wood Carvings

Origin in Kenya: Akamba Community

Purpose: Aesthetic Use

Where to Buy in Nairobi: Maasai Market, Kenyan Curio Shop in Westlands, The Village Market, Most Craft Shops in Nairobi

Buy Online: https://www.akambahandicraft.com/

Akamba wood sculptors make prolific ebony carvings distinguishable in the sub-Saharan region. The ebony wood has a distinct two-toned grain that complements the glossy and flawless finish to give each carving a striking appearance. Then get authentic Akamba wood carvings from most souvenir shops in Nairobi and add an impressive and sophisticated décor to your home.

8.      Animal-Themed Sculptures & African Batiks

Origin in Kenya: Across the Country

Purpose: Aesthetic Use

Where to Buy in Nairobi: Kuona Trust,  Jigsaw Designs at Sarit Center, Most Nairobi Art Galleries

Buy Online: https://www.etsy.com/market/kenyan_batik

Are you shopping for Kenyan souvenirs/products while on a budget? If so, consider getting hand-carved wooden sculptures, artworks, and batiks from the series of art galleries at the Nairobi Railway Museum. These are beautifully crafted art pieces from all over the country. We recommend traditional sculptures of “The Big Five”, giraffe carvings as high as 10-feet, and human figures. These artworks use wood from mango, neem, or ebony trees. Still, the Makonke carvings from the African Blackwood retail at a premium price. The African batiks retail as wall hangings, hair ties, bone beads, or jewelry.

9.      Handwoven Baskets/Kiondos

Origin in Kenya: The Kikuyu and Kamba Communities

Purpose: Everyday Carry, Aesthetics

Where to Buy in Nairobi: Maasai Market, Kenyan Curio Shop in Westlands, The Village Market, Most Craft Shops in Nairobi

Buy Online: https://www.jumia.co.ke/mlp-kiondo-bags/, https://www.etsy.com/market/kenyan_kiondo_bag

In the Kikuyu and Kamba communities, the Kiondo is an essential handwoven basket that features most homesteads. These are multi-colored handwoven sisal baskets in the Kamba or Kikuyu communities. They retail in varying colors and sizes and come in handy when grocery shopping or rocking an African attire. Besides, you can get eye-catching kiondos with sturdy leather straps. Inside the Kiondo are a fabric liner and convenient pockets and dividers to organize and secure your smaller items. And some baskets have shells or weave beds for an eye-catching finish.

10.  Authentic Kenyan Leather and Canvas Bags

Origin in Kenya: Nairobi

Purpose: Everyday Carry

Where to Buy in Nairobi: Plains House – Factory Outlet Shop, The Hub, The Junction, Sarit Center,  Village Market, Westgate, Yaya Center

Buy Online: https://sandstormkenya.com/, https://baobab.world/

For 20 years now, Sandstorm Kenya has been making authentic handcrafted canvas and leather bags especially for a Kenyan Safari. They include day bags, work bags, totes, shoulder bags, satchels, messenger bags, backpacks, laptop bags, duffels, clutches, pouches, and wash bags. Indeed, while on a Kenyan safari, you’ll notice the same canvas material sourced from Sandstorm Kenya and now used by tour operators to cover their tour van seats and give them that signature African appeal.

11.  Baobab Handbags

Origin in Kenya: Across the Country

Purpose: Everyday Carry

Where to Buy in Nairobi: Maasai Market, Baobab Shop at Yaya Shopping Center

Buy Online:  https://www.tuliaafricanstore.com/product-page/baobab-bag

The Baobab tree is one of the most respected trees since its trunk holds sufficient water to keep droughts at bay. Also, its bark produces sturdy fibers for making beautiful handbags. Baobab handbags are attractive tribal handbags, similar to tote bags. Here, women harvest the Baobab bark without cutting down the tree. They soak and chew the fibers to soften them before weaving them into gorgeous designs. Hence, you can get a picnic, shopping, beach, travel, or everyday bag in aesthetic patterns and sizes. Plus, they have durable leather straps and double handles. And you can get book covers, cushions, and briefcases made from baobab fibers.

12.  Kenyan Calabash

Origin in Kenya: Across the Country

Purpose: Functional & Ornamental Use

Where to Buy in Nairobi: Maasai Market, Kenyan Curio Shop in Westlands, The Village Market, Most Craft Shops in Nairobi

Buy Online: https://www.swahilimodern.com/products/ochre-decorative-calabash-gourd-from-kenya, https://www.etsy.com/market/kenyan_calabash, https://www.afrika-shop24.de/en/kenya-calabash-large_11779_16887

Most communities in Kenya use calabashes to serve or store food, especially porridge and milk, brew traditional drinks, serve drinking water, clean grains, or as musical instruments. Then, buy these hollowed-out and dried calabashes as ornamental pieces for your home. Assemble them alongside the rest of your wall art, or get it as an African percussion.

13.  Lesos & Kikoi – Kenyan Fabrics

Origin in Kenya: Swahili Coastal Communities

Purpose: Clothing

Where to Buy in Nairobi: Maasai Market, Biashara Street, Ngara Road

Buy Online: https://kitengestore.com/traditional-african-clothing-guide-kanga-east-africa/

Kikoi and Lesos or Kangas are authentic Kenyan fabrics worn by men and women. These are sarong-like wraps in bright and colorful woven cotton that is distinctively African. In the Swahili coastal communities, women had to cover themselves with lesos as a sign of respect. And, men would adorn the Kikoi while out with their buddies. Even though most Kikois and Lesos can be bought from flea markets along the Kenya coast, you can still source them in Nairobi. And some traders use the fabrics to make shirts, dresses, blouses, scarfs, pillows, and tablecloths. And, when preordering the lesos, you can ask the trader at the textile shop to print custom phrases at the bottom line of the fabric. These phrases celebrate childbirth, graduation, birthday, or even pay tribute to a parent or departed loved ones.

14.  Swahili Deras

Origin in Kenya: Kenyan Coast

Purpose: Clothing

Where to Buy in Nairobi: Maasai Market, The Village Market, Most Kenyan Souvenirs/Products Shops

Buy Online: https://nuriakenya.com/product/wholesale-dera/, https://ke.loozap.com/gracias-deras-fashion-nairobi-central/13008543.html, https://mysoko.com/product/Silk-deras-nA0uI

Swahili Deras are free-flowing dresses retailing in vast designs and colors. Like burqas, the Swahili Deras cover the entire body and are inspired by the Swahili culture. Only they are short-sleeved have an optional scarf. Most women in Kenya buy the Swahili Deras as casual clothing. Likewise, nursing mothers find Swahili Deras easy and comfortable when breastfeeding. Others get them together with Lesos when attending weddings, funerals, or parties. The original Swahili Deras use moisture-wicking cotton fabric suitable for the hot and humid coastal climate. Still, you can get variations of the Dera in silk or polyester fabrics.

15.  Decorated Plant Pots and Ceramics

Origin in Kenya: Ngong Road, Nairobi

Purpose: Flowers and Tree Planting

Where to Buy in Nairobi: Ngong Road, Maasai Market, Kenyan Curio Shop in Westlands

Buy Online: https://www.tridennceramics.com/main-shop/

When searching for high-end, locally made ceramics and pottery in Kenya, think of Ngong Road. Here, you will find a series of pottery studios making clay and ceramic pots for growing small to full-size trees. They retail in aesthetic designs to give your home that welcoming appeal. And you can also get tea mugs, tea lights, and jewelry.

16.  Kenya Safari Chairs

Origin in Kenya: Across the Country

Purpose:  Camping & Outdoor Use

Where to Buy in Nairobi:  Marco Polo at the Karen Shopping Center, Tarpo Building in Industrial Area

Buy Online: https://kenyakangacollection.com/product/safari-chairs-adults/, https://sunnydazekenya.com/product/safari-chair-with-acrylic-canvas/, https://tarpo.com/style/camping-chair/

Kenya Safari Chairs are outdoor chairs comprising a light wood frame and water-resistant canvas seat, back, and armrests. The wood frame has a durable coating that makes it withstand harsh weather or handling. Likewise, it can be disassembled and fit into smaller luggage for easy carry. Still, you can get chairs that arrive preassembled using solid brass fittings. There are a variety of safari chairs to fit every budget and outdoor use.

17.  Kenyan Beer & Traditional Wines

Origin in Kenya: Across the Country

Purpose: Alcoholic Drinks

Where to Buy in Nairobi: Most Pubs, and Wines and Spirits Shops

Buy Online: https://www.beersofeurope.co.uk/beer/country/kenya

Tusker Larger is Kenya’s national beer. And Muratina, Mnazi, and Chang’aa are some of the traditional brews from the Kikuyu, Mijikenda, and western communities. The homemade liquors have distinct fruity flavors and are consumed during special family gatherings. Now, whereas most traditional brews are never in mainstream markets, you can order your Tusker Larger and relive your Kenyan experience wherever you are. Other Kenyan beer brands include Pilsner, Tusker Malt, Summit Lager, White Cap, Senator, Pilsner Ice, and Tusker Lite.

18.  Kenyan Teas

Origin in Kenya: Across the Country

Purpose: Tea Drinks

Where to Buy in Nairobi: Most Shopping Malls

Buy Online: https://ajiritea.com/products/kenyan-black-tea-loose, https://www.williamsontea.com/shop/

Something about the Kenyan black tea makes it stand out in tea markets across the globe. Indeed, Kenyan tea has a distinct amber brownish color, often described as a brisk, full-bodied flavor. This uniqueness is due to Kenya’s climate, high altitude, and deep reddish soil rich in mineral content. And, it comes directly from farms, hence not blended with other teas or manipulated through mechanical or chemical processes to taste in a particular way. The unique tea creates a richer infusion when paired with milk and is a favorite with many residents in the UK. Then, get your Kenyan tea as black loose tea, black tea bags, flavored black tea, herbal infusions, Kenyan green tea, and specialty teas. Typical Kenyan tea brands include Ketepa Tea, Kericho Gold, and Fahari ya Kenya.

19.  Kenyan Spices, Herbs and Seasoning

Origin in Kenya: Kenyan Coast

Purpose:  Aromatic Seasoning

Where to Buy in Nairobi: Most Shopping Malls and Grocery Shops

Buy Online: https://www.ebay.com/p/1510145813, https://swahilimarket.com/index.php/product-category/grocery/herbs-spices-seasonings/

Now, are you a Kenyan who now lives abroad? If so, you can awaken the sensory memories of Kenya by using authentic Kenyan spices, herbs, and seasonings in your staple foods. For most Kenyans prefer having their chai or tea spicy. And they add soul-warming flavors to their staple drink and foods to nourish the body and soul.

 

Think of taking a sip of authentic Kenyan masala chai to revive your tired soul and childhood memories. The spices, herbs, and seasonings include cardamon, cloves, and ginger. They originate from Mombasa, the Kenyan coastal city whose cooking methods are hugely influenced by Indian spices.

Then get authentic Kenyan brands of spices, herbs, and seasonings that include Royco, Tropical Heat Pilau Masala, Chibundiro, Knorr Aromat, and Simba Mbili Curry Powder. Each aroma will revive your deep and joyous recollections of your motherland.

20.  Kenyan Snacks

Origin in Kenya: Across the Country

Purpose: Foodstuff

Where to Buy in Nairobi: Most Shopping Malls and Grocery Shops

Buy Online: https://swahilimarket.com/index.php/product-category/grocery/sweets/, https://www.africanakenya.com/product/mabuyu-baobab-sweets/, https://www.instagram.com/mabuyu_ya_swab/?hl=en

Which Kenyan food do you miss? Well, Kenya has lots of unique snacks loved by lots of visitors. Think of snacks like Chevda, Mabuyus (baobab sweets), Acharis (dried mango sweets), Kashatas (coconut pastries), sweet pastries, cassava crisps, mixed nuts, and cashewnuts. They are abundant as accompaniments of street food in most of the towns in the country, especially the Kenyan coast. Then, relieve your love for Kenyan street food by buying choice Kenyan snacks in Nairobi or ordering them online from Kenya.

Conclusion

Which of our handpicked Kenyan souvenirs/products appeal to you? Then, when shopping for these unique pieces in flea markets in Nairobi, never be quick to pay for the items. Instead,   bargain for a lower price point. And, since shopping malls put a fixed price tag on all their products, you may pay a premium price for the same item you get at a flea market at a bargain. Still, the shopping malls in Kenya accept international credit cards, while you will need hard cash when visiting the flea markets.

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