Shopping in Southern Africa

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Johannesburg

    27 Boxes

    This shipping-crate complex of boutiques, galleries and eateries is well on its way to establishing its Melville street cred. A newly planted park, indigenous nursery, and fun kids' playground add to the allure. 27 Boxes highlights include fantastic bread from the Baker Brothers, African-inspired clothes and souvenirs from Krag Drag, and delectable Portuguese cuisine from Reserved Cafe.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Johannesburg

    44 Stanley

    The antithesis of consumer tack, 44 Stanley is a blueprint for future mall development. It’s a warren of lanes around shady courtyards and features an eclectic collection of local designers and speciality boutiques as well as pleasant bars, cafes and restaurants.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Green Point & ­Waterfront

    Watershed

    One of the best places to shop for souvenirs in Cape Town, this inventively designed retail market gathers together over 150 tenants representing the cream of Capetonian and South African producers of fashion, arts, crafts and design – there's something here for every pocket. On the upper level is an exhibition space, and a wellness centre offering holistic products and massages. Many boutiques and craft stores you'll find elsewhere in the city have outlets here, but there are also unique stalls such as Township Guitars (www.townshipguitars.com), which makes and sells all-electric guitars made from oil cans, wood and fishing wire.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Harare

    Patrick Mavros

    His clients may include Bruce Springsteen, Kate Middleton and the king of Spain, but Patrick Mavros' stunning handmade silver jewellery is very affordable. The shop has a spectacular setting, overlooking a picture-perfect valley with wildlife. All silver is from Zimbabwe and you can arrange a behind-the-scenes tour in the workshop. It's very much a family business, with Patrick running the place with his sons. They also have a shop in Chelsea, London, but prices are cheaper here, plus 10% of proceeds goes to charity. To get here, follow the signpost to the studio and gallery at the end of Haslemere Lane, 1km off Umwinsidale Rd.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Green Point & ­Waterfront

    OZCF Market Day

    Produce grown on the Oranjezicht City Farm and other local farms is sold every Saturday here alongside many other edible and souvenir products. It's a great event – one of the best of its kind in Cape Town – with plenty of food and drink stalls for brunching, a DJ and a community-coming-together atmosphere. To learn more about the farm and market, pick up two illustrated coffee-table books – Oranjezicht City Farm: Food. Community. Connection and Oranjezicht: Recalling the Past, Cultivating the Future – both sold here.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Windhoek

    Penduka

    Penduka, which means ‘wake up’, operates a nonprofit women’s needlework project at Goreangab Dam, 8km northwest of the city centre. You can purchase needlework, baskets, carvings and fabric creations for fair prices and be assured that all proceeds go to the producers. Ask about their places to stay as an alternative to the city's hotels. To get here, take the Western Bypass north and turn left on Monte Cristo Rd, left on Otjomuise Rd, right on Eveline St and right again on Green Mountain Dam Rd. Then follow the signs to Goreangab Dam/Penduka.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Green Point & ­Waterfront

    Guild

    Trevyn and Julian McGowan have made a business out of cherry-picking the cream of the South African design community and promoting it to the world in annual collections. Opened in 2017, this is their permanent showcase, so the go-to location for spotting emerging talent and to buy incredible, distinctive pieces. For something more affordable – not to mention portable – check out the boutique gift section co-curated by Guild and Wallpaper. The company has teamed up with local designers such as Wola Nani to create its own range of products.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Sea Point to Hout Bay

    Bay Harbour Market

    This imaginatively designed indoor market at the far end of Hout Bay Harbour is one of Cape Town's best. There’s a good range of stalls selling items from clothes to craftwork, as well as very tempting food and drink. Live music gives the former fish factory a relaxed, party-like atmosphere. In the adjoining Harvest Centre are the Urban Brewing Co (http://urbanbrewery.co.za) craft brewery, Ethno Bongo, and metalwork and wooodwork studios and shops.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Victoria Falls (town)

    Elephant's Walk Shopping & Artist Village

    A must for those in the market for quality Zimbabwean and African craft, this shopping village is home to boutique stores and galleries owned by a collective that aims to promote and set up local artists. At the back of Elephant's Walk Village you'll find local vendors at Big Curio Open Market, and the Tshaka's Den Complex, both of which sell locally made handicraft and Shona sculpture.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Cape Town

    Africa Nova

    One of the most stylish and desirable collections of tribal and contemporary African textiles, arts and crafts. You’ll find potato-print fabrics made by women in Hout Bay, Ronel Jordaan’s handmade felt rock cushions (which look like giant pebbles) and a wonderful range of high-end ceramics and jewellery. There's a smaller branch at the Watershed at the V&A Waterfront.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Cape Town

    Neighbourgoods Market

    This is the artisanal goods markets that kickstarted the craze for similar markets across the Cape – and it's still one of the best. Food and drinks are gathered in the main area where you can pick up groceries and gourmet goodies or just graze, while the separate Designergoods area hosts a must-buy selection of local fashions and accessories. Come early, unless you enjoy jostling with crowds.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Cape Town

    Montebello Design Centre

    This development project has helped several great craftspeople and designers along the way. In the leafy compound, artists' studios are scattered around the central craft shop, where you can buy a range of gifts, from Irma Stern cushions to tyre handbags. There’s also a plant nursery, the excellent Gardener’s Cottage cafe and a farm shop.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Johannesburg

    Kim Sacks Gallery

    Kim Sacks, a renowned ceramicist and ceramics teacher, has assembled an astounding collection of handcrafted pots, baskets, tapestries, rugs, jewellery, and other crafts from all over Africa. This is not a place to shop for average souvenirs, but rather for fine art pieces that will last forever. The unusual adobe-style building is a tourist attraction in its own right.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Bulawayo

    Giga & Sons

    Established in 1932, this fourth-generation family-run menswear store is most famous for its Courtney Boots – a homegrown shoe, sold worldwide. All of its safari boots are handmade, and are produced from a range of materials, including elephant, hippo, buffalo, kudu, ostrich and crocodile leather. There are also leather bags and a good range of khaki safari wear.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Cape Town

    Streetwires

    Their motto is ‘anything you can dream up in wire we will build’. And if you visit this social project, designed to create sustainable employment, and see the wire sculptors at work, you’ll see what that means! They stock an amazing range, including working radios and chandeliers, life-sized animals and artier products such as the Nguni Cow range.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Johannesburg

    Market on Main

    Spilling out of Arts on Main onto Fox St is this buzzy weekly market. You'll find the usual selection of takeaway food stalls downstairs (look out for the one serving delicious cups of Ethiopian coffee or spiced teas, served with free popcorn), while upstairs and on the street are colourful arts, crafts, new and pre-loved fashions and accessories.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Lilongwe

    Four Seasons Centre

    An oasis of fine dining and upmarket shopping, featuring clothing and design boutiques, a bar, a restaurant and a cafe, Four Seasons is a restful one-stop shop. There's also a play park with a bouncy castle to keep nippers amused.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Windhoek

    Namibia Crafts Centre

    This place is an outlet for heaps of wonderful Namibian inspiration – leatherwork, basketry, pottery, jewellery, needlework, hand-painted textiles and other material arts – and the artist and origin of each piece is documented. We like the root carvings.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Simon's Town & Southern Peninsula

    Kalk Bay Modern

    This wonderful gallery is stocked with an eclectic and appealing range of arts and crafts, and there are often exhibitions here by local artists. Check out the Art-I-San collection of printed cloth, based on designs by San artists in Namibia and Angola.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Johannesburg

    Art Africa

    Arts and crafts from across South Africa as well as Mali, Ghana and the Ivory Coast are attractively displayed here – you'll be spoiled for souvenir choice whether you're in the market for a carved wooden mask, beaded jewellery or even the incredible ceramics of Ardmore (www.ardmoreceramics.co.za).