Shopping in West Africa

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Lagos

    Jazz Hole

    An offspring of the great Glendora Books, Jazz Hole is primarily a book and record store. In this oasis of calm in the mile-a-minute city, sip tea in the lovely cafe and get cultural lessons from the proprietor – ask to see his own book about Abeokuta. Special events and performances in the evenings.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Accra

    Global Mamas

    This shop, which stocks pretty dresses, hats, tops, accessories (including lush scented shea butter) and kids clothes in colourful fabrics, is part of a bigger Fair Trade enterprise that promotes sustainable income-generating activities for women. Everything sold here is handmade in Ghana.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Western Cameroon

    Village des Artisans

    South of town, the Village des Artisans seems to produce more handicrafts than the rest of Cameroon combined. Get ready for some bargaining and banter – it's well worth it to explore the fine crafts from this wonderfully artistic region. Feathered hats and beaded staffs are among the collectable items.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Lagos

    Quintessence

    Out in the gated Parkview estate, Quintessence sells artworks and crafts, with an especially good selection of clothes and some antique carvings and artefacts. Some of the colourful, funky and original garments are made here, plus there are lovely embroidered Senegalese dresses.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Cameroon

    Marché des Fleurs

    A huge, atmospheric complex of roofed stalls selling crafts from around Cameroon, but mainly the grasslands region. You can buy wonderful masks, baskets, jewellery, batik clothes and tablecloths. On the airport-road side of the market, large ornamental garden plants are sold in glorious profusion, with cut-flower bouquets lining the Star Land Hotel side. Catch a flavour of relaxed Douala at the row of cafes and beer bars in the market; you can eat grilled fish, ndole and fried plantains for around CFA2000.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in São Tomé

    Pica Pau

    Looking for a souvenir? This artisans cooperative contains a fantastic collection of wood carvings, by far the best in the city, and more limited jewellery. Various vendors are on hand, and freely interrupt one another for your attention. Be prepared to haggle! Some fine gifts can be had for under €20.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Monrovia

    KaSaWa

    A fair-trade initiative that brings together designers and producers from Robertsport. The assortment includes colourful bags and clothes. The group often funds local charities – ask what's currently on its radar when you visit.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Nouakchott

    Zein Art

    A gallery curating the very best work from Mauritanian artists and craftspeople. Periodically hosts exhibitions themed around art and artists in the region.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Ouagadougou

    Village Artisanal de Ouaga

    A government-run cooperative with a wide range of crafts, ideal for souvenir-shopping without the hard sell. If you're not a fan of bargaining to death and want to find real local handicrafts, this is the place to go. Note that Blvd Tengsoba is also known as Blvd Circulaire.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Burkina Faso

    Gafreh

    This brilliant initiative, a women's cooperative, recycles the millions of black sachets handed out with purchases across Burkina into chic handbags, wallets and other accessories. Check out their factory outlet in Koko: ask someone at this location to take you there for the full range of their products.

  • Shopping in Accra

    The Shop Accra

    Opened by sisters Lorraine and Loretta Ocloo, The Shop Accra was a first for the city. Not just a hip shop offering jewellery, fashion and all kinds of Ghanaian memorabilia and homewares, it's also a very cool hang out that sells smoothies and juices (from C10) and local snacks (from C15) in its covered, but plant filled mini-backyard.

  • Shopping in Senegal

    Ndar Ndar Music & Cafe

    Ndar Ndar is a delightful little shop, with a small coffee bar in front and a spread of CDs for sale in back. There's reggae, jazz, folk and, of course, African beats. Oumar, the friendly proprietor, uses Ethopian coffee beans and pulls a strong espresso (as well as iced lattes).

  • Shopping in Accra

    Woodin

    The place to come for Ghanaian wax print fabrics, Woodin has proved so popular that there are branches throughout Ghana. If you've no time to find a seamstress, there are off-the-peg clothes for men, women and children.

  • Shopping in Accra

    Artists Alliance Gallery

    A well-respected gallery with three neatly organised floors of painting and sculpture by established and up-and-coming Ghanaian artists. Every item has an official, non-negotiable price label, so this popular gallery might not give you the frenetic experience of the city’s street markets, but it is a safe bet to find quality items while ensuring a fair amount of the money goes to the artist.

  • Shopping in Accra

    Labone Green Market

    Health conscious Ghanaians and expats alike fancy this weekly farmer-style market to top up on organically grown fruits and vegetables. There is also plenty of other treats on display, ranging from vegan sausages, home-made lasagne and soaps full of local herbs. It's all conveniently on sale in the shade under the big trees in front of the Labone Coffee Shop.

  • Shopping in Accra

    Colours in Africa

    In this small tidy store, Charity Jobarteh sells crafts and souvenirs that she picks up on her journeys through West Africa and beyond. Next to the collection of dolls, ceramics, clothing and paintings, there's an interesting selection of 'colons', little statues that usually depict colonial workers, but here also come in the shape of African mamas.

  • Shopping in Accra

    My Real Brother Shop

    Surrounded by open-air carpenter workshops, this dusty wooden shack is stuffed with artefacts from all over West Africa. Nothing here is mass produced, and you will be told the story behind every piece, from little 'passport' masks used to identify which tribe membership to the Benin chief with his 99 women. A free history lesson is guaranteed.

  • Shopping in Accra

    Vidya Books

    Accra's most popular stop for new fiction and magazines.

  • Shopping in Cabo Verde

    Praia Shopping

    In a scenic bend on the coastal road, Praia Shopping is a sleek shopping centre, with colourful clothing shops stocked with beach and casual wear, plus an extensive grocery (basement level), a cinema and an outdoor food court. For dining and drinking with a view, Mirage serves up sandwiches, salads and cocktails from the adjoining open-air terrace.

  • Shopping in Dakar

    Marché Kermel

    The covered Marché Kermel, behind Ave Sarraut and within walking distance of Marché Sandaga, sells a mixture of foodstuffs and souvenirs. It's mainly worth visiting for the beautiful building that shelters its busy stalls. The original 1860 construction burnt down in 1994, but the 1997 reconstruction has been closely modelled on the building's initial structure and decoration.