Must-see shopping in West Africa

  • 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…

  • Outside view, Global Mamas

    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…

  • 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 –…

  • Quintessence


    Out in the gated Parkview estate, Quintessence sells artworks and crafts, with an especially good selection of clothes and some antique carvings and…

  • 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,…

  • Pica Pau

    São Tomé

    Looking for a souvenir? This artisans cooperative contains a fantastic collection of wood carvings, by far the best in the city, and more limited…

  • KaSaWa


    A fair-trade initiative that brings together designers and producers from Robertsport. The assortment includes colourful bags and clothes. The group often…

  • Zein Art


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

  • 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…

  • Gafreh

    Burkina Faso

    This brilliant initiative, a women's cooperative, recycles the millions of black sachets handed out with purchases across Burkina into chic handbags,…

  • 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…

  • 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,…

  • 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…

  • Outside view, Artists Alliance Gallery

    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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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,…

  • Outside view, Vidya Books

    Vidya Books


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

  • Praia Shopping

    Cabo Verde

    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…

  • 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…

  • Marché des HLM


    The fabulous Marché des HLM is the best place to buy African fabrics. Hundreds of rolls of wax-dyed bazin cloth, vibrant prints, embroidered cloth, lace…

  • Les Ateliers Tësss


    Les Ateliers Tësss displays and sells beautiful woven textiles, which feature natural dyes and high-quality organic cotton. The remarkable gallery keeps…

  • Centre for National Culture


    A warren of stalls selling arts and crafts, known simply as the Arts Centre, this is the place to shop in Accra. The level of aggressive hassling may make…

  • Cap Vert Design


    A fine place to browse for gift ideas, Cap Vert Design has dolls, aprons, T-shirts, jams, wicker bottles for grogue, Batik paintings, wallets made of…

  • Jankara Market


    Jankara Market is the largest market in Lagos and sells everything from tie-dyed cloth, trade beads and jewellery to pirate cassettes, pottery and…

  • Marché Sandaga


    In the endless sprawl of street stalls here you can buy just about anything (as long as no one steals your purse): you'll find tapestries, wood carvings,…

  • Leslie Lumeh


    Leslie sells his watercolour and acrylic paintings and is the go-to source of info on the Liberian contemporary art scene. He does not have a gallery per…

  • Big Market

    Sierra Leone

    The top floor of the Big Market, or Basket Market, in downtown, has a larger selection than markets in Lumley. What makes this the best place to shop for…

  • Timbooktoo

    Serekunda & Atlantic Coast Resorts

    A delightful bookshop that stocks a good selection of West African titles, plus fiction and children's books. You'll also find a selection of African…

  • Marché Taouyah


    This dark, covered market is a confusing warren of passageways and stalls piled high in fish, fruit, junk and even a few natural medicines, talismans and…

  • L'Agneau Carnivale


    You'll find vintage prints, old B&W postcards, photographic books about Saint-Louis, CDs and original African paintings (in back) at this clean, well…

  • Village Artisanal Soumbédioune


    Although it lacks the energy of other markets, this is a good place to browse for souvenirs of all kinds, including wooden masks, paintings, jewellery,…

  • Case Artisanale Villageoise d'Oussouye


    Near the centre of the village, this welcoming place sells a small selection of locally made crafts, including dolls, paintings, pottery (made in…

  • Wild Gecko Handicrafts


    There's plenty to browse through here if you're looking for a souvenir, including handcrafted furniture, jewellery, textiles and clothing from around…

  • Marché du Niger


    Chaotic, colourful, smelly, fascinating and filthy dirty, the Marché du Niger is the city's most important market and a fun place to explore – just watch…

  • Cocktail du Sénégal


    The spacious Cocktail du Sénégal has a good selection of clothes, both for children and adults, along with a great variety of original gifts, souvenirs…

  • Bakau Cape Point Market

    Serekunda & Atlantic Coast Resorts

    A good place to pick up sculptures, batiks and souvenirs is this shaded open-air market on the main road. You can watch the carvers and craft makers in…

  • Victoria Park Market

    Sierra Leone

    This is the place to find colourful local wax cloths and gara (Sierra Leonean tie-die), as well as get custom outfits made.

  • African crafts


    Carved wooden crafts such as figurines and masks are on sale at the entrance to the Luna Complex.