Culture The Beauty of Africa

5 Outstanding Curio Shops in Nairobi Promoting African Culture

A curio Shop
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African heritage is immortal even with the threat of foreign culture partly because of the existence of curio shops in Nairobi.

These shops display an array of African-themed art and souvenir speaking of the African culture.

They are a major tourist attraction because they tell about the African culture in depth. Most of it includes traditional African jewellery, wildlife, decorations among other things.

While in Kenya, curio shops in Nairobi hold a rich history of the land.

Curio Shop

Curio Shop in Kenya. Photo/AFK Travel

Table of Contents

What is Curio?

A curio shop is a type of souvenir business that specializes in selling oddities and other novelties.

These novelties have an African culture inspiration. Be sure to find curio shops in Nairobi in these locations.

Hilton Arcade Curio Shop

The oldest craft shop in town is located here. In addition to the low prices and one-price policy, there are several reasons to visit.

You get a basket, walk through the shop filled with mesmerizing African crafts.

Beaded bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and animals, as well as wooden spoons, carved creatures, and Kitenge bags and purses, are all items to look out for.

It is your standard Maasai Market merchandise at a great price.

Maasai Market

Maasai Market is a to-go-to destination for curio shops in Nairobi. In fact, it is a superb point for hagglers. Interestingly, sellers from the main Maasai Market along City Hall way take the wares to major malls across the city on different days.

Traditional items, like brightly coloured beaded jewellery, hand-woven baskets, soapstone figures, and wooden masks, are all available.

In order to circumvent middlemen and sell straight to tourists, Maasai women began these marketplaces in the area. Even though they are no longer organized solely by Maasai elders, these shopping extravaganzas are still quite popular.

Westlands Maasai Market

At the hub of Nairobi’s commercial hub – Westlands – is the bubbly Maasai Market. Unlike its sister market in the CBD, curio shops in Nairobi line up in Westlands.

Every curio shop has unique merchandise for sale. You get hand-woven African shopping baskets, souvenirs, beads, necklaces, the big five animals and decorations.

Kazuri Beads

It is interesting that among the iconic curio shops in Nairobi is Kazuri Beads situated in the suburbs of Karen.

Kazuri’s inception was to help women in the area having a hard time securing employment.

You have an opportunity to see how Kazuri’s famed beads are made by taking a factory tour. Every step of their making is transparent and enjoyable to watch.

Besides purchasing jewellery crafted by the women, you can also purchase a packet of loose beads and create your own masterpiece.

With $40, you get yourself a jumbo packet of the beads.


Maasai Beads. Photo/Kenyakidz


Utamaduni is a third stop on the elephant orphanage and Giraffe Centre tour route in Nairobi.

It is a big house packed with typical African crafts. And the beauty of this curio shop in Nairobi is that wares are reasonably priced.

Haggling is not important here because the prices are relatively affordable. At Utamaduni, African wear such as mud cloth is available among many others.

‘Utamaduni’ is a Swahili word meaning ‘culture’ in English. Every bit of this curio shop in Nairobi is a reflection of the African culture.

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