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  • South African Adventure V: Shopping

    A friendly "native" in Pretoria

    A friendly “native” in Pretoria

    Although South Africa is a leading provider of outdoor activities and wildlife safaris, it doesn’t mean the shopping is a neglected activity in this amazingly diverse country. Actually, no matter how hooked on sports, cultural activities or history someone is, it’s almost impossible to imagine traveling without shopping, even when shopping is restricted to buying souvenirs.

    However, when it comes to South Africa, spending your money on souvenirs is much closer to an investment than a waste: considering that for some relatively small prices you get the chance to buy some unique artworks and amazing artifacts, you will be soon regretting that you haven’t brought a bigger suit case. Here are some useful tips on where and how to find the good stuff:

    Souvenir Shops

    If there is one thing that you won’t be missing in South Africa, those are definitely souvenir shops. Here you can find the most various items, from fridge magnets to unique works of art. And don’t be mislead into believing that souvenir shops are full of kitschy objects, meant at emptying the naive tourist’s pockets: South Africa is famous for its traditional bead work, wire work and all kinds of objects made from recycled materials.

    Shopping Centers and Malls

    Considering that Africa has several cities whose population is over 1 million, there is no surprise that shopping malls are as popular here as in any other developed country. Malls are a good way to mix shopping with all kind of cultural manifestations.

    Also, as it happens in many times when you are traveling, it can be really comforting to find your familiar brands or food products when you are in the middle of a foreign country. Cities like Pretoria, Johannesburg, Cape Town or Port Elizabeth are favorite destinations when it comes to shopping and shopping centers.

    Flea Markets and Street Sellers

    South Africa has made a real tradition out of flea markets. Rosebank African Flea Market in Johannesburg  is probably the most famous among South African markets. Whether you are looking for traditional African craft work, textiles, old furniture or used electronics, here is the place to come.

    Some good places for fast shopping are also represented by the street stands that you can find at each step in the big cities. Also, don’t be surprised if someone will offer to sell you a key chain or a lighter just as you’re waiting in traffic.

    Art Centers

    In case you are willing to shop with style and maybe redecorate your house according to the African fashion, than a good place to start would be the African Arts Center in Durban. Not only you’ll get a fresh perspective on African art, but you will also support some young African artists whenever you make a purchase. Other popular art galleries include Art Africa in Johannesburg, The African Trading Port in Cape Town and  the V&A Waterfront Curio Shops.

    Curiosities

    One of the most interesting places to visit in South Africa is represented by Faraday Multi Market in Johannesburg. Here you will be able to encounter the magic side of Africa and shop for luck charms, healing potions and miraculous herbs. But the market doesn’t only offer products, it also offers services: there are lots of fortune tellers, visionaries and healers who will be offering their help for pretty decent fees.

    Category: Product #: Regular price:$ (Sale ends ) Available from: Condition: Good ! Order now!

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