The Maasai Market
The Kenyan Maasai Market is the place to shop if you are looking for affordable, beautiful and colorful souvenirs to take back home with you. It is an open-air market with a broad variety of items to buy including African paintings, jewelry, shoes, bags, clothes, Shukas, etc.
For the ultimate experience of culture and color, the Masai Market offers the opportunity to get authentic African art, handcrafted beaded jewelry and clothing as souvenirs, gifts and even decorating art you could use for your home locally or even back in your country. At very affordable prices, you can purchase as many items as possible and all the same promoting local craftsmanship businesses.
As seen below, the location for the open-air Maasai Market is always changing with the days of the week.
What To buy at Maasai Market
Maasai market Bags
These bags include handwoven handbags made from sisal with leather trimmings and other colorful bags made with other materials, they can be bought as souvenirs or for their actual purpose which is as a bag.
Maasai Shukas | Maasai Market Kikois
Maasai Shukas can be found in various blend of colors from blue, green, orange and yellow but most are usually red, these shukas are a fun way to remember the trip as they carry the Maasai culture, they can also be used as bed covers, picnic blankets, or as an extra cloth(Kikoi) on a chilly day.Maasai Market Shuka
Maasai market Artwork & Carvings
Maasai Market is always filled with some amazing art and most of them have that African culture to them, in the Market you can get some decent pieces for a low price, but if you want something more unique, you can check out some of Nairobi’s art galleries—like those found at the Railway Museum or Kenyatta Avenue for some more variety. You’ll also find a decent range of wooden carvings, bowls, baskets, and dolls to add a little Kenyan culture to your home.Maasai Market Art
Maasai leather and beaded sandals can be found in plenty at the Maasai Market, these are a must-have, they can be found in many designs and colors so take your time to look around and find a pair that you’ll like.Maasai Sandals
Maasai market Jewelry
At Maasai Market, you will find a wide selection of jewelry, from earrings to bracelets and Necklaces this are usually colorful and also come in many colors, here you can find some cool pieces at a relatively cheap price.Maasai Market Jewelry
Bargaining & Language
Bargaining is a fun part of the Maasai Market shopping experience. If you are not a local, you will almost always be quoted a substantially higher price and should be prepared to bargain hard, but respectfully. Speaking some Swahili will help place you as someone who knows what you are talking about and who does not want to be ripped off.
Greeting someone with Jambo will mark you as a tourist while using “sasa” or “sema” will make you appear more familiar with the Nairobi terrain. This may sometimes not come off as the kindest greeting so you should stick to asking how their day is going: ‘Habari za Leo?’. The following are some more phrases that may come in handy.
Phrases one can use at the Maasai Market
Si Leo—‘Not today’—Use this if you are not really interested in what someone has to offer.
Nitarudi—‘I will return’—This can be helpful if you are actually interested in something at someone’s stall, but either want to shop around more, or are hoping that they will come down on the price. It is always advisable to do a lap before purchasing. There will be a lot of similar products available but quality and prices will often differ, so feel free to look around.
Ni Ghali—‘It’s expensive!’—Feel free to really over-exaggerate this one for maximum bargaining leverage.
Bei ya Mwisho?—‘Last price?’—Use this to ask for the sellers’ final price.
Knowing some basic numbers to bargain in Swahili can also be a huge help, but don’t worry if you don’t master them all. The traders will be happy to let you know their prices, often with calculators in hand for some added drama.The Maasai Market
Maasai Market Days in Nairobi
Maasai Market is usually open on most days of the week, running from 8 Am to 6 Pm but it’s closed on Monday.
- location, near Text Book Center
- Prestige Plaza, 1st floor Rooftop Parking,
- Capital Center, Mombasa Road
- The Junction, 3rd-floor Ngong Road
- Village Market, Limuru Road
- Galleria Shopping mall, the junction of Langata Road and Magadi road
- Nairobi Law Courts Parking, City Center
- Adams’ Arcade, Ngong road
- Law Courts Parking, City Center
- Safari Park Hotel, Thika Road
- Yaya Center, Argwings Kodhek Road
- Adams Arcade, Ngong road
Maasai Market Hours
- Tuesday – 8 am–6 pm
- Wednesday – 8 am–6 pm
- Thursday – 8 am–6 pm
- Friday – 8 am–6 pm
- Saturday – 8 am–6 pm
- Sunday – 8 am–6 pm
- Monday – Closed