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Safari Cultural Visits - Shopping?

Vancouver
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217 posts
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Safari Cultural Visits - Shopping?

We are heading out on our safari in January and I was curious about the local cultural visits and what type of handcrafted items might be available for us to buy. Our safari will be to Amboseli, Meru and Masai Mara if that makes a difference. Each of the camps we are staying at offers the cultural visits but I'm not sure if one is better than the others (our safari is staying at Cheli & Peacock properties)?

Also trying to find out what price range items are so we know how much KES to bring with us. We don't want to exchange too much and end up not needing it. We will also have USD on hand as back up but I know KES is better to use as it's easier as they won't have to exchange it at poor rates, etc.

nyc
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1. Re: Safari Cultural Visits - Shopping?

Most of the cultural visits conducted at the C&P camps aren't that touristic. Thus rarely the push to 'buy' while visiting - a softer sell. If you want an idea of what is available at any of the villages, just check the gift shop at each C&P camp, assume Tortilis, Elsa's and Elephant Pepper - for an idea of what and prices.

After all these years, I no longer purchase souvenirs so can't advise on costs for you have ahead of time, but know you're expected to bargain and if not certain value vs price... ask your guide or camp management prior actual visit. But when I did buy at villages, I used USD which doesn't help you much if wanting to obtain KES for these. Remember - whatever you don't purchase at a village, the camp likely has often of better quality if a few $$s/KES higher though not always. (and they take plastic).

But you will find all types of beaded bracelets, necklaces, masks, carvings (animals).... I recall purchasing 1 or 2 small items at a village and saved additional purchases from camps or when in Nairobi where there were many great options/choices.

Vancouver
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2. Re: Safari Cultural Visits - Shopping?

Thanks Sandi. Maybe it would be easier just to buy at the camps then! I've seen a few pictures of beautiful beadwork so I'm looking forward to taking home a few pieces as souvenirs. If they take USD then all the better, just want to make sure I have enough on hand but should be fine as you've mentioned that the camps take plastic as well.

UK
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for Malindi, Ukunda, Kenya
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3. Re: Safari Cultural Visits - Shopping?

If you're at Elephant Pepper in the Mara, I think you'll find they have a great relationship with the local community and their little "shop" is full of labelled goods from particular artists each of whom will receive most of the (fixed) price.

I would probably save my money for there. I'm not clear what the cultural connections are like at Tortilis. And in Meru at Elsa's Kopje there are none - though no disrespect to the lodge there, which is superb.

Hope that helps!

Richard Trillo

Vancouver
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217 posts
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4. Re: Safari Cultural Visits - Shopping?

Thanks Richard, that helps a lot! Elephant Pepper is our last stop so good to know about their relationship with the community and that proceeds will go back to the artists. Can't wait!

nyc
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14,651 posts
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5. Re: Safari Cultural Visits - Shopping?

While at EPC, do ask about a visit to the Masai Market which is day of week dependent. You might find some things of interest, not only food.

Vancouver
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6. Re: Safari Cultural Visits - Shopping?

I would love to visit a market! Is the Masai Market you're talking about the one in Nairobi that has a different location each day or is this a separate one that is actually in the Masai Mara?

7. Re: Safari Cultural Visits - Shopping?

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