Here is a guide to the Maasai Market in Nairobi.  The Maasai Market is a popular open-air market in Nairobi, Kenya, offering a diverse selection of traditional Kenyan crafts, artefacts, and souvenirs. While on safari or a beach vacation in Kenya, the Maasai Market is the best place to shop for souvenirs. It sells a wide range of products, including African pots and pans, artwork, jewellery, shoes, purses, clothing, and utensils.

Although it borrows its name from the one Kenyan tribe that has retained its cultural identity and pride, the Maasai market has a variety of artefacts and curios from all over Kenya and Africa. After making their selections, buyers will often be seen bargaining for a discount, a practice that is standard and expected here.

Where is the Maasai Market today in Nairobi?

The venue for the Maasai Market rotates between different shopping centres and other locations, as indicated in the schedule below. The traders spread their wares on the car park of the respective area, and operate from 9 am until 6 pm.

Prices will generally be higher in the shopping malls than at the Law Courts Parking in the Central Business District (CBD). Here is a general schedule of Maasai Market days in Nairobi.

TuesdayOff Kijabe Street, near Text Book Centre
Prestige Plaza, 1st floor, Rooftop Parking, Ngong Rd
Westgate Shopping Mall, Westlands.
WednesdayCapital Centre, Mombasa Road.
ThursdayThe Junction, 3rd floor parking, Ngong Rd.
Garden City Mall
FridayVillage Market, Limuru Road.
Galleria Shopping Mall, junction of Langata Rd and Magadi Rd
SaturdayLaw Courts Parking, City Centre.
Adam’s Arcade, Ngong Rd
SundayLaw Courts Parking, City Centre.
Safari Park Hotel, Thika Road.
Yaya Centre, Argwings Kodhek Road.
Adam’s Arcade, Ngong Rd

What to Buy at the Maasai Market in Nairobi?

1. Artwork and Carvings

The Maasai market is always full of great art, and most of it has an African feel. You can get some decent items for a reasonable price in the market, but if you want something more distinctive, you can visit one of Nairobi’s art galleries. The market also has a good selection of wooden carvings, bowls, baskets, and dolls to bring Kenyan culture into your home.

2. Maasai Sandals

The Maasai market is brimming with Maasai leather and beaded sandals. They come in various designs and colours, so look for a pair you like. These sandals are quality and are perfect for a beach holiday. They are a must-have.

3. Kiondos

Kiondos are also nice souvenirs that should be grabbed from the Maasai market. These are good to carry items daily with the most blissful designs and fashions. These handwoven bags can be made from indigenous vegetable twine with leather trimmings.

4. Shukas

Shukas from Kenya are mostly liked, even in the Maasai markets, but they are mostly easily imported from Kenya to other countries. But if it happens to go to the Maasai market where you can make your right choice of the Maasai blankets and shukas, mostly at a higher extent, these are mostly bought by the travellers to be gifted to family members or friends when you’re going to travel back to your country and mostly the shukas are used in the picnics or any chilly moments.

5. Maasai blankets

Masai blankets, also known as Maasai Shukas or Kikois, come in various vibrant colours. The shukas, which carry the Maasai culture, are one of the most incredible ways to remember your trip to Kenya. They can also be used as a bed cover, a picnic blanket, or an extra blanket on a cold day.

6. Jewellery

The Maasai market is famous for its variety of jewellery, from earrings to bracelets and necklaces, all of which are usually vibrant and come in various colours. You may discover some great and unique products for a reasonable price here. Popular pieces are bracelets adorned with beads in Kenya’s official colours

The markets can be overwhelming, but don’t let that get in the way of having fun while shopping. Remember to be patient and selective, so you don’t end up with 20 pairs of salad spoons that you and your loved ones don’t need and won’t use. Focus on getting a few worthwhile pieces and enjoying the process of interacting with the artisans.

Tips for visiting the Masai Market in Nairobi

Just like any other market, the Maasai Market might be overwhelming. Unfortunately, it can be a little too much with the hordes of customers, vendors calling you from every corner, and hawkers stopping you from checking out what they have to sell. Here are some tips to help in your visit to the Maasai market.

1. Bargaining and language

Bargaining is a fun part of the Maasai market shopping experience, but if you are not a local, you should expect to be charged a much higher price and be prepared to bargain firmly and respectfully. But, again, knowing a little Swahili will help you come across as someone who knows what they’re talking about and does not want to be taken advantage of.

2. Have local currency

When shopping in any city worldwide, changing your money to the local currency is essential. Additionally, it will also be cheaper when you shop using Kenyan currency. There are numerous foreign exchange bureaus in the city centre, but you may also exchange money at the airport or any of the city’s banks.

3. Avoid crowded market days

Shopping can be stressful when too many people are jammed into the market’s tight alleys. On crowded market days, it is tough to navigate, and you can miss out on some of the most attractive items. As a result, if you have the option, go shopping in the evening or inquire which day and place are less busy to ensure a pleasant shopping experience.

4. Explore as many vendors as possible

The Maasai market has many vendors, and If one is not careful, one may buy Everything from one person. It is not a wrong decision to buy all your items from one vendor; however, in that process, you miss out on the many options available from other vendors. The Maasai market is all about exploring to get your unique souvenir to take home. We advise you to walk around the market to check what is available and then buy what you like. It is also essential to shop with a local; it can be your tour guide or a Kenyan friend to help you navigate the market.

5. Be mindful of your surroundings

It is always essential to be aware of your surroundings in any place you visit. For example, the Maasai market may have pickpockets like any other market. Therefore, always hold your purse/bag safely as you walk around the market. Additionally, do not go around flashing costly jewellery or even handbags, as you may draw the wrong attention.

Other Places you can Shop Souvenirs apart from Maasai Market

There are other Maasai Markets you can explore and buy souvenirs, artefacts, and decorations from in Nairobi. These are just alternative options that you can take if Maasai Market seems to be far away, closed, or even if you don’t want congested areas.

1. Toi Market

Toi market is located in the outskirts of Kibera slum and is the definition of one man’s trash is another man’s come-up. It is second-hand shopping at its best, as any unique style person will easily find what they are looking for.

Mtumba (Swahili word for second-hand) is the modern-day chatty vendor selling everything from vegetables to designer clothes. 99% of their stuff is shipped from the west and mostly comes from Gikomba. Toi Market is Located on Suna Road along Ngong Road, Nairobi.

2. Amani ya Juu

Amani ya Juu is a Swahili phrase that means “Peace from Above.” Amani ya Juu is a social and economic enterprise committed to peace and reconciliation for women from many African nations and cultures. Amani ya Juu uses beautiful African materials to create high-quality fair-trade home goods and accessories.

Amani began in 1996 with four women sewing placemats together in Nairobi. Since then, Amani has grown to over 200 women, representing diverse communities from all across Africa. Amani ya Juu is on Ring Road in Riverside, near Prime Bank, Westlands Nairobi.

3. Spinners Web Kenya Ltd

Spinners Web Kenya is one of the best curio shops in Kenya. With over 450 creative artists from different parts of Africa, the Best of Handmade Products. Be amazed by the sheer workmanship and talent that are showcased within our shop.

Spinners Web Kenya is located on Kitisuru Road, off Peponi Road, Spring Valley, Nairobi. Apart from the amazing collections from Maasai Mara, Spinners Web Kenya Ltd. offers an amazing platform for creatives and lovers of creative designs who can come buy items and products.

4. Utamaduni

Utamaduni was originally set up as a unique house of crafts to appeal to tourists coming through Langata on their way to visit the game park or on their way back from the giraffe centre and elephant orphanage.

An emporium of handcrafted artefacts, fashion, accessories, homeware, beauty products, antiques, and more. Utamaduni is a one-stop shop for exquisite products proudly made here in Kenya and across the African continent. Utamaduni is located on Bogani East Road in Langata, Nairobi.

5. 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 and walk through the shop filled with mesmerising 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. Hilton Arcade Curio Shop is located at Hilton Arcade, on Mama Ngina Street, Nairobi

6. Kazuri Beads Factory

Kazuri was founded to employ local women who were struggling to find work or employment. Visit Kazuri and go on a factory tour to watch the famous beads being handcrafted. As well as selling jewellery made by women, you can buy a packet of loose beads and make something wonderful for yourself. Kazuri Beads Shop is located in Mbagathi Ridge, Karen-Nairobi.

7. Nairobi City Market

One of the city’s main souvenir businesses is concentrated in this covered market, which has dozens of stalls selling woodcarvings, drums, spears, shields, soapstone, Maasai jewellery, and clothing.

It’s a hectic place and you’ll have to bargain, but there’s plenty of good stuff on offer. It’s an interesting place to wander around in its own right, though you generally need to be shopping to make the constant hassle worth the bother. Nairobi City Market is located along Muindi Mbingu Street and Koinange Street in the Nairobi CBD.

Opening Hours of the Maasai Market.

The Maasai Market can be open from 9 am to 6 pm, the market can be spread throughout the city every day of the week, but in different places.