3 Flea Markets In Zanzibar Not To Be Missed

The flea markets of Zanzibar are clearly in a class of their own. Hundreds of vendors have hired and rented out space for people who want to sell or swap their merchandise. There are thousands of goods to be sold and bought. They range from used products, both clothing, and hardware, cheap items, antiques, and collectibles.

Another section sells fresh produce or baked goods, vintage clothes and plants farmed locally. Most tables where the merchandise is placed are already full.

The flea markets of Zanzibar can be at a school, a godown, a warehouse or in a field or a car parking lot. The flea markets of Zanzibar are a daily affair, and most vendors consider it a full-time occupation. They may range from a family that has rented a table for the first time to sell clothing from Dubai or traders from as far as Kenya and Uganda who roam the market scouting for merchandise not available in their own countries. Here are the three main flea markets of Zanzibar not to be missed:

  1. Darajani market

You can find a wide range of merchandise along the busy aisles of the Darajani market. Visit the market for clothes, phones, tools, hardware, and other merchandise. Other stores sell pork, beef, live chickens and fresh fish. But one unmistakable commodity never to be missed is the local spices. This is a place for the strong hearted because the noise is deafening. Some traders have been known to arrive at Darajani at daybreak, only to emerge at dusk with loads of merchandise.

  1. Zanzibar Shopping Center

Located in an old Arab house in the center of Stone Town is the Zanzibar shopping center. This is the best source to buy tinga-tinga kitenges featuring mainly birds and animals designs. You can even commission your own painted nameplate for $5. But if you’re interested in hand-carved coconut-bark buttons, natty briefcases made from tin or Maasai beaded keyrings, visit Africa House on Shangani Street.

  1. Gallerama Mall

Gallerama Mall is packed with superior craft from all over Africa. You can buy beautiful bark lampshades, brightly-colored beads, mahogany-framed mirrors and porcupine quills. Next door you can venture into the friendly Memories of Zanzibar for stocks of spices, jewelry, and carvings. If you’re daring enough, you can stroll the curiously-named Suicide Alley for the traditional Mbao board game, ebony and mahogany chest set featuring heads shaped like giraffes heads.

Teeming with touts

Naturally, the markets are already teeming with touts and other idle never-do-wells who can smell a stranger from a mile away and approach you with a beaming smile. They will offer unsolicited advice about where to get the best deals. So decline their offers politely and tour the markets until you find what interests you best.

You can bargain as bargaining is allowed. In fact, you should take some time to check out the locals bargaining, you can learn a lot about the different ways to bargain. If you bargain well you can get some great deals.