Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, is a hive of activities where travelers could be easily enticed with its mix of people, places and sights. It’s a typical epitome of an African city where you can see the very rich as well as very poor living side by side in close proximity of each other. Here middle class people don’t exist. If you are traveling to Africa on a business or holiday trip, then Nairobi could be your first stop as it is usually for most visitors. A vibrant city, Nairobi is at the business heart of East Africa. Though Nairobi is not among the most preferred tourist destinations, but it is surely an evolving one. Most travelers going for a Kenya safari usually book airline tickets to Nairobi.
Nairobi has a history of its own. Once a swampy area in Kenyan highlands, people treated the place as a great retreat where the climate was comfortable and the air fresh. The place was named “Enkare Neerobi” (a place of cool waters) by the Maasai tribe. Nairobi continues to be called the “Green City in the Sun” till date.
Last year, I traveled to Nairobi to spend my holidays. The visit was simply rewarding. I had a fabulous experience in the city throughout my stay. My trip to Nairobi was for a specific reason. I wanted to see the vibrant, beautiful Maasai Market, which I had long heard of.
At the first glance, the Maasai Market appeared to be a true festival of color and form. It offered me a chance to purchase some of the rich collection of African arts and crafts. The souvenirs and artifacts are available at low prices, but you need to strike a hard bargain with the Maasai sellers. This open air market is a big draw with the locals as well as tourists. Here you will be simply perplexed with the numerous handicrafts and artifacts on display.
As you make rounds of the market trying to make purchases, a number of Maasai traders will be seen making great efforts to attract your attention. Many interesting African handicrafts such as baskets, gourds, beaded jewelry, bead works, curios, colorful kikoys, and other Maasai crafts can be bought at fabulously affordable prices. Bargaining is a norm and well accepted here. So, you can just haggle for discounts and you are sure to make some great deals.
Maasai Market is held at several venues throughout Nairobi. The venue keeps on rotating between different shopping centers and various other locations. You can see the traders spreading their wares on the car park of the respective location. They start selling their wares from 8 am in the morning and continue till 6 pm in the evening.
Being in Nairobi and visiting the Maasai Market has been an enriching experience for me. If Nairobi is your next holiday destination, then just don’t forget to visit here and get opportunity to see African handicrafts and Maasai craftsmanship from close quarters.