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Zanzibar Shopping

stone town shops  I  books  I  music I shopping video


Arab jewellery

Zanzibar Stone Town is a shopping heaven. Here you can find a polyglot of goods from all over the world, especially from Africa, India, Arabia and the Far East.

Nowadays Stone Town has some pretty sophisticated shops selling goods created and manufactured in Africa, India and the Far East.

There are boutiques along Gizenga Street and on Kenyatta Road near the old Post Office, which sell clothing and artefacts fashioned by Tanzanian and Kenyan companies, as well as spices and essential oils, books, (see reading list) postcards, imported kangas, kitenges and jewellery, even music CDs with some of the popular local groups or Taarab. (see also music and culture)

Tharia Street, behind the Anglican Cathedral, has some gold shops and there is wonderful jewellery made from handmade beads and silver in shops on Gizenga Street and Sokomohogo Square.

There are many antique shops, there are two on Cathedral Street and more further along near Sokomohogo Square. They sell brass, carved chests, wall clocks, furniture, glass, jewellery and china bowls used as ballast in trading dhows in the last century.

Malindi and Kiponda streets have shops selling textiles and Mchangani Street has hardware.

There are shops in the Darajani area and across the Creek road towards Kiponda which sell electronic equipment at good prices. On Darajani Street you can buy almost anything.

Stone Town is dotted with Bureaux de Change which give good rates for changing US Dollars or Pounds Sterling cash, or TCs to Tanzanian Shillings. Some shops will take credit cards too, though there is usually a charge.

Please don't buy any products made from endangered species, such as shells, ivory and tortoiseshell. Doing so definitely makes the threat to fragile marine and land environments in Africa much worse.

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