Last year I set off on an adventure to Africa. I thought that I had it all figured out and that I knew exactly what I could expect. But this mysterious continent took me by surprise. Apart from its natural beauty, the continent boasts some great shopping locations. If you are a fashion enthusiast like I am, you should definitely pin these cities to your map.
1. Johannesburg, South Africa
It seems to me that no matter where in Johannesburg you happen to be, there is always a great shopping center just around the corner. You’ll find the Jo’berg shopping centers, such as Sandton City and Rosebank Mall, are on par with any world-class mall. If you’re looking for a unique shopping and dining experience head to the Neighbourgoods Market in Braamfontein where you’ll find independent designers selling fashion items alongside homemade cakes and specialty cuisine.
2. Cairo, Egypt
The Khan El Khalili Market in the Hussein District in Cairo is the most remarkable attraction of the city – for tourists and Egyptians alike. If you wander deep into this 500-year-old maze of narrow streets, stores, and workshops you will find treasures like wonderfully crafted jewelry, glass, copper, and brassware. The deeper you venture, the better goods and bargains you will find. If you do not fancy the atmosphere of the souks, Cairo also has large modern shopping centers like City Stars, Nile Mall, Geneina Mall, and Nile Hilton Mall, where global brands can be found.
3. Lagos, Nigeria
Nigeria has just a handful of shopping malls, but this situation is rapidly changing, with several large malls being under construction, mostly in the capital – Lagos. The Palms Shopping Mall is the second largest shopping center in Nigeria, with 21,000 square meters of shoppable space. Some of the most recognizable brands found here include Apple, Mango, Nike, Puma, and Hugo Boss.
4. Rabat, Morocco
Perhaps Rabat’s medina and kasbah do not offer such a fashionable shopping experience as the more famous souks of Fes and Marrakech, but it is equally rewarding. The shops are stocked with the same delicious foods, fine clothing, and beautiful handmade leather goods. The only difference is that in Rabat most shopkeepers are selling their goods at a fixed price. Rue des Consuls is Rabat’s main shopping street. It is dotted with shops selling local handicrafts like colored-hide lamps, babouches, jellabahs, and carpets. Carpets from Rabat are traditionally made in the workshops within the medina, where every Monday and Thursday they still hold a carpet auction.
5. Tunis, Tunisia
Bring an extra suitcase if you are going to Tunis as it’s a shopper’s paradise! Emerge into the lavish world of Tunisian markets with the scents of spices and mint tea. There is nothing you can think of that they do not sell here. From high-quality rugs and carpets to jewelry, colorful ceramics, perfumes, henna, and gold. One important tip though – learn to haggle.