Nairobi city in Kenya offers many touristic ventures including many unique items that can be obtained as souvenirs.
1. Custom-made Kenyan Flag Bracelets
In Nairobi, you can find cute bracelets made in the Kenyan flag colors; black, green and red together with the black and red shield in the middle. These colors look smart on almost anyone. Plus, you can have your name crafted onto the bracelet and made to your preferred size. The center of the custom-made armbands is downtown in Kariokor market with some of the lowest prices. You can also find crafted rings and key holders in the Kenyan flag colors. What another way to show that you have been to Nairobi, Kenya than wearing an adornment with the Kenyan colors.
2. Key Chains with Kenyan Money Notes
You can also get yourself these cute memorable key chains with mini Kenyan money notes attached to them. All the Kenyan money notes in the different denominations are cloned into smaller replicas. Each Kenyan note also has a monument within Nairobi that is printed on it. This makes these chains all the more interesting and useful. They can also help you during your stay in Nairobi to memorize the money notes and not get cheated. Additionally, it also acts as a guide telling you which monuments not to miss in the city. You can get these chains in craft shops as well as from hawkers outside the Kenyan Archives building.
3. Beaded Bowls
These bowls are scrupulously fabricated by the Samburu people from Northern Kenya. They use fancy glass beads which they fix onto copper wires with small pliers. The various designs of the bowls are first put down on paper and then skillfully transformed onto the bowls. The bowls are traditionally given as wedding gifts to brides in the Samburu culture. These can serve as cool thoughtful gifts or personal mementos from Kenya. The Maasai market that is held on different days around Nairobi is a great place to find these bowls. Besides that, you can check other craft shops in the city.
4. Baobab Handbags
Boabab handbags are very comfortable to carry and can serve many purposes. They can be used to carry anything from food to clothes to books. Handwoven in sisal by native Kenyans, these bags are a real work of art. They are made mostly in shades of brown with leather straps. Some have both adjustable and unadjustable straps depending on your preference. You can also get them in many different designs as travel bags, shopping bags, picnic bags as well as simple fashionable handbags. There are also mini sizes in brighter colors for children. Originally made in Kenya and by Kenyans, they are a wonderful souvenir to get from Nairobi.
5. Maasai Blankets
Maasai blankets or ‘shukas’ are very popular in Kenya and especially in Nairobi, the capital city. A number of Maasai and even non-Maasai can be seen walking around in the city draped in the Maasai blankets. Red is their favorite color of the blanket. This is because red culturally signifies strength in the tribe. The blankets though come in a number of other colors all designed with different color combinations of stripes across the blanket. Original shukas can be acquired at the Maasai markets but custom made ones are also available in different materials at Yaya center on Biashara street.
6. Crafted Sandals
A pair or two of crafted sandals is another good Nairobi souvenir. Rubber from old tires is used to make the soles of the sandals. They are carpeted with soft leather or cloth materials making them very snug for the feet. The decorative patterns are many fabricated in beads, shells, cloth or leather. There are designs for men, women, and children. Most craft shops within Nairobi invest in crafted sandals due to the high demand of the sandals from locals and tourists alike. The Koriokor and Maasai markets offer wider varieties and lower prices though. Plus, there are hawkers selling the sandals and you can find them roaming in the parks.
7. A Safari Chair
A Safari chair is light and easy to pack up along with other luggage as you leave Nairobi. It consists of light wood for the frame and cloth or canvas. Some safari chairs are foldable while others are just assembled. They are convenient for travels and long safaris as the name suggests. You can take one along with you to the beach, park, camp or any open area where it comes in handy. It is very comfortable too. Go to the Karen shopping center along Langata road or check other workshops in Nairobi for one of these. The price is around 100 US dollars apiece.
8. Kitengela Glass Objects
There is a community of artists in Nairobi that specializes in making different items from recycled glass. Their headquarters are right next to the Nairobi national park on Glass lane. Here, you can see the sculptors at work molding all sorts of shapes from hot glass straight out of a furnace. The place is very touristic with many glass sculptures like vases, murals, lamps, among others on display. They have other outlets at the Village Market shopping mall as well as the Junction shopping mall within the city center. The prices are fair varying with each item and you can be sure to find something cute for yourself.
9. Kenyan Crafted Beer
In Nairobi, there are a number of different local beer breweries offering diverse flavors of beers. Some of the most common brands are Stout. Temstout, Nyatipa, Summit, Tusker Lager, White Cap, to mention but a few. There are many beer spots that offer beer tasting within Nairobi. Some spots to try are the Brew Bistro on Piedmont plaza, Serville brewery on Galleria shopping mall and Sierra lounge at Yaya shopping mall. Sample the crafted beers as you also take in the Nairobi life at these hangouts. You can choose any local beer brand of your liking and take the Kenyan taste back home with you.
10. A Photograph with Jomo Kenyatta’s Statue
Jomo Kenyatta was the first president of Kenya. He is referred to as the Father of Kenya, having led the nation to independence in 1963. This double life-sized statue was meticulously molded to capture all the small details of Jomo Kenyatta’s appearance from the face to his favorite peep toe shoes. The statue is 12-foot-high and it sits in an open area outside the Kenyatta International Convention Center. The place is fenced off but it is free for tourists to enter. There are professional photographers allowed inside to give tourists memorable shots of the statue at a small fee. This is a signature Nairobi souvenir picture that shouldn’t be missed.
Updated: September 24, 2018