Did you know?
Curio shops are popular as galleries too? Many tourists go merely to admire the beautiful arts and crafts.
In just over a decade Art Africa in Johannesburg has established itself as a legendary curio and craft shop and an extremely popular tourist destination. Many tour operators include the famous store in Parkview, close to the Zoo Lake's green lawns, on their Johannesburg itinerary and many independent travellers to Joburg try to stop by at least once on their trip to browse through or buy Art Africa’s crafts.
Art Africa specialises in handcrafted African curios, but in many cases the word ‘art’ is more applicable to describe the wonderful items on sale. The store is separated into two sections. The front section mostly contains contemporary southern African crafts and sells funky items such as tin lizards.
If you are looking for stunning hand painted ceramics, lampshades, carved and painted figures, jewellery or picture-frames, Art Africa is a great place to invest your energy and your money – there is no chance you’ll find better quality items than Art Africa’s curios. Other ethnic artefacts include beadwork, ritual masks, hand painted fabrics, stone sculptures, woven raffia, Christmas tree decorations, ornamental traditional weapons and musical instruments.
The back section of the shop is aimed at collectors and is recommended for people with an interest in authentic African artefacts. The variety in this section is endless, but examples of some of the unique items on offer include Luba headrests, Ghanaian Kente cloths, Yoruba figurines and Xhosa pipes. There is a truly amazing selection of wooden games, head rests, wooden statues and sculptures, wooden and grass bowls and bright African fabrics.
Many of Art Africa’s crafts are very affordable and the friendly staff will be happy to pack and ship items that are too big or too fragile to take with you on an airplane.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
62 Tyrone Ave, Parkview, Johannesburg
Tel: +27 (0)11-4862052
How to get here
From O.R. Tambo International Airport: Leave the airport and drive south, keeping right onto the R24 in the direction of Johannesburg. Exit left onto the N3 in the direction of Durban and Germiston. Keep left on the N3 and exit left onto the M2 (West). Keep right on the M2 and exit left onto the M1 (De Villiers Graaf Motorway). Take exit 14 (Johannesburg) and turn left onto Jan Smuts Avenue (M27). Drive until Westcliff Drive and turn left. This road becomes Tyrone Ave. Art Africa is at number 62.
Best time to visit
Art Africa is open from 9am until 6pm (Mondays to Fridays) and from 9am until 4pm (Saturdays).
What will it cost
Many wonderful curios at Art Africa are very affordable although prices differ greatly, with more elaborate or rare items obviously costing a bit more than the rest.
Length of stay
It is easy to spend several hours browsing through the rich diversity of art and curios on display at Art Africa.
What to eat
Scusi (on the corner of Tyrone and Ennis) is a great place to have a light lunch in an nice atmosphere.
Try to find something crafted from recycled drink cans, bottle tops or telephone wire.