Shopping in South Africa
South Africa is a place of remarkable people and places, offering lush forests, vast desert plains, vibrant cities, pristine beaches – and great shopping! There are sophisticated malls, vibrant markets, specialist curio shops and informal street sellers at almost every turn.
This means that while you explore the sea, mountains and abundant wildlife, you will also have a chance to explore some of the best shopping on the continent and effortlessly pick up gifts and souvenirs on your way. Along with superb local art, you will be able to buy a wide range of quality textiles, jewellery, leather goods and local beverages and even designer clothing at relatively affordable prices.
For serious shopping, South Africa is home to world-class malls in all major cities. Malls are also often centres of local entertainment and stock top brands of clothing, jewellery and accessories at large chain stores and smaller, specialised boutique outlets. These South African shopping malls all have banking facilities, restaurants and children’s activities.
You will also find large and well-stocked local markets all over the country, with the biggest located in the major centres of Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. These stock authentic traditional arts and crafts like wire sculptures, beadwork, pottery and carvings – South African shopping at its best.
There are also many specialist curio shops, which are most abundant (and expensive) at well-known tourist centres. They stock books, DVDs, ceramics, designer jewellery, cutlery and leather items like bags, belts and shoes made from local materials.
Be sure to stop at roadside stalls run by informal traders who use their artistic talents to earn a living. You can pick up anything from arts and crafts to home-made preserves, depending on the particular stall you stop at. Invariably you will also encounter street sellers, who take advantage of our great weather to ply their trade almost anywhere they can – often at traffic intersections or busy commuter routes.
Aside from the bargains and unique buys, in South Africa, shopping is also a chance to interact with local people, making shopping an even more rewarding experience. South Africa’s exchange rate is also tourist-friendly, which means that shopping is affordable – just make sure you leave enough room in your luggage!