Whether you are on an organised tour, stopping in at a shopping mall, or at the airport getting ready to leave, browsing in one of South Africa’s curio shops will reward you with beautiful arts and crafts to buy as gifts or souvenirs.

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Most South African curio shops support poor communities by selling the beautiful arts and crafts from talented artists

Visit one of South Africa's curio shops and take a little piece of this beautiful country home with you at the end of your trip. South Africa is famous for the exciting range of arts and crafts on sale in our local curio shops, which are located throughout the country, with the biggest concentration of stores and variety of products found in the major tourist centres. You will find curio shops in South Africa at malls, in airports, close to tourist attractions and concentrated in large African markets.

South Africa’s curio shops play a crucial role in creating a viable and commercial link between creative and gifted people in rural communities and international visitors. This contributes tremendously in the upliftment of communities and talented individuals. While bargaining is not really an option when buying from formal curio shops, the quality and originality of your souvenir will be guaranteed.

Browse for curios at the sleek, beautifully laid-out chain stores at airports and shopping malls. These are geared towards convenience and quality. Malls are also home to specialist stores that sell items ranging from wooden carvings, beadwork and pottery, to textiles and home furnishings. Explore the country's craft exhibitions, such as Art Africa in Johannesburg, in search of sophisticated products like handbags made with richly patterned Nguni hides, or gorgeous lamps made with polished horn or porcupine quills. And experience vibrant African flea markets which are definitely some of the best places to browse for imaginative and well-priced curios made from natural and recycled materials.

Browsing for curios is also an opportunity to interact with local artists and craftspeople while finding yourself the perfect gift or souvenir to take home as a memento of your African adventure. Some items to look out for at South Africa’s curio shops include wire art, colourful beadwork or creations from telephone wire, wood and stone carvings, ceramics, textiles and paintings by local artists.

Remember that most stores will pack and ship large or fragile purchases for an extra cost.