We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Maasai Market: Yaya Center vs Downtown CBD?

Which Nairobi hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Seattle, Washington
posts: 657
reviews: 34
Maasai Market: Yaya Center vs Downtown CBD?

if i understood correctly, i think the Maasai Market happens in 2 locations above on a Sunday.

is there a pro/con of the market at one place vs the other? i only have time to go to one.

i heard the Yaya Center one is much smaller - perhaps better organized - but more expensive prices?

20 replies to this topic
UK
Destination Expert
for Malindi, Ukunda, Kenya
posts: 4,292
reviews: 4
11. Re: Maasai Market: Yaya Center vs Downtown CBD?

kokopeli5: it depends where you're going in the Mara. If you buy crafts labelled with the name of the maker - as are available at some of the small camps where the staff come from the local community and there's a very close relationship between the camp and the crafts makers - then you're getting a fair deal and the maker gets their cut. Basecamp is very good for this. Buying from souvenir shops in the big lodges isn't much different from buying in Nairobi.

Richard Trillo

Brussels, Belgium
posts: 47
reviews: 28
12. Re: Maasai Market: Yaya Center vs Downtown CBD?

Maasai market is an experience in itself, not to be missed if you can deal with a bit of pressure. I don't think it is the best place for buying ebony; while on tour our guide took us to various curio shops that had a nice choice, there are such shops in Nairobi as well. Of everything else there is a good choice at the market. I personally preferred to buy small stuff from the local people in Maasai Mara; the women tend to surround the buses as soon as they stop, you can bargain at will. Also bought some stuff at Maasai village. That way, IMHO, the money gets a bit closer to local community - how good a deal you get depends on how well you bargain.

Mtwapa, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Barcelona, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bamburi, Mtwapa
posts: 13,500
reviews: 50
13. Re: Maasai Market: Yaya Center vs Downtown CBD?

" I don't think it is the best place for buying ebony; "

I don't think there is any good place for buying ebony, it's an endangered species

Brussels, Belgium
posts: 47
reviews: 28
14. Re: Maasai Market: Yaya Center vs Downtown CBD?

My bad, I meant black wood carvings, not necessary ebony technically. They would'nt all be from proteced wood species, there seems to be a lot awailable on the market, would they?

London, United...
posts: 63
reviews: 50
15. Re: Maasai Market: Yaya Center vs Downtown CBD?

Is there any Maasai market in Westland area on Thursday and Friday (close to Vila Rosa Kempinski Hotel)? Does anyone know the time for these markets? Also, I heard prices vary and are dependent on how much you bargain but can someone give an idea of prices for say a pair of wooden Giraffe etc... it will help decide if its my budget or not...

UK
Destination Expert
for Malindi, Ukunda, Kenya
posts: 4,292
reviews: 4
16. Re: Maasai Market: Yaya Center vs Downtown CBD?

Westlands' Maasai market used to be at Westgate Mall rooftop carpark on a Tuesday. No more. I imagine the Sarit Centre may have something these days.

Richard Trillo

Author: The Rough Guide to Kenya

Kenya Programme Manager: Expert Africa

posts: 4
reviews: 2
17. Re: Maasai Market: Yaya Center vs Downtown CBD?

The sellers are the same. They just go around. Tuesdays,Saturdays and Sundays they are in the CBD. if you are buying ebony carvings, ask for a razor or string and try scratching a small part of the foot off. Sometime they use cheap wood and just paint it black then sell as ebony..

Also try to avoid agents who will offer to take you around...

UK
Destination Expert
for Malindi, Ukunda, Kenya
posts: 4,292
reviews: 4
18. Re: Maasai Market: Yaya Center vs Downtown CBD?

With respect, Nanci, people should really avoid buying ebony as it's so endangered. Though I believe most of the multi-coloured (white/black) carvings sold in Kenya are "mpingo" or African blackwood, which is not like the brittle ebony used for traditional piano keys. It's still a threatened species, though. I reckon beads, baskets, soapstone, metal toys and cloth make much better gifts and souvenirs.

Getting off soapbox right now…

Richard Trillo

Author: The Rough Guide to Kenya

Kenya Programme Manager: Expert Africa

Edited: 12:03 pm, January 19, 2014
nyc
posts: 13,237
19. Re: Maasai Market: Yaya Center vs Downtown CBD?

Repeat - Ebony is endangered and should not be sold, let alone bought. Much as is Ivory.

London, United...
posts: 63
reviews: 50
20. Re: Maasai Market: Yaya Center vs Downtown CBD?

Thanks All. The Masai Market on Friday was at the Little Market Mall. I got some good wooden stuff.

Reply to: Maasai Market: Yaya Center vs Downtown CBD?
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted