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Maasai Market in Arusha for souvenirs

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Seattle, Washington
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Maasai Market in Arusha for souvenirs

hi, can someone please let me know the following about the Maasai Market in Arusha (which i believe sells typical TZ souvenirs eg handicrafts, masks, painting)

- opening hours? daily?

- where is it located?

- how long will you spend there?

I am staying at Flamingo Arusha Guest House, which is located at Kikuyu Street no. 16, adjacent to the CCM Building (a popular landmark, I was told). So will I be able to walk (how far is it), and walk safely, to this Maasai Market and do my shopping there by myself?

I believe the other market in Arusha is Central Market which sells produces? but no souvenirs?

It seems that people are always getting confused between the two, but i am interested in the one that sells souvenirs.

After reading this thread, i get even more confused. What is this about Old Maasai Market and New Maasai Market, how does that relate to the Maasai Market and Central Market I talk about above?

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g297913-i9775-k559…

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Lastly, how does the Maasai Market in Arusha compared to the one in Nairobi? I presume they sell different things specific to each country? which is bigger/better?

Many thanks ahead.

Seattle, Washington
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1. Re: Maasai Market in Arusha for souvenirs

And apparently there is another market called Meru Maasai Crafts Market near Arusha Hotel? Is this another different market?

Now, it sounds like I know of the following markets:

- Maasai Market

- Central Market

- Old Maasai Market

- New Maasai Market

- Meru Maasai Craft Market

I am sure there should be some overlap in the above markets, with one same market being called by 2 or 3 different names?

Ottawa, Canada
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2. Re: Maasai Market in Arusha for souvenirs

I have stayed at the Flamingo. It is a simple guest house, but it was my little oasis after my month of volunteering. I hope you enjoy it.

I read the link, and I expect I contributed to the confusion. I hope I do better this time.

Yes, people use various names for one place.

Kikuyu street is just east of the main bus depot. Just west of the bus depot is a market area for non perishable goods - like the beads the Maasai use; "Maasai" blankets, kangas, kitenges, etc. if you are in the market for these.

South of the bus depot a few blocks is the Central Market for food goods.

As I stated before, the Maasai Market that is of most interest for tourist goods is the one on School Road near Sokoine. On Google Maps it looks walkable, but we got a local ride.

SciGuy is there now, and has done his shopping, so perhaps he will respond with other details.

Edited: 4:53 pm, June 06, 2013
Seattle, Washington
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3. Re: Maasai Market in Arusha for souvenirs

I see, thank you QM. So basically the Maasai Market that is the most popular for tourist souvernirs etc is the one on School Road near Sokoine. Did I get it right here with the letter B?http://goo.gl/maps/CgNNJ

When you say local ride, do you mean you take a public minibus? or taxi to get there?

Is this the Meru Maasai Craft Market people are also talking about that is near the Arusha Hotel? or is this another totally different market. I have no idea where this market is located or where Arusha Hotel is.

I also heard that Via Via Cultural Cafe and Shanga House (near Arusha) is worth visiting for souvenir shopping? But these places appear NOT walkable from Arusha town center / Flamingo Arusha Hotel, right?

What are the operating hours of all these markets, and do they open everyday except Sunday?

Just wondering if it's worth giving up 1 day of my time in Zanzibar to explore Arusha and do souvenir shopping. (I will then have 3 days left in Zanzibar if I do this)

Ottawa, Canada
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4. Re: Maasai Market in Arusha for souvenirs

Your google map is correct, and B is right at "the Arusha" which means "The Arusha Hotel.

I wouldn't give up a day of Zanzibar for Arusha, but then I am not that much of a shopper and I am not fond of Arusha. For me, one or two stops, that is it.

I love Shanga House, but it is a little more pricey, but the money goes to the handicap community who do the crafting.

Seattle, Washington
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5. Re: Maasai Market in Arusha for souvenirs

Thanks for your advice QM. I like to do some shopping, but not to extent of sacrificing some other more-fun stuff. Plus I will be heading to Nairobi at the end of my trip and there's another Maasai Market there. Is the Nairobi Maasai Market better? Do they sell different stuff compared to the one in Arusha?

From a logistical standpoint, it makes more sense not to do major shopping at the beginning (I am beginning TZ/KE safari from Arusha, after arriving from Zanzibar the day before) otherwise you have to haul your loot throughout the journey.

If I decided to forgo going to Maasai Market in Arusha, will there be other places along the safari route where I can do some good souvenir shopping as well? I will be heading to Tarangire NP, Mto wa Mbu, Lake Eyasi, (Karatu - if I really want to stop there), Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti.

Ottawa, Canada
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6. Re: Maasai Market in Arusha for souvenirs

There are a number of places people will be hapoy to sell you trinkets. Arusha will give you the largest selection and a better price, but not by much. Haven't been to Nairobi, but Kenya art and stuff is a little different than Tanz. zanzibar is different again.

There seem to be two types of drivers. Some make shop stops when you haven't asked for them because they get kickbacks. The rest you want to tell them first day that you want some shopping. If specific, like carvings, say so. Otherwise, mto wa mbo and Karatu area are the usual spots, or along the side roads you can come scross Maasai women co ops selling their beaded stuff.

Seattle, Washington
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7. Re: Maasai Market in Arusha for souvenirs

good. thank you for your advice QM

Pasco, Washington
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8. Re: Maasai Market in Arusha for souvenirs

I went to the big market in Arusha on our first day there, then fedex'd the stuff home. Due to our travel itinerary, I would have hauled the stuff through our safari, then to Tanzania and Cape Town. It was expensive, but...

Next time I think I would start in the stalls near the back, obviously as I figured out, the ones in the front get the usual first traffic from visitors and were pretty hard about haggling. I was tired from the 24 hour flight, heat (compare to winter in northern US), etc. and not on my 'game'. Not that I was trying to get them to give away, but I'm sure I overpaid for a couple of things and not like a dollar or two.

Ottawa, Canada
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9. Re: Maasai Market in Arusha for souvenirs

I went to Maasai market as a friend asked me to bring her home a batik. I was sort of pressured to do that, and I am not a good bargainer. I went, and bought her a nice batik at the price she wanted and she loved it, but after returning to Moshi I saw same sized batiks in a shop at about half the price I paid for it - and at $50, that is a big overpaid. Glad it wasn't my own purchase. I know the Moshi guy goes to Maasai Market to buy his stuff and then adds his markup, but I hadn't been in his shop beforehand to check prices.

So, be on your A game and have your bargaining hat on.

Saint Paul...
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10. Re: Maasai Market in Arusha for souvenirs

To be a little more precise, the Masai Market is located at the red arrow here: http://screencast.com/t/9yrAFRaeS