Shopping in Maputo

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What to Buy in Mozambique

Makonde Carvings

Mozambique is famous for its intricate ebony carvings, that originate with the Makonde people of the north. Though the carvings take many forms, the most coveted style is a pillar/totem of interconnected people carved out of a single piece of wood. Often, the way in which the people are connected conveys a story or a teaching.

Paintings and Sculptures

Maputo has done a remarkable job of preserving paintings and sculptures that capture Mozambique's vibrant past. Most are housed in art galleries and studios thorough the capital. The National Art Museum has the largest collection, while the Nucleo de Arte is an active cooperative that features the work of emerging artists.

There are also a number of Tinga Tinga paintings sold on the street, particularly in the north. These paintings have bright colours and simplistic designs that convey classic African scenes. The style originates in Tanzania.

Capulanas

Mozambican women are often seen wearing capulanas - brightly coloured pieces of cloth worn as a skirt. Markets are inundated with cloths of every colour and pattern imaginable - and these make for great souvenirs as well.

Woven Baskets

Local weavers seem capable of making virtually any product through weaving - be it a small basket, a floor mat, an armchair or a dresser. Products are sold in markets and roadside throughout the country and, should you find a favourite weaver, custom items are always an option.

Shopping Areas in Maputo

There is a good range of shopping opportunities located throughout the city. Products for sale often include local crafts, imports from West Africa more broadly and a few international retailers.

  • Polana Shopping Center: A Western-style shopping mall - complete with a cinema - in downtown Maputo.
  • Game: A South African chain that sells gear, equipment, housewares, clothing, etc.
  • Artedif: A local cooperative that sells high-quality crafts made by locals with disabilities.
  • Parque dos Continuadores (FEIMA): A large craft market located on the corner of Av Julius Nyerere and Av Mao Tse-Tung. Bartering is a must!

Markets in Maputo

  • Municipal Market: The main daily market selling produce, fish, spices, baskets and more located on Av 25 de Setembro and Av Karl Marx.
  • Craft Market: On Saturday mornings, the Municipal Market swells as it expands to sell carvings, cloth and much more.
  • Xipamanine Market: A sprawling local market that sells nearly everything but crafts and souvenirs to a local audience.
  • Mercado Janeta: A small local market - great for DVDs and miscellaneous supplies - located at the corner of Av Mao Tse-Tung and Av. Lenine

Supermarkets in Maputo

There is a range in the types of supermarkets available.

The most western option is Shoprite - a grocery store chain from South Africa. In Maputo, there is one Shoprite at Praça Da Paz. There are also Shoprites in Costa do Sol and towards Matola - two suburbs outside of Maputo central.

Alternatively, there are a number of smaller and locally owned grocery stores selling a variety of goods throughout Maputo. You can also buy a lot of produce and seafood in the markets and on the street.

Update 15/06/2015


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