Swazi Shopping Will Empty Your Pockets!

Before coming I had read about the handicraft stalls spread throughout Ezulwini Valley and Malkerns Valley, but I had no idea it would be this impressive – both in quality and creativeness. It goes without saying, money just flew out of my pockets 🙂 And this is one time I am happy it did, because a lot, dare I say most, of the items are locally made, handmade, and helps communities that have less. Not only are the products of high quality (and you’re talking to a nitpicker here 😀 ), but the shops’ expressions are worth a visit alone. The first stop on my shopping spree was Swazi Candles (swazicandles.com). I had seen products from them all over South Africa, but wanted to wait until I got to the motherland. And the selection is unlimited! Unfortunately I decided to stop by all the other stalls at the centre first, so when I finally made it to the candle shop it was filled with a busload of people. Got what I wanted, and got out of there. Next was Gone Rural (goneruralswazi.com). A shop which sells products made of straw. So many pretty things, but sadly in a size I couldn’t bring home 🙁 Found a small item still 🙂 At the same place you’ll find Baobab Batik (baobab-batik.com). I am not much of a batik person, but the prints they have here I just had to get. And a red bracelet made of straw – love it! I had told myself that there would be no jewellery coming back with me from this trip, but I just could not leave without it! Both these stores are located at the Manlandela’s Centre (malandelas.com), which is so playful in its design, that it actually reminded me of Antoni Gaudi. Last stop was Matenga Craft & Lifestyle Centre (swazitrails.co.sz/about-us/mantenga-craft-lifestyle-centre). Maybe not the fanciest of places, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have great shopping. I definitely made it out of there with a bag, of tea and beeswax lip balm and hand lotion. And if you are hungry homemade gnocchi sounds like a good place to start. When I finally made it back to my hotel with all my treasures, I realised the hotel shop has really good stuff. Suddenly I was the proud owner of a new handbag. Then it was over and out. Thankfully.

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