Malawi Craft Advice and Markets for Bargaining

The Republic of Malawi is a small State in Southeastern Africa Called”the Warm Heart of Africa.”

In terms of poverty, Malawi is the 9th poorest country in Africa following others such as Somalia and Zimbabwe. But what it lacks in GDP and infrastructure, it more than makes up in good creativity.

Nkhata Bay (Northern Region)

Best 3 Malawi craft markets (in terms of Choice and quality):

Senga Bay (Central Region)

For newcomer and seasoned travelers alike, there isn’t any better feeling than having a”bargain” to get a work of art whilst souvenir hunting overseas. This post is about the best of Malawi Craft Markets and advice for bargaining about the things that you want to purchase.

Zomba Plateau (Southern Region)

Malawi Craft Advice and Markets for Bargaining

Have a Look at our article: Advice for Traveling to Malawi

Malawi Craft Advice and Markets for Bargaining

Malawian crafts include:

Many people dedicate their lives to arts and crafts, Even though Malawi is a largely state. Malawian woodcarvings are diverse and charismatic. Artisans use basic tools such as carving shoe polish, sand newspaper and knives to fashion pieces that reflect culture and their personal styles. While some artists might carve masks that are massive , others dedicate themselves to creating bowls, seats or chessboards. Going to the craft markets is crucial if you’re planning a trip to Malawi! Although the capital, Lilongwe, includes a craft marketplace, it does not come close to these…

Advice for Purchase shopping in Malawi’s markets:

A. Nkhata Bay   B. Senga Bay   C. Zomba Plateau

Additional Info

Wooden jewelry make for souvenirs and is inexpensive

Impressively, the majority of these artisans have not been formally trained.

The more you buy, the better the deal!

Chief seats are available in many shapes and dimensions. Some artisans will customize them for you.

You’ll Find many Vibrant paintings like this throughout Malawi, Particularly being sold out of hotels

Hats like these require hours of Labour

Malawi Craft Advice and Markets for Bargaining

Guess who bought the guy on the right?

Stalls are Easy: thatched roofs along with four Poles

View of the Zomba Marketplace from the Entry of the Sun Bird Hotel

Malawi Craft Advice and Markets for Bargaining

Ironwood mask in Zomba market features scenes from daily life

Malawi Craft Advice and Markets for Bargaining

A sea of chief chairs and a Bao game table

Malawi Craft Advice and Markets for Bargaining

A common theme throughout Zomba Marketplace is the”Big Five”: lion, elephant, rhino, leopard and buffalo

Woods are used to produce these crafts such as pine, ebony and ironwood. Their trunks are too fibrous to use in carvings, although baobab trees are common throughout Malawi and also other parts of Africa. If you happen to pass through Blantyre, then a crafts market is there. Choice is good, although prices are slightly higher than in the three preceding. See the movie below to view the Blantyre market.

cloth purses



Malawi Craft Advice and Markets for Bargaining


nativity sets


Be aware that the cost a shopkeeper tells you’re roughly 30% to 50 percent more than you can bargain for this. If you believe you’re being scammed, don’t feel pressured to cover something. Also, expect several shopkeepers to become consistent in trying to sell you something. I suggest you inform all of them before you commit to making a choice, that you’re taking a look at all. I never felt unsafe but it is always a fantastic idea to be considerate, however stern, when telling a person you are not interested. Most importantly, do not forget that Malawi is a nation that is poor. A few of the crafts require days, weeks and sometimes months to complete. They appreciate your company, but play fair.

And remember to enjoy your shopping experience (and deliver an excess bag for all your paintings.)

Official languages: Chichewa, English

Currency: Malawian Kwacha


Malawi Craft Advice and Markets for Bargaining

Have you ever shopped in a Malawi art market? Leave us a query or comment under! 

A special thanks for hosting us during our stay to the Malawi Tourism Board.

Malawi Craft Advice and Markets for Bargaining