Mombasa is a good city for shopping, with a generally wide choice, and fewer hassles as you window-shop than in Nairobi. Once you know where to go for crafts, the business of buying souvenirs improves markedly. The usual rules apply when bargaining – don’t start the ball rolling if you’re not in the mood, and never offer a price you’re not prepared to pay. If you want quite a few items, it’s worth looking out for a well-stocked stall and then, as you reach one near-agreement after another with the stallholder, add a new item to your collection. This way you should be able to buy well-finished vyondo (sisal baskets) in the range of Ksh600–1000, small soapstone items for Ksh150–500, and simple bracelets and necklaces for around Ksh100 or less. It’s much harder to estimate what you should pay for carvings as the price depends as much on the workmanship as on the size of the piece.

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