Markets buzz with creativity
Visit the many art and craft markets dotted throughout South Africa.
Art and craft markets are abundant throughout South Africa, and you can expect to find anything from traditional necklaces to eco-friendly carry bags.
South African craft markets offer an opportunity to get a true sense of the country's creative culture. For years, local crafters have sold their works direct to the public – some are established artists, others are talented amateurs from small villages using traditional skills handed down from generation to generation.
Items sold at South African craft markets are varied and can range from traditional beaded necklaces and clay pots to eco-friendly bags made from recycled material and fruit bowls made of colourful wire.
With afro-chic items gaining popularity around globe, local crafters are rising to the occasion by widening their range of contemporary items but still retaining the use of traditional materials, such as shweshwe fabric, glass beads, leather and clay.
Regardless of whether you’re looking for funky items for your home, traditional souvenirs or understated items for gifts, there’s something for everyone at craft markets in South Africa.
Amongst the local craft markets not to be missed is Cape Town's Waterfront Craft Market. Locals and travellers flock to the country's largest indoor market, hosting over 120 stalls, which can be found wedged between the V & A Waterfront and the Two Oceans Aquarium.
Colourful, noisy and buzzing with activity, the Pan African Market is another must-visit market. Also in Cape Town, the Pan African Market offers 3 floors of African masks, clothing, wooden figurines, paintings and other African-inspired curios.
For a real taste of local flavour, go to the Khayelitsha Craft Market, situated 40 kilometres south-east of Cape Town’s city centre. Here, within a vibrant township, you may get the chance to meet the crafters in addition to purchasing their wares.
The Mgwali Village Market in Stutterheim and the Mzamba Village Market near Port Edward both focus on Xhosa crafts, such as beaded dresses and wraps, jewellery, woven items and paintings.
If you're in Mpumalanaga, the Kruger National Park's road-side markets focus on Swazi, Tsonga and Sotho traditional crafts. Look out for the 4 markets near the Numbi, Kruger, Phalaborwa and Punda Maria gates for a taste of authentic local crafts.
There are approximately 340 000 crafters in South Africa.
South African craft markets celebrate African artistic culture
South African craft markets display a wealth of creative talent. Expect to find everything from handmade jewelry to eco-friendly art at South African craft markets.