It seems that no matter where one goes I the world, shopping is part of any trip. And despite having very full bags, there was no exception to that rule in Zambia. I had to be good, and severely limit my purchases, but that didn’t mean that I didn’t look around and experience the various offerings.

The first market that one finds in Livingstone is the Mukuni market. It is where the folks from the surrounding villages sell there artistic goods.

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With 50 individual stalls, there are many opportunities to buy, as well as many vendors vying for your attention to purchase their goods over somebody else’s. However, when you need change and they don’t have it, there always seems of be a sister or an aunt nearby that can help. Sometimes they have change, but other times they try to get you to take more things home with you instead of providing the money.

Not too far away from Mukuni is a more local market with things folks need on a daily basis, as well as many shops with backpacks and purses, and some with hardware items. I didn’t shop there often, but it was always interesting to wander through that street to get a feel for the local vibe.

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For anything that I wanted to buy to supplement the food provide at the volunteer house, I would generally go to ShopRite. There were two of them, and the one that we frequented was quite new and very large with a fantastic selection.

Other than these places, on two occasions a group of us set on to find a specific vendor or market.

The first of these forays was to find the friend of one of the workers in the house who made some quite nice beaded jewelry and a few other similar things. Getting there was a challenge given that the hand drawn map we were following wasn’t quite to scale.

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But the walk was interesting, allowing us to see a new area of the town, and thus giving us more of a feel of local life. This was especially so since here we saw many less taxis as just about everyone was walking to get where they needed to be.

In the end we found it and bought many of the things he had. By the time we finished making our purchases, we were surrounded by 10-15 kids bouncing on tires with excitement of seeing 3 mzungus in their neighborhood.

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He also sold his paintings, but given the lack of wall space that I have back home, I avoided buying these there or at any of the other markets.

The other spot that we visited was another local market, Maramba.

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Similar to the local market I mentioned earlier, this market had many things folks would need on a daily basis.

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In addition, and the main reason we went there, they sell chitenge (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitenge) very cheap there. For example, the cheapest ones are 7-8 kwacha there and 30 or more pat Mukuni, depending on your bargaining skills.

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Since I don’t plan on wearing these back home as designed, the less expensive, synthetic, ones will be turned into other clothing items and the more expensive, silkier ones will be used as scarves.

In the end, I don’t think I bought too much, for a change, and was able to get everything into my bags for the trip onward.

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