With the holidays around the corner, it is truly the time to shop. From hunting down the perfect gift for your secret santa exchange, to hosting festive gatherings and offering a selection of wines and cheeses, or being invited to someone’s house and needing to arrive with a gift – ‘tis the season for shopping!
Kampala has no shortage of unique shopping destinations. From locally sourced food and handicrafts, to fusion clothing, or imported wine, here, we offer a brief snapshot of the unique places for shopping in Kampala.
For Kitenge and homeware:
Located in the Yujo Izakaya compound on Kyadondo Road in Nakasero this one-shop-fits-all is the perfect place to customize your gifts. You are spoiled for choice with their numerous Kitenge patterns and styles. Tailors are available on-site to take your measurements and make alterations! From masks, clothing, stuffed animals, and hats to home decor and full-blown seasonal outfits and packages, TIA has something to offer everyone. They are super responsive online and provide tremendous customer service. Keep an eye out for their Christmas Hampers, they are an absolute steal.
is an homage to the beautiful cultures of India and Africa. Kona tries to create products to replicate the magic of these cultures as accessories. KONA’s products also make the perfect souvenir. The gifting shop is open for purchasing everything from jewellery, to clothing, bags and homeware.
Uganda is one of the world’s largest banana producer and a world leader in banana consumption. After the harvest, banana stems are usually discarded as waste. TEXFAD has developed technologies for banana fiber extraction and application into production of high quality banana fiber textiles and handicrafts. TEXFAD is an organisation that deals in production of handwoven textiles in Uganda. They produce handmade textiles and offer opportunities for work based non-formal skills training programs targeting youths and women. They transform waste banana pseudo stems and other waste materials into high quality sustainable products such as coasters, textiles, lampshades, handicrafts and pots, all of these would make for brilliant Christmas and holiday presents!
For anything edible – chocolates, pies, dried fruit, pastries, bread etc:
Southside Farmers Market
is a specialty foods market EVERY Saturday at Dancing Cup, Plot 71 Luthuli Ave Bugolobi from 9-2pm. It includes Fresh fruits and veggies, jumbo eggs, sauces, nut butters, snacks, bakeries, salmon, cheese, plants, herbs, and more. On November 26th, December 3, 10 and 17, they are hosting a special Christmas Craft vendor market with Santa as their special guest. They also host a satellite location in Entebbe EVERY First Sunday of the month at Muti Garden Café, Plot 12 Queens Road Entebbe from 10-230pm. Their Arua Farmers Market featuring Southside Farmers Market is EVERY 2nd Saturday of the Month at Borderlands COOP, Arua. The Gulu Farmers Market featuring Southside Farmers Market – EVERY 4th Saturday of the Month.
Ark Organics (@arkorganicsug)
Ark Organics is a one stop shop for all Made in Uganda and Farmers Market products. Shop with Ark Organics for the freshest and most organic vegetables from Uganda while supporting local communities to thrive. Their mission is to provide a platform for Made in Africa products to localise supply chains and build back our communities better. They stock all farmers market products and continuously add new products for you to choose from. They stock over 1000 #bubu products and are proudly East African. They also have an urban farm where they grow all your favourite spices and herbs and harvest fresh to order. They believe in building sustainable food chains and empowering local vendors to be able to compete with imports. Definitely a place where it feels good to shop from. In addition, they have an onsite recycling plant where you can drop off bottles, cardboard, plastic, paper and more. The premise is also home to the revive restaurant and neighbours Tamarai, all who serve farm to table produce.
Le Gourmet opened a few years ago and presented a very wide range of delicatessen, besides a very large selection of cheeses and cold cuts. High quality meat is also sale as are many other items one simply cannot get anywhere else in Kampala. Located within the premises of the Les petit villages hotel this supermarket offers you a huge variety of imported foods (Belgium, France, Netherlands). These are great as novelty holiday gifts!
Get Wine (@getwinekla) – For your local wine delivery, I would recommend Get Wine who offer a wide range of world wines, delivered to your doorstep! Their prices are competitive and they have various offers each month! You can find them on Facebook and Instagram @getwinekla.
A little bit of everything…and a wonderful morning excursion
Last but certainly not least is my absolute favourite destination in Kampala…. The Friday craft market adjacent to Gadaffi Mosque in Old Kampala. EVERYTHING that is on offer at Buganda Road Craft Market is on offer here, without all of the howling and hooting and unnecessary bargaining. Prices are low, fair and service is impeccable. The area is spacious (the parking lot next to the mosque) and it is not chaotic at all – I highly recommend visiting this any Friday. I’ve bought wooden bowls, baskets, toys, clothes, accessories and homeware here, all far below market prices.
From Banana Boat, to Bold in Africa, heck even to Capital Shoppers and Carrefour, there are no shortage of places to get your paws on fabulous holiday gifts in Uganda. When travelling abroad you cannot go wrong with Coffee (Endiro, Cafesserie and Great Lakes at Platia are good bets), Tea leaves, or Ugandan woven baskets. If you’re visiting someone locally stop by Yummy’s, Cafesserie or Platia for some delicious baked goods. My word of advice would be, make your lists, check them twice, and shop early and place orders where necessary. Best of luck and when in doubt, some Communauts Jam, or a beautiful handmade scented candle will never disappoint!