Shopping in South Africa

Johannesburg, Cape Town and many other cities in South Africa compare well with big world cities when it comes to shopping.

Shopping Malls are in abundance. In Cape Town, the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront Mall and Canal Walk are favourites. The Waterfront has from convenient food stores to brand name stores and boutiques. Craft stores, bookstores and chain clothing stores can make choices hard. Numerous restaurants and coffee shops will provide sustenance for tired shopping bodies.

In Johannesburg, there is a mall around every corner. At the entrance to Johannesburg, from the airport, there is the massive Eastgate Centre. You can spend a day here without being able to visit all the shops. For the best bread, cakes and pastries go tot the Bread Basket. For clothes, try African Queen that specializes in authentic African designs. There are also well-know designer shops like Levi Strauss, Guess, Hang Ten and many more.

Just outside Durban, in Umhlanga Rocks, is Gateway with approximately 370 different shops. Apart from the shops which include fashion, home ware, food stores, pharmacies and many specialty shops, there is the Barnyard theatre. Barnyard is a unique South African theatre concept made possible by two theatre industry people. Today there are 12 Barnyard theatres across South Africa. The inside is rustic and barn-like, but it is still a fully functional theatre with all the necessary technical equipment to ensure a quality production. Audience members can bring their own picnic baskets to have lunch or dinner during the performance. Drinks must be bought from the bar at the theatre. Most theatres have a take away area where you can buy food if you don’t feel like taking a picnic. Ticket prices are usually lower than that of the bigger theatres.

Shopping is, however, not only reserved for Malls. Flea markets are still going strong and street vendors are all over. On the way to the Kruger National Park you will find many stalls along the roads where you can buy anything from a basket to a wood carved product for a fraction of the shop price. Bruma Lake Flea market is huge and full of interesting clothes and other handmade South African products. Greenmarket Square, in Cape Town’s inner city area, is open everyday except on a Sunday. Milnerton Flea market, on the West Coast road, has interesting collectibles and antiques. So has the Rooftop Market in Rosebank, Johannesburg. It is one of the oldest markets in South Africa, and if you are looking for a truly unique product this is the place to search. In Pretoria, Magnolia Dell Market caters for the serious crafters. Lovely pottery sets, clothes and jewelery can be bought here.

The Western Cape has a variety of factory outlets selling from designer shoes and clothes to linen and materials at rock bottom prices. China Mart in Johannesburg has a magnitude of shops specializing in clothes, bags, shoes and brick-a-brac. The prices are very low but be careful some of the products are cheap junk that won’t last very long.

Bring lots of money and extra bags for all you’re shopping in South Africa.