If you are a traveller who has been often known to travel o unknown lands, armed only with only guidebooks and an outstanding amount of courage, at least once in your life you will feel the undeniable call of the wild, the urge for a kind of adventure that forever points to Africa. And in case you have recently caved and decided to make your way to the heart of Africa, its very pearl – Uganda, for experiences like some Gorilla Trekking in Uganda, you will need a lot of preparation.
But not the preparations and the travel will also often include a different kind of adventure. This does not involve gorillas and five horned giraffes and the Rwenzori. Yet it is often an intricate part of travelling anywhere. And it is also known as souvenir hunting. Because no matter which end of the earth you may travel to, when you come back your family and friends will demand to know what you have brought them. And many of us would rather take on the majestic mountain gorillas than not taking anything with us and ending up disappointing our friends.
So, in case you are gearing up for that part of the adventure that involves a lot of hunting, bargaining and negotiation and one that will leave your bag bursting at the seams, there are a few things that you should probably know before you go:
What to buy as gifts?
Once you embark on your mission to buy souvenirs, you will soon find that it is not very hard to find unique and beautiful gifts for everyone here. A lot of the local handicrafts are available at reasonable and cheap rates and are all unique in themselves. The craftsmanship, the colours and the carvings on different items will be ready to take your breath away. You can buy sculptures and wooden masks that have exceptional carvings done on them by the local artists. This is a great way to get yourself or your friends something that is truly reminiscent of the spirit of Africa and supporting the local artists while at it. You can also buy other handmade items like batik paintings, bowls and woven goods.
All things fashion
If you have been looking forward to upgrading your wardrobe and add a burst of colour to it, Uganda has got you covered. You can find lengths of beautiful fabric, many of them hand-painted, with exquisite swirls and patterns and bursts of colour that you see often see in traditional African clothing. You can take the fabric home and get dresses made out of them or you can just give local tailors your designs and get a new dress or any other item of clothing right there. Again, a great way to support local businesses while also getting more than your money’s worth.
What about bargaining?
If you are trying to buy items from proper businesses in the bigger cities in Uganda, you will soon realise that almost everything there has a fixed price so there will be no room for bargaining. But in case you go to local stalls, family stores and markets, you can bargain your way around a bit. Just remember to be respectful towards the shopkeepers and keep your cool during the entire process and you are good to go.