South Africa isn’t your typical destination for a shopping spree, but in the likes of Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban, you’ll find everything from swanky boutiques to authentic markets. Whether you’re after traditional handicrafts to decorate your home, or world-class wines to share with friends and family, our guide to shopping in South Africa has you covered.

Where to shop

Cape Town

An impressive 24 million visitors flock to Cape Town’s Victoria & Albert Waterfront each year, largely due to the swanky shopping on offer. Set against the backdrop of Table Mountain is a multitude of shops, selling everything from clothes and electronics to souvenirs and home appliances. If you want somewhere a little less touristy, check out Watershed – a market with over 150 shops selling locally-produced clothing, jewellery, toys, ceramics and textiles. For the foodies, check out the Olive Branch Deli in the Lifestyle Centre, a gourmet grocery shop selling freshly-baked bread and seasonal artisan products.


Hop over to Johannesburg and you can enjoy some high-end retail therapy at Hyde Park Corner. The sleek shopping centre houses more luxury brands than anywhere else in Africa, and has established itself as a fashion-conscious hub, regularly hosting fashion shows and product launches. For a taste of more authentic shopping in South Africa, head to Amatuli, a stylish furniture store set over three floors, which sells a plethora of African homewares, from Zambian woven baskets to Ghanian masks.


Victoria Street Market (Durban’s oldest market) is stocked with a blend of all things Indian and African. While browsing the 200 stalls, you’ll find fiery curries, traditional artwork and saris that beg to be sashayed in. And over in the seafood section, there’s an assortment of crayfish, crab and calamari awaiting rumbling bellies. Durban also treats its locals and tourists to the Gateway Theatre of Shopping, a magnificent maze with over 400 shops and 70 eateries.

What to buy

Veldskoen shoes

Endearingly known as vellies, these durable leather shoes are a staple in South African wardrobes. If you find yourself without a trusty pair of shoes for your safari, then be sure to grab a pair of vellies. Comfortable, easy to clean and found on the feet of farmers and outdoor experts, they’ll set you in good stead for exploring South Africa’s sweeping savannahs.

Amarula liqueur

Particularly delicious over ice cream, this creamy Amarula liqueur is made from the fruit of the African marula tree. With notes of fig, vanilla, crème caramel and guava, this delightful exotic liqueur is well worth purchasing when shopping in South Africa.


Biltong is beef jerky’s more tender and acidic cousin, air-cured in vinegar and spices to create a meaty delight. Its ability to be preserved made it an important food item among Dutch settlers (Voortrekkers) during the 19th century, and remains an unequivocal South African snack.

Decorated ostrich eggs

Ostriches are indigenous to South Africa, and their hollowed-out eggs are used as canvases for intricate hand-painted designs. The shells make for picturesque interior or exterior decoration and can even be used as a light holder. A visit to Oudtshoorn, the ostrich capital of South Africa, is worth the journey to learn about these magnificent flightless creatures.

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