Here we found many crafts made by local people; wooden carvings, tribal masks, pottery, stone bowls, jewellery, beaded items, paper and textile paintings.
To say the experience was intimidating would be an understatement; I was expecting a noisy hubbub of action - stallholders calling out their best prices, trying to attract customers in. Instead, the market was quieter than I had anticipated, with stallholders focusing on individual customers rather than trying to attract the masses. As soon as we entered, the stallholders surrounded us, inviting us to look at their items- most of which they had made themselves- asking our names, and trying to find out more about us so that they could suggest products we would like; our names, nationalities, how many people in our families, who we were buying presents for. Many reached out to shake our hands and introduce themselves, and in doing so, used the physical contact to drag the unwilling volunteer closer to their stall.
|The man who carved my wooden bowl - he drove a hard bargain!|
I left largely unscathed, having fine-tuned my haggling skills in the process of buying two items;
A set of stone, giraffe bookends, for which the stallholder originally asked 800 Rand, but for which I eventually paid 250 Rand (about £18).
A carved wooden bowl, which I managed to reduce from 1200 Rand to 200 Rand (around £15).
Feeling mentally drained by the mental intensity of the market, we climbed wearily back into the minibus and headed for the Lion Park.
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