So you’re planning a trip to Ethiopia but you’re not exactly sure what to look for when it comes to shopping for souvenirs? Don’t worry, this list has your back. This gorgeous country is home to high quality goods at bargain prices, but before you start taking your wallet out, get acquainted with these must-have items so you know exactly what they are. Here are the must-have souvenirs to bring back with you from Ethiopia.
You’ll notice women in Ethiopia are carrying around stunning scarves and dresses sporting many colors. Look for hand-woven scarves called Netela that are light-colored with bold colors popping out on the ends. The scarves are light and delicate so women aren’t overheated in the Ethiopian weather.
One up the coffee snobs in your family by bringing back home legit coffee beans from Ethiopia. Visitors can find the coffee bean bags locally produced in markets and ready to take home. Not even Starbucks can bring you a more authentic roast of Ethiopian java.
When it comes to browsing through street markets, you’ll find colorful hand-woven baskets made from grass or straw that would make fantastic additions to your kitchen or home decor. The baskets range in many sizes from small, flat plate-like shapes to towering ones with arched lids. The large baskets are mainly used as a “table” for groups to eat from. The flat top ones are for injera meals.
Whether you’re a gourmet cook or looking to buy something for the chef in your family, Ethiopia is a haven for spices that you won’t find in many parts of the world. Start stocking up on some spices to add to your kitchen cabinet as a way to remember your recent vacation. Suggested spices to look for include Bebere, a popular combination used to flavor many of its traditional dishes.
Common jewelry found in Ethiopia consists of heavy bead work and shells using many colors in a rainbow. Other common jewelry found include silver bangles and necklaces involving exquisite designs, making anyone look like royalty when wearing them. Purchase a bold piece of jewelry and they’d make great conversation starters about your trip to Ethiopia when you wear them back at home.
Ethiopia is full of gorgeous potteries made from clay and they are used to store food, water, and used a coffeepots. While you can buy any pottery that catches your eye, you’ll win big when you find an authentic, vintage one as a new piece for your home. Be careful, as they’ll require careful wrapping and delicate handling.
Don’t leave the country without purchasing a whole outfit as a reminder of your time spent in the country. You can find traditional Ethiopian caftans in many different colors and sizes. Much like the jewelry, they’d make great conversation starters when someone compliments you on your outfit.
These Waga figures are hand carved by locals and used as fertility symbols. You may notice elongated phallic organs on some to signify fertility. But if you’re uncomfortable with one in your home, you can find some Waga figures that aren’t as “obvious.”
Take home a music instrument known only to Ethiopia. Popular instruments to look out for include the begana, a ten-stringed guitar, dita (five-stringed guitar), snare drums, harps and more. You don’t need to learn how to play them, but they’d make wonderful addition to your home as well as a fabulous token of your trip.
More from AFKTravel: