Nairobi is possibly the best place in Africa to stock up on crafts and curios. The quality and prices of goods is not matched elsewhere, so make the most of a stay here to stock up. The local vendors will test your bargaining skills so be prepared to haggle. Typical souvenirs include Kamba woodcarvings, African masks, Kisii soapstone carvings, Masai beadwork colourful fabrics, handmade rugs and the distinctive square cloth known as kangas or kikhois. Do not attempt to buy precious stones or jewellery from freelance vendors.
The best place to go on a shopping excursion is the fascinating and always lively City Market on Muindi Mbingu Street. For a more local experience visit Kariokor Market where everything from vegetables to clothes is on sale. More local crafts can be found at the Maasai Markets (every Tuesday, Friday on the intersection of Moi Avenue and Monrovia Street; on Thursdays near the National Theatre; and Fridays near Limuru Road). Biashara (Business) Street in central Nairobi is lined with interesting stores and boutiques, with plenty of cafes in which to recuperate from the rigors of shopping.
Note that taxi drivers and local touts will pressure you to go to certain stores; they earn large commissions for doing so and therefore the prices you pay will be much higher.