There are numerous markets that can be visited and they all offer either different or the same things but they all have unique things about them that make them the best destinations for anyone who wants to go for a market tour in Ethiopia. Below are some of the any markets that you can visit while in Ethiopia and they have been classified into tribal markets, business markets and crafts markets. All these sell almost the same things but some specify in what they sell.
The Key Afar Banna Market
The market in Afar Banna normally takes place on Thursday. Key Banna is a small village that you can make a stop at as you head out to the Jinka city. The Banna market is the biggest and largest market in southern Ethiopia and it is attended by various number of locals who can be seen buying and selling the different goods that are found in the market. You can easily move around the markets easily but you need to do this with a tour guide so that you can easily communicate with the locals.
There are a lot of things that one can buy from the Banna market and most of these are locally made goods from the local women like beads, head bands, linen cloths and many more other things.
The Turmi Market tour
The Turmi market is a tribal market where you get to see the Harmer tribe and also get to buy yourself some souvenirs from the Market. The Turmi market is surrounded by many villages and it is open on Monday and Thursday although the Thursday market is a bit smaller than the one is prepared on Monday. Both locals and tourists go to the Turmi market to get themselves fresh vegetables, spices, food, Ethiopian designed clothes and many more other products. Remember to go with your bargaining skills to the market and you will also need a tour guide who will help you with translating while you are in the market because most of the women who sell merchandise do not know English. Some of the things you can find in the Turmi market include ornaments, vegetables and all types of food, handmade furniture and local dishes. A visit to the Turmi market will also give you a chance to explore the Hamar tribe and get to know more about their fascinating culture and customs like how the women put red clay in their hair and braid it to look beautiful and how the men go for the bull jumping where the boys are initiated into manhood.
The Addis Mercato
The Addis Mercato is the largest market on the African continent running for more than ten kilometers. You can easily get lost while in the Addis Mercato and that is why it is advisable that you go with a tour guide so that you do not get lost in the many sections that are found in the market. Every section that is found in the market has almost everything that you can think of from jewelry that is hand woven by the locals, food, clothes and other merchandise that can be bought in a market. This is the one market in Ethiopia where you will be able to get anything that you are looking for.
Getting to the market is quite hard due to the great number of people that can be seen walking along the street to the market, the many cars that add to the congestion and that is why it is also advisable that you leave all your valued possessions in your hotel room so that you avoid pick pockets.
You will be amazed to see many potters carrying heavy loads of merchandise and donkeys as these are one of the fastest ways on how many locals carry all their purchased goods to their destination and it is also way cheaper than using vehicles. If you love seeing people moving up and down as they go on their business and chaos, then this is the right place to be.
The Bahir Dar market
Bahir Dar is a city that is located on the shores of the Lake Tanya the largest lake in Ethiopia. There are many things that you can do when you visit Bahir Dar and one of them is engaging in the Saturday Bahir Dar market. After an afternoon of relaxing at the shores, you can visit the market where you will meet many locals some selling merchandise while others go for shopping. There are many items that are sold in the Bahir Dar market and some of these include crafts, fresh food from the gardens, spices, Ethiopian designed clothes and meat products.
The fun about all this is the chaos that is found in the market, the bargaining and you need to be good at your bargaining game before going into the market and you might also get lost which will add to your adventure.
The Smuggler’s market
The smuggler’s market is located in Harar the stone city which is the fourth largest Holy city in the whole world. The market is a big get away especially for tourists as you get to see some of the old goods that are believed to have been left by pirates, local goods that are made by locals and sold at an affordable price but the most common things in the market are electronics that are imported from china.
It got its name smuggler’s market because most of the goods that are sold in this market are smuggled from the neighboring country of Somalia and these are transported in the dead of the night on donkeys and camels. Therefore as you head down to the market, be careful of what you buy because you might end up with counterfeit products but all the same it is fun to see all those products in one place and exercise your bargaining skills.
The Bati central market
The Bati central market is located in the town of Bati near the Great Rift Valley in the Northern part of Ethiopia. The Bati central market is visited by three different ethnic groups of people who all come together to sell their goods and services to the tourists who come for market tours in Ethiopia and these ethnic groups include the Oromo people, the Afar people and the Amharic people. All these have their own unique goods that they sell to tourists and other locals and this makes it a beautiful chaotic experience that you do not want to miss while on a visit to Ethiopia.
The Camel market
The camel market also known as the Babille market normally happens in the city of Harar and it takes place on either Monday or Thursday. The market normally deals in livestock and the animals that are sold include the camels, goats, cows, donkeys and many more others. The Babille market runs from 10:00am to 2:00pm on those two days you will be able to see many people in the market running around shopping and these come from all over the country and even from the neighboring countries like Somalia and Djibouti. Getting to the camel market is quite easy as there are several buses that travel to the Harar every day.
The Shola market
The shola market is located in the capital city of Addis Ababa and it is a stiff competition with the Mercato market which is located in the same area because they almost sell the same things from groceries, furniture and many more other goods. The only advantage that the shola market has is that it is not as crowded as the Mercato and that is why it is perfect for all those who hate crowds. The less crowds does not mean that you will miss all the chaos that the market has to offer and it is only a twenty minutes’ drive from the airport making it one of the best markets to tour.
The Senbete market
The Senbete market is one of the most interesting markets that one can visit while on a market trip to Ethiopia. It is strategically located between hills and valleys and many ethnic groups participate in this market which takes place on Sundays and these are the Amhara people, Afar and Oromo people. The market has all the merchandise that you can think of not with the many ethnic groups of people in the market.
The market tours in Ethiopia are a once in a life time things that you do not want to miss and that is why when you get the chance, go and visit the many markets that are available in the country and although some of them have not been mentioned here, there are quite a number of them that you can visit and enjoy your trip.
After visiting the many markets in the country, you can also visit the surrounding places and get to explore Ethiopia to the fullest.