Buy Direct from the Artists
If you really enjoy arts and crafts, try to include a visit to a village where crafts are made, and get to meet the artists themselves. There are many communities throughout the continent which specialize in their own unique crafts. For example in Zimbabwe, there's Tengenenge Village, inhabited by sculptors and their families, all dedicated to creating beautiful Shona sculpture.
Take a Craft Tour
Whether you are an experienced artist or not, a craft tour will certainly get your creative juices flowing and they offer a truly authentic experience. There are lots of choices out there, examples of craft tours in Africa include:
- Weaving Tour in Morocco - Ingrid Wagner, a textile designer/maker, global traveler, and language teacher, offers small-group travel to Morocco. Participants learn how to weave, knot, and embroider in the Moroccan rug-making tradition; visit local dyeing and spinning workshops; and create their own pieces of work.
- Craft Tour of South Africa - Nancy Crow offers an arts and crafts tour in South Africa. The tours are designed to take visitors off the beaten path to discover the textiles, arts, and crafts of the regions; small groups of travelers meet local people in their homes and studios and visit colorful markets.
- Ashanti Craft and Community Tour - A tour of Ghana's crafting communities, a chance to find out how kente cloth is made, pottery, beads, markets and a little drumming to top it off.
Of course there are plenty of opportunities to try your hand at a little crafting, weaving or pottery without taking an official tour. You can: make your own drum in South Africa's Coffee Bay; try your hand at a little batik in Ziguinchor, Senegal; or spend a day crafting in Cape Town.