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Shopping in Fort Dauphin
Madagascar offers a wide range of items to shop for, many of them intricately carved, woven or crafted out of a whole host of different materials. Most common is woodwork, but there is also a lot of jewellery, art and fabric available. Parts of Madagascar are renowned for their woodcraftsmen, and the skill and artistry that goes into some of the items created has to really be seen to be believed.
Buying directly from the artisans or craftspeople themselves ensures they get the direct benefit from your purchase!
This Fort Dauphin Shopping Guide gives some idea of what goods you may wish to purchase as souvenirs or gifts. Specific shop information, including location, type of shop and contact details, can be found by scrolling down to the bottom of the page. Also have a look at our Fort Dauphin Restaurant Guide, which describes some of the food and drink you may wish to sample during your visit.
The markets are the best place to look for various souvenirs or gifts, and are a great place to go shopping. Even if you're not wishing to purchase anything, they are still an interesting experience, and offer a chance to see a fascinating side of Malagasy life. There are also government stores, which give a good general guide to the sorts of prices you should aim for in the markets. Bargaining in the markets is the order of the day, and can yield some great buys.
Some of the main handicrafts include lamba, which consists of traditional squares of cloth and woven fabrics in various colourful designs; silverwork crafted into things such as mahafaly crosses and vangavanga bracelets; jewellery made from precious and semi-precious stones; items woven out of materials such as reeds, raffia and straw; antemore paper, which is decorated with dried flowers; and embroidery. Almost all of the products that are created from Malagasy flora or fauna (including dried flowers) require export permits.
Clothing is another less common, but perhaps equally interesting, item to purchase. Coming in a kaleidoscope of tropical colours, including turquoise, yellow, red and fuchsia, as well as standard safari colours such as beige, sand, green, they are sure to add a colourful dimension to any wardrobe. Wearing them back in your home country will also undoubtedly transport you back to Madagascar.