One of the most authentic African experiences is shopping in the village of Harambe. Did you know that Harambe translates from Swahili to mean come together?
This area is incredibly authentic; it is almost too easy to feel as if we truly are in an east African village. The huts seen all around Harambe were made by Zulu roof thatchers. The tremendous amount of African influence in the structure of Harambe also carries over into the items sold there.
Mombasa Marketplace and Ziwani Traders are the two most prominent shops in town. Not only do they have Kilimanjaro Safaris and Animal Kingdom themed merchandise, but they have real African products as well!
In these stores you can find items such as African carvings (of animals, masks, walking sticks, etc.), art, clothes, wine, unique African instruments, and more. Each trip I make to Mombasa Marketplace, I’m always most interested in the carvings – especially because of the amazingly talented African carvers I’ve seen at work outside this store.
If you’re looking for a unique souvenir to bring back for a “special someone” these places also sell authentic African jewelry!
A great element of the shopping experience in Harambe is hearing the African bands playing during the day. These performers play many different kinds of African instruments – my favorite is the steel drum! Listening to their music while walking through Mombasa Marketplace/Ziwani Traders creates an awesome atmosphere!
I think that it’s partly because of Harambe that makes Kilimanjaro Safaris such a special and authentic attraction. This village serves as a perfectly realistic setting to embark on an African safari mainly because of all the safari-themed items sold throughout this area. This builds up my excitement to go on the Kilimanjaro Safaris and continue on with my experience in this African village.
In case you’re hungry/thirsty before or after you begin your sarafi, there are plenty of places to eat around Harambe, such as: Tusker House restaurant (buffet for breakfast/lunch/dinner), Mr. Kamal’s Burger Grill, Kusafiri Coffee Shop & Bakery, Harambe Fruit Market, and Tamu Tamu Refreshments.
Harambe Village in the Africa section of the park is unlike anything else I’ve ever seen. The amount of intricate detail throughout the products sold here, which are either imported directly from Africa, or authentically made in-person at the park, amazes me. It is without question one of my absolute favorite destinations for shopping in all of Walt Disney World.