Just inside the Zambian border, next to the field museum, is an outstanding curio stand. The carvers and traders come mostly from Mukuni village, though the goods come from as far as DRC and Malawi. Mukuni Park in the centre of town has a similar area of curio vendors. Both are excellent places to buy wooden and stone carvings, handicrafts, chessboards, masks, drums, malachite bangles, baskets and the like. There are usually about 20 or 30 individual traders, laying their wares out separately. All compete with one another and vie for your business. The best buys are makenge baskets (these come exclusively from Zambia's western province), malachite and heavy wooden carvings: hippos, elephants, rhinos, giraffes and smaller statues, often made out of excellent-quality, heavy wood. However, you should consider the ethics of encouraging any further exploitation of hardwoods. Note, too, that some wooden items, especially wooden salad bowls and tall giraffes, are prone to cracking once you get them home due to changes in climate and that very rarely are 'antiques' sold at craft markets anything other than fakes. Unless you have the expertise to tell the difference, it's better to buy such artefacts from a reputable shop in town.
The curio market is a place to bargain hard and you can expect to hear all sorts of pre-fabricated stories as to why you should pay more. When you start to pay, you will realise how sophisticated the traders are about their currency conversions, reminding you to double-check any exchange rates. Traders will accept most currencies and sometimes credit cards.Victoria Falls Craft Village
Behind the main post office on Livingstone Way, this is Zimbabwe's more regulated answer to Zambia's curio stalls. Amongst this complex are well-built curio shops, and other traders lay their wares out on the surrounding ground. Within the shops you'll find some excellent pieces; if you are shopping for high-quality pieces of art, then this may be the place for you. Alternatively, try the Elephant's Walk Shopping Complex with tribal dancers in front and interesting shops set around an inner courtyard where you can browse in peace or enjoy tea and cake on the patio. Here you will find African art, safari wear, teak furniture, wildlife products, clothing and much more. But if you're simply seeking good-value curios then look to the carvers and vendors outside, who will bargain hard for your business. Zimbabwe's currency regulations means that they can only accept Zimbabwe dollars for payment. The large, newly built Landela complex, along the main road on the upper part of town, also has a multitude of shops chock full of every imaginable handicraft and souvenir, as well as clothing, music, books and pottery, sunglasses, and restaurants or takeaways.