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Buying Tanzanite (and other goodies)

I've had many past travelers ask me about buying Tanzanite during their trip.  Tanzanite is a blue/violet gemstone found only in Tanzania, specifically in the Manyara region. 

As you drive up the escarpment from Lake Manyara towards Karatu, there are two large stores that sell lose stones and an array of jewelry.  The Tanzanite Experience is a great option for those just looking for Tanzanite.  Just past that is the African Galleria which offers not only a huge amount of Tanzanite, but also other gems, art and handicrafts.  When I mentioned to my guide that I wanted to buy Tanzanite, he suggested that we go to African Galleria because it is a great place to shop for everything you can find in Tanzania.  

Favorite Curio Shop
Favorite Curio Shop (Kassandra Magruder)

I ended up purchasing a beautiful ring and was happy to find that they accept all major credit cards.  There is a strong culture of price negotiating in Tanzania, even at a store like this.  By offering cash, I was able to secure what I felt was a good price for a piece of jewelry I've wanted all my life.  That being said, I did drain all of my cash on hand.  ATM's are hard to come by in Tanzania, so I was glad that we could stop at a bank in Karatu to replenish my tipping cash.

If you want to buy Tanzanite or do any serious shopping, please let your guide know on the first day of your safari.  That way, they can make time for a stop at the right location for you. 

Tanzanite Ring
Tanzanite Ring (Kassandra Magruder)


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