There is no reason to face the busy malls and overcrowded shops, when you can visit a few local markets and stock up on the kinds of gifts that will become beloved momentos not to mention that when you buy local, just as when you stay local, you are directly helping small business owners stay afloat.

Those who will be heading to the Lowveld this Christmas, and those living in the area looking for a place to go shopping for something unique, should consider paying a visit to these nearby markets.  You’ll find all sorts of lovely things while meandering through the various stalls, and most of what you will find is one of a kind.

These markets take place over the weekend and they are all hosted at easily accessible places. And here is where you should go shopping.

I Love Local

If you love local, you will love this market. Hosted just about in the middle of Nelspruit, at the Crossing Shopping Centre, the I Love Local market has really grown in the past few years to become a monthly favourite. This market takes place on the second Saturday of every month and this month the theme is, quite naturally, all things Christmas.

Those who visit the market can buy smoothies, various fresh fruit juices, and a tot of gin to stay energised under the blaze of the sun while stocking up on all types of amazing goodies.

As for Christmas shopping, you’ll find pot plant holders, pickles and jams, bath booms, face creams and soaps, fresh honey and nuts, and wooden toys.

Among the now 100 store owners, you’ll find pickles and preserves and jams, plants and pot plant décor, locally produced honey, locally picked nuts, wood toys and home décor, jewellery, semi-permanent hair dye, upcycled clothing and so much more.

Must Buys

  • Roasting Co. Coffee, Snoopy Sno-Cones, Blue Pomegranate sauces and preserves, Crafted Cosmetics handmade face creams, and handcrafted Indian tonic water.

Steiltes Night Market

Shoppign beneath the stars and the festive Christmas lights is one way to ring in the most wonderful time of the year. At the Steiltes Night Market you can fill up your shopping bag with all sorts of goodies, ranging from delectable snacks, produce and meats, to jewellery, home décor and more.

Must Buys

  • Locally crafted German meats, decorative fairy lights in jars, stuffed toys, homemade Christmas decorations, and traditional pancakes.

BFM at Casterbridge

Based in the village of White River, which is just a short drive from Mbombela, the BFM Casterbridge market is arguably the one market that started it all for the area. This market has been around for a few years and grew so big that it had to be expanded to the Casterbridge centre.

The market is very much similar to a traditional farmers market in that you can buy fresh fruits and vegetables, freshly baked breads, jams, honey and more. You can also find fresh flowers, all sorts of toys, home décor and hand crafted jewellery.

Must Buys

  • Kombucha drinks, clay jewellery, antiques, wooden home décor, artisanal treats and homemade humus.