Monday, February 1, 2010

Mitumba Shopping

Literally translation:  2nd hand clothing/shoes/lingerie/anything you can think of hanging in a tree

I remember when we came to Tanzania we only had a backpack on our backs and that was it. Needless to say  - there weren’t many clothing items in it as we would’ve liked, space was limited and we had to ensure we had everything to   survive in deep, dark Africa….. 

Our parents made us pack several packs of batteries for our torches, army issue dry packs, (terrible food that you rehydrate to make it more terrible),toilet paper, a tin cup, the extra tin of bully beef and the likes off.

After my first 3 months when it seemed that I might actually stay in this gorgeous place, I realized I had a problem. My clothes were now in tatters and I desperately needed something to wear to my first “dinner party” in Dar.

After consulting the 3 clothing shops that existed during those days, I humbly went for my first Mtumba shopping spree.

It was the best shopping ever – we got 4 beautiful “garments” (for lack of better word) for under Tsh 3500 each(about R20). Bargain at twice the price if you ask me!

I then never went into any clothing shops (not that there really were any as I said before) but continued to buy all my clothes from the Tree Shops next to the road.

We were such frequent buyers (ha ha) that the one gentleman proceeded to give us a few “garments” on “apro” and we could take it home, try it on and see if it fits and return it the next day if we didn’t like it.  We got enormous bargains and even got a few compliments on how nicely we were dressed.

You can even find the odd GAP dress, an ARMANI skirt, a CHANEL shirt...... What more do you need!

I still to this day enjoy going Mitumba Shopping!

desert rose



  1. Oh and the shoes...and the handbags!I think anywhere else in the world people would go crazy for all the vintage that can be found on the trees!

  2. Tree shopping is so much fun - you never know what treasures you may find! When I first told my mom about finding a beautiful floral dress 'under the tree' she eagerly asked me if 'under the tree' was the name of the boutique! Haha! Its amazing how these huge boxes filled with clothing arrive from China and we find ourselves in Ralph Lauren!

  3. oooohhhh we definitely have a favourite mitumba in common dessert rose! i recognize the location! going there asap!