What to buy
With rich deposits of natural minerals, Namibia can be a good place for the enthusiast to buy crystals
– but don't expect many bargains, as the industry is far too organised. For the amateur, the desert roses (sand naturally compressed into forms like flowers) are unusual and often cheap, while iridescent tiger's eye is rare elsewhere and very attractive. If you're really interested, forget the agates on sale and look for the unusual crystals – in Windhoek the House of Gems is a must, and in Omaruru Johnston's Gems is fascinating.
In Kavango and Caprivi, you'll find good woodcarvings
sold by the side of the road on small stalls. However, the best selection is at the cooperative which has huge stands either side of Okahandja. There are also some good buys to be had in Windhoek, both behind the Grab-a-phone kiosk and in Post Street Mall.
In the Kalahari regions, Bushmen crafts
are some of the most original and unusual available on the continent, often using ostrich eggshell beads with very fine workmanship. Outside a few expensive shops in the major towns, by far the best source for this is the mission in Tsumkwe.