Five reasons to add Shongweni market to your KwaZulu-Natal to-do list

The Shongweni Farmers and Craft Market in Hillcrest, KwaZulu-Natal, finally reopened at the start of September after an absence of several months.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the popular Saturday morning market, like many other leisure events, had not been able to operate.

This unique country market offers a combination of nature, food and drinks, craft and gardening which makes it worth the trip.

Early birds know to get to this scenic market not long after it opens at 06:30am. It closes at 12:30pm.

How COVID-19 affects the Shongweni market

Level One of lockdown means South Africans can finally go out and about again.

However, the risk of infection has not gone yet so safety protocols are still necessary. With this in mind, the Shongweni market has put in place the following:

  • There should be no gaps when wearing a mask. This means your mouth and nose need to be covered.
  • Maintain a distance of 1.5m from anybody coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth and: Don’t touch the products unless you are buying them!
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Image: Sabeeha Mahomed

Why should you visit the market?

Health and safety in place, here are five good reasons to visit one of the province’s most popular morning markets,

1. The setting

The natural setting of West Durban has a backdrop of rich greenery, which is perfect for those outdoor scenic photography shots.

If you enjoy walking or running, there are also several trails to try out. Here’s a snippet of the latest trail which is being built:

There is also a little train set up for the kids … or adults.

2. The stalls

Besides the fresh produce you can purchase, there are several food stalls to choose from.

They include Mexican tacos, spicy Indian dishes, Chinese food, burgers and wraps. There are also other different cuisines and many pastries on sale. 

Once you’ve had something savoury, there are also coffee and dessert stalls to satisfy the sweet tooth. You will find chocolate brownies, mini gourmet desserts, pancakes and more.

There is even a gin truck that serves different flavours of tonic with gin on-tap.

Aside from food and drink, you can also find clothes, books and crafts.

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Image: Feroshia Osman

3. Live music

The market has a vibrant ambience and a stage for live performers, called “Monthly Musos”, enhances this.

September’s Monthly Muso is TK on saxophone and there is a different feature artist each week, with Don Seagreen the final performer with TK this weekend.

4. It’s plant heaven 

This is plant heaven because there are several different stands where you can buy a variety of plants to go home and grow.

There’s also a huge range of succulents, plant pots and other accessories. With spring the blooming season, now is the perfect time for some plant babies.

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Image: Feroshia Osman

5. It’s pet-friendly

This market is a place for the entire family, including the fur babies. You will find pets all around the market and they seem to love the vibe just as much as everyone else.

Shongweni market tips

  • Go early as the parking fills up quicker than you think.
  • Check the weather beforehand, it does get a bit cold in the morning.
  • Go hungry!
  • Take enough cash, there are many temptations.
  • Sneakers and jeans are the most comfortable clothes for the trails.

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