Everyone Loves African Tote Bags

By | January 22, 2018

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African-Sisal-Tote-Bag- ReviewAfrican Tote Bags Are The Most Versatile

African Sisal Bag Overall Ranking: 8 out of 10
Global Marketplace: Etsy
Website: Etsy.com


The African Sisal bag shown in the picture is known by different names: African Tote bag, African basket bag, African market bag, Summer bag, Beach bag, African Kiondo, Tote bag, Crossbody bag and Bantu basket bag.

I bought this tote handbag in Harare, way back in 1995. Amazingly, it is still in perfect condition. As you can see, the picture speaks for itself.

The African Sisal tote is hand woven in Africa but available for sale from Etsy. Etsy is the global marketplace for unique and creative goods.

Within Etsy’s markets, millions of people from all over the world connect both online and offline to make, sell and buy unique goods.


Apart from being handmade, the African Sisal handbag is very colourful. Materials used include Acrylic yarn, modern fibre, coloured fibre, sisal fibre and African leather.

In terms of size, you can get this shoulder bag in different sizes starting from small, medium to large. As a handbag which is fully handmade and uniquely designed, its dimensions vary from bag to bag. Within the category of sisal tote handbags, some have inside lining but the one in the picture does not have any lining.

The same applies to colours. Brown is the dominant colour while other handbags have a multi-colour design. The nice genuine leather strap added to the top gives the handbag a special touch.

Pros and Cons

The slight disappointment I have with my tote bag is that it lacks a zipper closure. Fair enough, considering I bought my shoulder bag long back in 1995. It is understandable why certain latest features are missing.

These days, most African sisal tote handbags sourced from different places come with a Zipper closure at the top, two small pockets inside and a fabric lined interior.

I would have preferred the bag with a Zipper closure for the extra security it provides. At least it gives you the option to place your mobile phone or wallet inside its pockets unlike the one in the picture.

Who Is It For?

Frankly speaking, this handbag has multi-functions. It can be used for shopping or as a weekend basket or weekend gateway bag. It is a casual bag suitable for many occasions.

You can’t go wrong by having one of this sisal tote handbags in your wardrobe. It is also a fitting present or gift for your loved ones: your mum, a friend or a work mate.


If you run a business that specializes in the manufacturing of African sisal tote handbags, Etsy is the best marketplace to lean on.

Etsy is a creative marketplace you can join where 29 million buyers around the world shop for unique items. To get help for handbag returns and exchanges, Etsy is ready to help including issues around shipping.


Every basket or African sisal tote bag is unique. So, are the prices. They also vary. The price range fluctuates between £ 14.00-£ 100.00.

Final Opinion / Verdict

I absolutely love this item. For me, it’s more than just a bag but stands for the African heritage. The bag resembles Africa in many ways having been braided there from sisal plant fibres.

My friend highly commended my bag saying it’s well-made and a bag of high quality. She could not help noticing its beautiful colours.

I once used it as a Carry-on travel bag during my flight. I managed to throw in a handful of essential accessories for my trip: my iPad, phone, a couple of magazines and my wallet containing.

The Story Behind Salsa Tote Bag

Like I said at the beginning, the Salsa Tote bag is known by different names depending on its place of origin.

In Kenya, the basket is popularly known as a Kiondo Bag. The inhabitants of Kenya, the Kikuyu people weave these leather sisal bags. Then, the finished product is used as a gift for family and friends.

The handbag is laboriously crafted from hand twisted baobab threads in a traditional weaving style. The functional straps are fashioned from genuine Kenya cowhide.

No-one would ever think that Kiondo Bags are handmade by skilled female artisans from the rural parts of Kenya. The Kiondo basket is very popular in Africa and it has started to grab the world’s attention.

In Zimbabwe, sisal baskets are beautifully handwoven out of handspun sisal fibres over robust grass coils. Binga Craft Centre is among places in Zimbabwe to find these lovely bags.

In Swaziland, women make sisal baskets using sisal material, a fibre they get from the tropical plant Agave. After harvesting the fibre, they process the thread first.

The Swazi people traditionally use these baskets as gifts and as a symbol of long and happy life.

If you have any questions related to,’Everyone Loves African Tote Bags’ please leave them below. I will be more than happy to get back tp you with response. Also, feel free leave some comments below. Many thanks for stopping by.


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10 thoughts on “Everyone Loves African Tote Bags

  1. Emma

    Hello, Femia, thanks for an in-depth review of the African Tote bag.
    I can’t help falling in love with it after reading your review.
    It is great work of art or craftsmanship. I’ve seen people carrying similar shoulder bags around but had no clue where to buy it.
    Such reviews like the one you have left is just awesome and very helpful.

    1. Femia Post author

      Hi, Emma, I am really grateful for taking time to leave me some comments.
      Keep checking on the marketplace for recent bags. Also, amazon is another place you can get them

  2. JR Andrade

    Hi Femia, this is a very interesting product. It piqued my interest to know more about it. It is fascinating to get to know a new product from Africa, from Zimbabwe to be exact, having been exposed primarily to local and western products. Thanks for this review and for leading me where to buy it. My wife will be very happy with this. Thank you very much =)

    1. Femia Post author

      Hello, thank you very much for taking time to leave some comments.
      I am glad you found my review informative.
      Buying this African Tote bag for your wife is such a brilliant idea. You will not regret it. Moreover, it makes a perfect gift for a loved one.
      I love its versatile quality suitable for many occasions.

  3. Michelle

    Thanks for your review on the African Sisal bag. This is just in time for me as I was wondering what birthday gift to get my mom for her upcoming birthday in March. This bag is just lovely and I think my mom will love this and be able to use it whenever she is going out from the house. Great review and keep it up!

    1. Femia

      Hello, Michelle, thank you very much for sparing your time to leave some comments. I do appreciate.
      I am glad to hear you found my article ‘Everyone Loves African Tote bags informative.’
      All the best with your shopping!
      I guarantee you that your mom will be really pleased with the tote you will buy for her.

  4. jocelyne malo

    Hello,what a trending bag,with such a detailed discription,where do I get this beautiful piece of art? I loved this,what a wonderful bag….every girl should carry this! The fact that you have it yourself is another plus? How long did you say you have had it? Some years now…. it’s a good make,don’t you think?

    1. Femia Post author

      Hello, Jocelyne, thank you for sparing your time to leave some invaluable comments.
      I have had my African Tote bag for almost 23 years now.

      It is still in good condition just as it looks like in the picture. Making it a good value for money travel bag.

      You can get this type of handbag from Amazon (http://amzn.to/2px1UvN) known as the large shoulder bag Sisal Bag going for £39.80. It is braided and made from plant fibres.

      Alternatively, you can get it on Etsy for £30.67. Its known as the Multi Color Cross Body, Sling Bag, a Kenyan Kiondo Sisal Straw Bag with Straps – Tribal Cross Body Handbag with Straps.

  5. Anita

    Thank you for the great review of the African tote bag which from my country is known as Kiondo. I come from the kikuyu tribe and such a bag traditionally is handed over to a daughter-in-law meant for her to be using while going to the market.
    Best thing about this bags is that they are very durable, my mother still has hers she got from my grandmother. Quite ideal for groceries, the beach or random shopping.
    Good to know that they are available at Esty, will inform my people too post their collection there.

    1. Femia

      Hi, Anita, I’m so excited to hear from you. And also to know you relate to this story of the African Tote bag known as Kiondo in Kenya. Thank you for sparing time to read my review and leaving some invaluable comments. Giving a daughter-in-law such a beautiful bag is a lovely welcoming gesture.


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