Its not really an item to buy while travelling but since HIV is killing so many people there are coffins shops everywhere in the towns. An average sized coffin in Nkhata Bay is about 3500 MKW. If you want a special design: Kelvin can help!
What to pay: only 3500MKW
Kelvin Grant is the artist running this shop. He is a Rastafarian and he is doing high quality carvings. In opposite to most of the boys in town he is creating the things by himself. You can have a chat with him, watch him while he is working and of course buy some of his carvings.
What to buy: He is doing a different design and its worth checking out his shop before buying somewhere else in Nkhata Bay.
Like everywhere in town he also offers to manufacture items like you want them. Explain to him a design and he will carve it.
The shops are small thatched huts all along the center part of town, near the local fish market.
What to buy: Malawi is known for it wooden crafts including masks, statues, chess tables and chief chairs. The chief chairs are particularly a local craft and are worth looking at if you can manage to carry it home with you. This of course is not advised unless you are immediately going home. It is possible to mail items home. Increadibly, my tables and chairs actually made it in one month.
What to pay: You can expect to pay 30 to 40 dollars for a really nice chiefs chair. Make sure you check for cracks or breaks