Swahili

The official language of Kenya

Swahili Vocabulary

English and Swahili are the official languages of Kenya though many other ethnic African languages are widely spoken. The term Swahili derives from the Arab word ‘sahel’, meaning coast, and is the lingua franca of East Africa.

Your visit to Lions Bluff will be enhanced by the knowledge of a few words in Swahili such as:

English Swahili
Hello  Jambo
How are you  habari
Welcome  karibu
Goodbye  kwaheri
Please  tafadhali
Thank you  asante
Yes  ndio
No  hapana
No problem  hakuna matata
Today  leo
Tomorrow  kesho
Slowly  pole pole
Where?  wapi
Animal  mnyama
Antelope  pofu
Bush buck  pongo/paa
Eland  pofu
Gazelle  swala/swara/paa
Klippspringer  Mbuzi mawe
Waterbuck  kuru
Cheetah  duma
Civet  fungo
Hyena  fisi
Jackal  mbweha
Leopard  chui
Lion  simba
Mongoose  nguchiro
Buffalo  nyati
Giraffe  twiga
Hippo  kiboko
Hyrax  pimbi
Rhino  Kifaru
Warthog  ngiri
Zebra  punda milia
Bird  ndege
Flamingo  heroe
Ostrich  mbuni
Insects  wadudu
Spider  buibui
Army ants  siafu
Centipede  tandu
Mosquitoe(s)  mbu
Baboon  nyani
Monkey  tumbili
Python  chatu
Snake  nyoka
Lake  ziwa
Forest  pori/msitu
Tree  mti
Waterfall  mporomoko wa maji
Don’t get out of the car Hapana toka gari
Pups/cubs  watoto
Look there!  Tazama pale!
Danger!  Hatari!
Help!  Saidia!
Trouble  Taabu!
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