• The Curious Traveler

Ten phrases to take on Safari in Tanzania

Whether it’s during a Tanzania safari or just on general travel to Tanzania, every traveler should have mastered some of the local language before they arrive.

Tanzania Safari Language Tips
Habari (Hello)

There are always certain phrases that will prove invaluable when traveling. That said, it’s not always easy, but it can be just plain rude to leave without learning the simplest of greetings. In most countries, even the attempt to converse in your host’s language is enough to earn their respect. As travelers we owe it to the people of whichever country we visit, to speak, where possible, in their language. So, for people packing their gear before a Tanzania vacation, here are a few useful phrases to help you on your way, and links to the most informative sites we can find.

Tanzania – Spoken languages are English and Swahili -also known as Kiswahili, of which there are more than 120 local dialects.

Ten handy Swahili phrases:

Hello/ How are you? – Habari/ Hujajambo? (informal).

My name is… What’s your name? – Ninaitwa… Wewe unaitwaje?

Thank You – Asante

Good to meet you – Nafurahi kukuona

I’m from the United States of America. Where are you from? – Ninatokea Marekani. Wewe unatokea wapi?

I can / can’t speak Swahili – Ninaweza kusema Kiswahili /Siwezi kusema Kiswahili.

I am traveling – Ninasafiri.

One language is never enough – Lugha moja haitoshi

Goodbye! – Kwaheri!

Goodbye! I’m pleased to meet you – Kwaheri! Nimefurahi kukutana na wewe.

Useful resources:

The Five College Center for the Study of World Languages offers video tutorials and translations. It covers basic communications, shopping and services, culture and social life and transportation.


This Swahili language page also has useful language and cultural resources.


Perhaps the most authoritative sources are Yale University’s Kamusi Project and Columbia University’s African Studies pages.



About Boundless Journeys

Boundless Journeys is an award-winning small group adventure tour operator, selected as one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by National Geographic ADVENTURE, February 2009; and a “World’s Best” tour operator by Travel + Leisure, August 2009.

With a diverse collection of locally guided, small group itineraries and Private Collection trips around the world, Boundless Journeys offers “The World’s Great Adventures.” The adventure trips for 2-16 guests are active, ranging from leisurely cultural explorations and wildlife safaris to challenging trekking in remote regions ― with plenty of easy to moderate walking and sea kayaking in between.


Our dedicated team of travel experts are here to help.


Travel + Leisure World's Best Award

Top 5 World's Best Tour Operators
Multi-year Recipient

National Geographic Traveler

50 Tours Of A Lifetime
Multi-year Recipient

National Geographic Adventure Magazine

Best Adventure Travel Company Winner

ATTA member since 2006