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Learn the Lingo: Language by Location

When travelling through foreign lands, you’re bound to experience language barriers which of course make it challenging to communicate and interact with the local people. Communicating with locals is important if you are genuinely wanting to learn more about the place you’re visiting and are eager to connect with them. Locals always have so much to teach visitors and one of the greatest gifts that comes with travelling is the ability to meet people from different walks of life.

Africa is a diverse continent made up of various cultures with a range of languages. Some African countries have more than one official language, for example, South Africa has eleven!
It’s worth learning a few simple words and greetings so that you are able to interact with the people you meet on your journey.

We want to help you Learn the ‘lingo’ of some African countries to ensure your journey is that much more exciting!

Himba Baby



Meet the warm, welcoming people of Botswana, most of which are descendants of the San/Khoi.

Most spoken language: Setswana/Tswana (English is also widely spoken in Botswana)
Hello: Dumela
What is your name? Leina le gago ke mang?
My name is: Leina la me ke… (name)
How are you? Le kae?
I’m from.. Ke tswa ko … (place)
How much is this? E ke bokae?
Please: Tswêê-tswêê
Thank you: Ke a leboga
Yes: Ee
No: No
Goodbye: Tsamaya sentle

Explore Botswana on an African Overland Tour and experience the beauty of the landscape and wildlife.


Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda

Most spoken language: Swahili (most locals can speak English)
Hello: Hujambo
What is your name? Jina lako ni nani?
My name is: Jina langu ni …
How are you? Habari?
I’m from.. Natoka …(place)
How much is this? Hii ni bei gani?
Please: Tafadhali
Thank you: Asante
Yes: Ndiyo
No: Hapana
Goodbye: Kwaheri

Explore Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda on one of our East Africa Trips.



Most spoken language: Portuguese (English is second)
Hello: Olá! Tchau!
What is your name? Qual é o seu nome?
My name is: Me chamo…
How are you? Como vai?
I’m from.. Eu sou de…
How much is this? Quanto é este
Please: Por favor
Thank you: Muito Obrigado (if a man is speaking)
Muito Obrigada (if a woman is speaking)
Yes: Sim
No: Não
Goodbye: Adeus

Get to know the locals in Mozambique on one of our Mozambique Adventure Tours.



Most spoken language: Afrikaans (English is second, followed by German)
Hello: Hallo
What is your name? Wat is jou naam?
My name is: My naam is..
How are you? Hoe Gaan Dit Met Jou?
I’m from.. Ek is van.. (place)
How much is this: Hoeveel Kos Dit?
Please: Asseblief
Thank you: Dankie
Yes: Ja
No: Nee
Goodbye: Totsiens

Discover Africa’s most extraordinary landscapes – visit Namibia!


South Africa

Most spoken language: Zulu (there are eleven official languages, with Afrikaans, English and Xhosa being the most spoken after Zulu)
Hello: Sawubona
What is your name? Ngubani igama lakho?
My name is: Igama lami ngu…
How are you? Unjani?
I’m from.. Ngiphuma e … (place)
How much is this? Kubiza malini?
Please: Ake
Thank you: Ngiyabonga kakhulu
Yes: Yebo
No: Kungekho
Goodbye: Sala kahle

Adventure through South Africa on one of our tours and enjoy the diversity of this beautiful country.



Most spoken language: Shona
Hello: Mhoro
What is your name? Unonzani?
My name is: Ndinonzi …
How are you? Wakadini zvako?
I’m from.. Ndinobva ku …
How much is this? Chinoita marii?
Please: Ndapota
Thank you: Waita zvako
Yes: Ehe
No: Aihwa
Goodbye: Sara Zvakanaka

Experience the Majestic Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe on one of our tours through this region.


About Leandra Slabbert

I don't think God intended for any of us to just be ordinary
Article by: Leandra Slabbert
on November 13, 2018
Filed under  Africa Blog • Botswana • Kenya • Mozambique • Namibia • Only in Africa • Tanzania • Uganda • Zimbabwe 
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