140 Easy English to Swahili Travel Words in East Africa

Beyond Hakuna Matata! 140 Easy English to Swahili Travel Words and Phrases in East Africa

Last Updated on March 25, 2024 by The Digital Travel Expert

Learn some fun, basic, cool, and easy English to Swahili travel words and phrases as you plan a safari trip to East Africa beyond the hakuna matata meaning!

If you’re embarking on a journey to East Africa excited and ready to explore its captivating wildlife, vibrant cultures, and breathtaking landscapes packing a few English to Swahili language hospitality words that will even make your African safari experience more enjoyable.

Why is this important?

As you immerse yourself in the local vibe, you’ll undoubtedly come across a phrase that perfectly encapsulates the laid-back, carefree attitude of the region: “Hakuna Matata.” Yep, you’ve heard it before, maybe even sang along to it in “The Lion King.”

But beyond its catchy tune, this Swahili phrase holds a profound meaning.

It’s like a warm embrace from the locals, a reassurance that no matter what challenges may come your way, there’s no need to worry.

And let’s talk about the magic of bridging languages – utilizing a few English to Swahili travel words, you’ll find a whole new world opening up to you.

Here is a short illustration.

Ordering your favorite dish becomes an adventure when you can effortlessly switch between the Swahili language to English hospitality words.

Suddenly, “Karibu” (welcome) feels like a hug, “Asante” (thank you) like a heartfelt exchange.

So, as you journey through East Africa, let the rhythm of “Hakuna Matata” guide you, and let the beauty of language connect you to the hearts of the people you meet along the way.

Karibu sana! (You’re very welcome!)

English to Swahili Travel Words

I’ve compiled for you a set of key Swahili words and phrases you need while on safari and around the cities to make sure you fully feel the African hospitality spirit.


  1. Jambo (Hello)
  2. Habari? (How are you?)
  3. Nzuri (Fine)
  4. Karibu (Welcome)
  5. Kwaheri (Goodbye)
  6. Asante (Thank you)
  7. Tafadhali (Please)
  8. Samahani (Excuse me)
  9. Sawa (Okay)
  10. Rafiki (Friend)
  11. Shikamoo (Respectful greeting to elders)
  12. Marahaba (Response to Shikamoo)
  13. Hujambo? (How are you?)
  14. Salama (Safe)
  15. Pole (Sorry)
  16. Pole pole (Slowly)
  17. Karibu tena (Welcome again)
  18. Furaha (Happy)
  19. Kweli? (Really?)
  20. Amani (Peace)


  1. Samahani (Excuse me)
  2. Asante sana (Thank you very much)
  3. Karibu (You’re welcome)
  4. Ndiyo (Yes)
  5. Hapana (No)
  6. Tafadhali (Please)
  7. Pole (Sorry)
  8. Kwaheri (Goodbye)
  9. Asante kwa msaada (Thank you for your help)
  10. Pole kwa usumbufu (Sorry for the inconvenience)
  11. Kwa heri (Farewell)
  12. Usiku mwema (Good night)
  13. Lala salama (Sleep well)
  14. Mzuri sana (Very good)
  15. Heshima (Respect)
  16. Upendo (Love)
  17. Ukarimu (Hospitality)
  18. Kazi nzuri (Good job)
  19. Msaada (Help)
  20. Utulivu (Peacefulness)
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Getting Around:

  1. Nipeleke… (Take me to…)
  2. Njia (Way)
  3. Gari (Car)
  4. Basi (Bus)
  5. Dereva (Driver)
  6. Kituo cha basi (Bus station)
  7. Kituo cha treni (Train station)
  8. Tiketi (Ticket)
  9. Dereva bodaboda (Motorcycle taxi driver)
  10. Njia panda (Intersection)
  11. Nauli (Fare)
  12. Mbele (Forward)
  13. Nyuma (Backward)
  14. Kulia (Right)
  15. Kushoto (Left)
  16. Kona (Corner)
  17. Kwenye (In)
  18. Nje (Out)
  19. Umbali (Distance)
  20. Safari (Journey)

Days and Numbers:

  1. Jumatatu (Monday)
  2. Jumanne (Tuesday)
  3. Jumatano (Wednesday)
  4. Alhamisi (Thursday)
  5. Ijumaa (Friday)
  6. Jumamosi (Saturday)
  7. Jumapili (Sunday)
  8. Moja (One)
  9. Mbili (Two)
  10. Tatu (Three)
  11. Nne (Four)
  12. Tano (Five)
  13. Sita (Six)
  14. Saba (Seven)
  15. Nane (Eight)
  16. Tisa (Nine)
  17. Kumi (Ten)
  18. Ishirini (Twenty)
  19. Hamsini (Fifty)
  20. Mia (Hundred)

Food and Drinks:

  1. Chakula (Food)
  2. Maji (Water)
  3. Chai (Tea)
  4. Kahawa (Coffee)
  5. Mkate (Bread)
  6. Mchele (Rice)
  7. Nyama (Meat)
  8. Samaki (Fish)
  9. Matunda (Fruits)
  10. Mboga (Vegetables)
  11. Supu (Soup)
  12. Keki (Cake)
  13. Soda (Soda)
  14. Bia (Beer)
  15. Divai (Wine)
  16. Chumvi (Salt)
  17. Pilipili (Pepper)
  18. Sukari (Sugar)
  19. Jibini (Cheese)
  20. Barafu (Ice)


  1. Afya (Health)
  2. Daktari (Doctor)
  3. Hospitali (Hospital)
  4. Dawa (Medicine)
  5. Matibabu (Treatment)
  6. Maumivu (Pain)
  7. Joto la mwili (Body temperature)
  8. Vidonge (Pills)
  9. Upasuaji (Surgery)
  10. Kuumwa (Sickness)
  11. Dharura (Emergency)
  12. Kliniki (Clinic)
  13. Afya njema (Good health)
  14. Chanjo (Vaccination)
  15. Lishe bora (Good nutrition)
  16. Kifua kikuu (Tuberculosis)
  17. Malaria (Malaria)
  18. Ugonjwa wa moyo (Heart disease)
  19. Kiharusi (Stroke)
  20. Ugonjwa wa sukari (Diabetes)


  1. Simba (Lion)
  2. Tembo (Elephant)
  3. Twiga (Giraffe)
  4. Kifaru (Rhino)
  5. Duma (Cheetah)
  6. Nyani (Monkey)
  7. Chui (Leopard)
  8. Fisi (Hyena)
  9. Nyati (Buffalo)
  10. Kiboko (Hippo)
  11. Kifaru (Rhinoceros)
  12. Kenge (Snake)
  13. Simba dume (Male lion)
  14. Simba jike (Female lion)
  15. Pundamilia (Zebra)
  16. Mbwa mwitu (Wolf)
  17. Fisi wa porini (Wild dog)
  18. Nguruwe mwitu (Wild boar)
  19. Sokwe (Ape)
  20. Mamba (Crocodile)

10 Easy Responses English to Swahili Phrases For Travelers

Let’s chat about the magic of language and how it opens doors wherever we roam. This is purely helpful if you’re exploring the vibrant markets of Zanzibar or trekking through the majestic Serengeti.

Suddenly, you find yourself in a lively conversation with locals, their eyes sparkling with warmth and curiosity.

Now, imagine being able to effortlessly respond in Swahili, their native tongue, with phrases like “Asante sana” (thank you very much) or “Karibu” (you’re welcome).

I know from experience that being able to engage in a short or long conversation in a foreign language can be challenging.

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That’s why I only crafted 10 easy travel phrases you convert English to Swahili.

Why do they matter?

These easy responses in Swahili aren’t just about breaking language barriers; they’re about forging connections, bridging cultures, and creating unforgettable moments.

How about travel influencers, do you need an English Swahili converter app? Not really.

Understanding the needs of emerging luxury travel markets and personas

Being able to navigate between the Swahili language to English words and incorporating them into your travel content will surely make a difference. This could be your travel Instagram hashtags or taglines.

For travel influencers and tourists alike, mastering these simple phrases isn’t just handy—it’s essential. Because travel isn’t just about the places we go or the sights we see; it’s about the people we meet along the way.

It’s about sharing smiles, laughter, and stories with strangers who quickly become friends. So, let’s embrace the beauty of communication, one “Habari” (hello) at a time, because in the end, travel is all about people, for people, and by people.

Karibu sana kwenye safari ya maisha! (Welcome to the journey of a lifetime!)

Here’s a table with some common travel-related questions and their corresponding answers in English and Swahili.

These 10 are just a few examples, but they cover some common travel-related inquiries and responses.

English QuestionSwahili QuestionEnglish AnswerSwahili Answer
What is your name?Jina lako ni nani?My name is [Name].Jina langu ni [Jina].
Where are you from?Unatoka wapi?I am from [Country].Natoka [Nchi].
How are you?Unaendeleaje?I am fine, thank you.Ninaendelea vizuri, asante.
Where is the airport?Uwanja wa ndege uko wapi?The airport is [Direction].Uwanja wa ndege uko [Maelekezo].
How much is the ticket?Tiketi ni bei gani?The ticket costs [Amount].Tiketi inagharimu [Kiasi].
Can you help me?Unaweza kunisaidia?Yes, I can help you.Ndiyo, naweza kukusaidia.
Where is the restroom?Chooni iko wapi?The restroom is [Location].Choo kiko [Mahali].
How do I get to the hotel?Nifikeje kwenye hoteli?You can take a taxi.Unaweza kuchukua teksi.
What time is check-in/check-out?Ni saa ngapi ya kuingia/kuondoka?Check-in is at [Time].Kuingia ni saa [Muda].
Is there a pharmacy nearby?Kuna duka la dawa karibu?Yes, there is a pharmacy nearby.Ndiyo, kuna duka la dawa karibu.
English to Swahili words phrases for visitors to East Africa

The Hakuna Matata Mindset In The Context of East African Safari

Hakuna Matata is an iconic Swahili phrase that captures the essence of the carefree mindset in East Africa!

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What does this mean for you planning to yourself amidst the breathtaking landscapes of East Africa, where every sunrise brings promises of adventure and every sunset paints the sky in hues of warmth?

In this enchanting part of the African continent, where lions roam freely on vast Serengeti savannahs and elephants lumber through ancient forests, Hakuna Matata isn’t just a saying—it’s a way of navigating through the African wildlife luxe.

Embarking on a wildlife safari to East Africa takes you through a cool breeze as you marvel at the majestic creatures of the Serengeti or witness the Great Migration in all its splendor.

The wildlife safari experience doesn’t end here!

When you’re not out in the wilderness, you will immerse yourself in the vibrant cultures of the Maasai or the Samburu people, savoring the rich tapestry of traditions that make East Africa so unique.

Trust your safari guide if he tells you” Hakuna Matata”. He knows the best is ahead of you.

Time to venture into the misty mountains for an unforgettable gorilla trekking experience, where every step brings you closer to these gentle giants in their natural habitat.

Then, as the sun sets, you find yourself immersed in the mystical allure of a gorilla trek in the misty forests of Uganda’s Bwindi National Park or Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.

With a Hakuna Matata mindset, every moment on your African safari will become a treasure and every encounter a story to cherish.

So, pack your bags and set forth on a voyage of discovery, where the wonders of nature and the warmth of hospitality await you at every turn of East Africa. Hakuna Matata—no worries, just pure, unadulterated bliss.

Welcome to the heart of East Africa, where adventure and serenity dance hand in hand, and every day is a new chapter in the story of a lifetime.

FAQs about Swahili Tourist Words and Phrases Beyond Hakunana Matata

What is the most famous Swahili phrase For Tourists?

The most famous Swahili phrase for tourists to East Africa is “Hakuna Matata,” meaning “no worries” or “no problem.” It’s used to convey a carefree attitude, especially in situations where one might feel stressed or uncertain, reminding travelers to relax and enjoy the experience.

What is a basic Swahili phrase for travelers?

A basic sweet Swahili phrase for tourists in East Africa is “Asante sana,” meaning “Thank you very much.” It’s used to express gratitude to locals, guides, or hosts after receiving hospitality, assistance, or service during their travels.

What does Tutaonana baadaye mean in tourism?

“Tutaonana baadaye” means “See you later” in Swahili, and it’s commonly used by locals in East Africa as a friendly farewell. Tourists can use it when bidding goodbye to their guides, hosts, or newfound friends after an unforgettable safari adventure, cultural experience, or exploration in the region.

What is “freshi” in Swahili?

“Freshi kabisa” in Swahili means “very fresh.” Tourists to East Africa can use this phrase when they encounter something exceptionally new, exciting, or rejuvenating during their travels, whether it’s a thrilling wildlife sighting, a delicious local dish, or a breathtaking cultural experience.

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