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How to Say Hello in Swahili: Our Favourite 25 Words

How to Say Hello in Swahili: Our Favourite 25 Words

Do you know how to greet someone in Swahili? This is one of the first questions our guests ask our Monumental expeditions and safaris tour guides upon their arrival in Tanzania. One of the simplest methods to acquire a more real travel experience in Tanzania is to be able to welcome locals. Learning how to say hello in Swahili, no matter how simple the phrases, helps you to communicate with a new culture.

Swahili (also known as Kiswahili) is the primary language of the majority of Tanzanians. Although your Monumental expeditions and safaris tour guides will always speak English well – and the majority of people in the tourist industry speak English exceptionally well! – it is still worthwhile to acquire a few words of the local language. Here are some of the most crucial Swahili words to learn before visiting Tanzania.

Karibu Tanzania, how to say hello in Swahili! This phrase, which means “welcome to Tanzania,” is likely to be one of the first Swahili words you hear upon arrival in Tanzania. But how should you respond?

Many Swahili terms are spoken phonetically, and guidebooks such as Lonely Planet’s Swahili phrasebook spell out any problematic words in an easy-to-understand manner! A little effort might go a long way towards comprehending these informal dialogues from Tanzania’s pleasant people.

Even if half the words are utterly mispronounced, making an effort to speak the local language will always be considered as a sign of interest and respect for the culture.


Swahili greetings

Learn how to say hello in Swahili, as well as please and thank you in Swahili! A little good manners go a long way.

Hello Habari
How are you? Habari yako / Habari gani?
(Very) fine thank you/Cool Nzuri (sana) / Poa / Safi
Please Tafadhali
Thank you (very much) Asante (sana)
Welcome Karibu
Goodbye Kwaheri
Good night Lala salama
Ok Sawa


Directions and handy phrases

Local terms for getting directions and navigating about Tanzania.

Left Kushoto
Right Kulia
Front Mbele
Behind Nyuma
Up Juu
Down Chini
Let’s go! Twende!
Hotel Hoteli
Car Gari
Where is the shop/supermarket? Kiosk/supermarket iko wapi?



The Big Five are the five most iconic wild creatures in East Africa. What Tanzania trip would be complete without a Tanzania safari tour to view the wonderful wildlife of the wilderness?

Elephant Tembo
Buffalo Mbogo
Rhino Kifaru
Lion Simba
Leopard Chui


You now have a lot more Kiswahili words in your pocket, and you should know how to say hello in Swahili! Are you ready to start arranging your tailor-made Tanzania vacation? Contact Monumental expeditions and safaris now to start practising your Swahili!