Where did the word ‘Safari’ originate from?

There are various theories regarding the exact origin of the word ‘Safari.’

Safari is essentially supposed to be a Kiswahili word which means ‘Journey,’ ‘Travel,’ or ‘Voyage!’

The word has however already been adopted in the Oxford English Dictionary.

‘Safari,’ as we have seen originates from the Swahili language, which is widely spoken in Kenya, Tanzania, DR Congo, the Comoros, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi to some extent.

There are opinions that the word was derived from the Arabic word ‘Safar,’ which also means ‘Journey.’

But other scholars are of the view that, ‘Safari,’ could have originally been an English Word.

They figure that the term ‘Seafaring,’ which means long sea voyages by ship, is what yielded its Kiswahili incarnation ‘Safari.’

 Today oceans are mostly used to transport cargo, not people, with the exception of luxury cruisers that offer water-based tourism adventures.

That explains why the term Seafaring is slowly but surely disappearing from common vocabulary.

‘Safari,’ while still used by local East Africans to mean journey or travel, has a slightly different and specific meaning among foreigners.

 The term ‘Safari,’ gained popularity in the English language during the colonial era when European explorers and hunters travelled to East Africa for expeditions and wildlife adventures.

Today, the word ‘Safari,’ for English Speakers is commonly used to refer to a guided tour or expedition, often focused on observing and experiencing wildlife in their natural habitats.

The word “safari” was first used in the English language in the late 19th century during the colonial era.

It gained popularity as European explorers and hunters travelled to East Africa for expeditions and wildlife adventures.

However, for most people, the origin of the term is the Swahili language, which has been spoken in East Africa for centuries. The jury is out on that.

Meanwhile there are several safari destinations around the world that are known for their incredible wildlife and natural beauty. Some of the top safari destinations include:

Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya: Known for the Great Migration of wildebeest and zebras, the Maasai Mara offers a stunning landscape and abundant wildlife.

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

The Serengeti is famous for its vast savannahs and diverse wildlife, including lions, elephants, and giraffes.

Located in northern Tanzania, it directly borders the Masai Mara of Kenya is known for its vast open plains, diverse wildlife, and the annual wildebeest migration.

Kruger National Park, South Africa

One of Africa’s largest game reserves, Kruger National Park is home to the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo) and offers a range of safari experiences.

Okavango Delta, Botswana

The Okavango Delta is a unique safari destination, with its intricate network of waterways, lush vegetation, and diverse wildlife, including elephants, hippos, and various bird species.

These are just a few examples, and the best safari destination for you may depend on your preferences and interests. It’s always a good idea to research and consult with travel experts to find the perfect safari destination for your needs.

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