Safari Words to Remember.
So you’ve booked your first South African safari, you may be excited, or scared or both. You don’t know what to expect, and you think to yourself, will I at least be able to communicate with my Professional Hunter (PH)? Will he be able to speak English? Will I struggle to understand his accent? These are all legitimate fears but don’t worry. We are going to give you some common Afrikaans words that you’ll hear while on a safari.
South Africa used to be an English colony, so most of the people in the Safari industry can speak English but, with most PH’s being Afrikaans speaking they tend to use some of their own words when communicating with you. It usually takes a day or 2 to get used to it, but if you can familiarise yourself with some of the words that we use before your arrival, it will be a lot easier to understand and start having fun!
The first word is “LEKKER”
This word has many meanings, but generally, it means nice. It can also mean good, beautiful, tasteful, healthy, and many more. When your PH asks you if you had a lekker flight, he’s asking you if your flight was pleasant. Remember this word; it is an important word that gets used a lot.
The next word to know is “BAKKIE”
A Bakkie is what they call a truck. If your PH tells you at the airport that his bakkie is parked one floor up, there’s no need to be confused; he is just telling you that he parked on another level. When he says to get on the back of the bakkie on the first morning of your hunt, that means it’s time to climb up on the back of the truck so your safari day can get started.
Another well used word is “BRAAI”
This next word is an important one, so write it down, say it ten times because you’ll need to remember it. It has to do with food. Braai means to barbeque. To cook meat on an open wood fire plays a vital part in a South Africans culture. It is almost like a religion. Braai does not only refer to the preparation of the meat; it is the whole experience around the fire. It’s the friendships, the beers, the brandy, and the excitement of the day that they share with you while preparing the fire and waiting for the right amount of coals to place the meat on. That is a braai.
The next important word to know is “TORCH”
Now this isn’t a truly Afrikaans word but the Afrikaans people use this word a lot. A torch is a flashlight. If your PH warns you not to walk at night without your torch, do not panic you did pack one it is your flashlight. And even if you didn’t pack one, usually the outfitter you chose will supply some in your room.
Last but not least is “LEKKER SLAAP”
Pronounced: ( Lek-uh Sla-ah-p)
This only means sleep well. When you are tired at the end of a long day, and you announce that you are going to bed, they are all going to say “lekker slaap” don’t feel offended they are just telling you to sleep well.
There are many more words, but these are some of the main words you will hear. Let us know which words you used on your safari and what other words you learned.