Languages and Local Words

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The Kruger Lowveld region is a melting pot of various tribes and cultures. Although all of South Africa’s 11 official languages are spoken, about a majority of the population speak the siSwati, isiZulu, Xitsonga and Sesotho. English is considered the medium of instruction and is widely spoken.

However some English words used may not mean exactly the same as the country you travel from:  Some Examples:

Robot – Traffic Light

Lift – Elevator

Braai – Barbeque

Lekker / Sjap – Great, good

Pap – Porridge

The people of the Kruger Lowveld region are friendly and always ready to converse. It is important to realize that greeting someone before asking their name or for any information as that would be considered rude.

Here are some useful siSwati words and phrases that’ll have you mistaken for a local.

Hello – Sawubona

Good morning- Kusile

How are you? – Unjani?

I am fine, thank you- Ngikhona ngiyabonga

What is your name? – Ngubani ligama lakho?

My name is Sam. And you? – Ligama lami nguSam. Wena ke?

I am Sipho– Mine ngingu Sipho.

I am pleased to meet you- Ngiyajabula kukwati.

And me too- Nami futsi.

Goodbye / stay well – Sala kahle

Go well – Hamba kahle

How much is this? – Kubita malini loku?

What is the time? – Ngicela sikhatsi?

Where are you going? – Uya kuphi?

Yes – yebo

No – cha

Please – ngiyacela

Thank you – ngiyabonga

You’re welcome –  wamukelekile

Excuse me – lucolo

Come here – wota lapha

I am sorry – ngiyacolisa