Meaning

Name ID 1532

See also

Arusha Times
Extract Author: Valentine Marc Nkwame
Page Number: 509
Extract Date: 15 March 2008

Arusha town goes ‘orange'

Arusha is becoming an ‘Orange’ town. Nothing to do with the Orange Democratic Movement in Kenya. Most buildings in the precinct are either painted Orange or in the process acquiring a coat of the color. Already whole streets such as Goliondoi and Boma have all adopted the peachy orange finishing.. ...

… others remind that the term ‘Arusha’ means ‘Rising sun’ in Hindi language. However a teacher who has been studying Maasai culture say Arusha came from the word La’ Arusa, Meaning a place of ‘Grey’ cows.

Extract ID: 5581

See also

Source Unknown

Crater Highlands

1. named the Winter Highlands by the Germans (but see Ngorongoro)

2. Maasai - O'lhoirobi - Cold Highlands

Extract ID: 184

See also

Okema, Michael The Capital City in the Middle of Nowhere
Page Number: 1
Extract Date: 1999, April 22

Dodoma

Copyright © 1999 The East African. Distributed via Africa News Online

Dodoma is supposed to be the political capital of Tanzania. This name is derived from 'idodomia', which in the local Kigogo dialect means 'to sink'. Legend has it that an elephant once sank in quicksand in the vicinity of present-day Dodoma.

Extract ID: 3955

See also

Amin, Mohamed; Willetts, Duncan and Marshall, Peter Journey Through Tanzania
Page Number: 108
Extract Date: 1910

Dodoma

It was not until the arrival of the Germans and the central railway line in 1910 that a permanent settlement came into existence. At the time the area was known as 'Idodomya', which in the local [Kigogo] language means 'the place where it sank', referring to an incident when an elephant drinking in a nearby pond got stuck in the mud. Idodomya went on the map as Dodoma.

Extract ID: 3211

See also

Ondaatje, Christopher Journey to the Source of the Nile
Page Number: 125
Extract Date: 1996

The place where it sank

Dodoma began as a settlement of thatched huts of the Gogo, a tribe that Stanley called, "masters in foxy craft." The settlement grew with the arrival of the railway at the beginning of the twentieth century. The railway stations became the centres of the towns that lined the old caravan routes. That is where the markets and shops were established.

Dodoma dwindled considerably during the First World War, when thirty thousand people died of starvation in a famine caused by the misappropriation of food supplies by the Germans and the British. In the 1970s the Tanzanian government declared that Dodoma was to replace Dar es Salaam as the capital in the 1980s, but this still has not happened.

"Idodomya," Meaning "the place where it sank" and referring to an elephant that got stuck in the mud of a Gogo washing hole, is a phrase that gave the town its name on German maps. The name, like the elephant, stuck.

Extract ID: 5751

See also

Fosbrooke, Henry Ngorongoro: The Eighth Wonder
Page Number: 020

Esimingor

a Masai name for wildcat

Extract ID: 221

See also

Fosbrooke, Henry Ngorongoro: The Eighth Wonder
Page Number: 021

Kerimasi

The Speckled Brow

Extract ID: 384

See also

Gordon-Brown, A (Editor) The Year Book and Guide to East Africa (1953)
Page Number: 340

Kibo

Kibo, the western summit [of Kilimanjaro] is called by the Masai "Ngaje Ngai" the House of God

Extract ID: 385

See also

Source Unknown

Kilimanjaro

Kilima Njaro (Swahili) Mountain of Greatness, or

Mountain of Caravans,

both translations believed by Rebmann, first European to see the mountain in 1848.

Extract ID: 386

See also

Source Unknown

Kilimanjaro

Also translated as Shining Mountain, White Mountain, or Mountain of Water

Extract ID: 391

See also

Personal Communication
Extract Author: Mzee Kappia
Extract Date: 1999 April

Kilimanjaro

Chagga meaning is 'Something which cannot be conquered'

Extract ID: 387

See also

Source Unknown

Kilimanjaro

Kilimangare (Maasai) meaning 'hill of water'

Extract ID: 389

See also

Breashears, David Kilimanjaro: To the Roof of Africa

Meaning

Mountain of Greatness

Extract ID: 4320

See also

Africa Travel Resource Kilimanjaro
Page Number: 02

Origin of the name 'Kilimanjaro'

There are many unsatisfactory explanations for how the mountain got its name and no one can quite agree which is the truth. "Mountain of Greatness", Mountain of Whiteness", "Mountain of Caravans", "Small Mountain of Caravans" are all names derived from the Swahili, Chagga and Machame dialects.

From what little we know on the subject, we think it might have something to do with the swahili word 'kilima', which means 'top of the hill'. The second portion 'njaro' presumably refers to the snow in some way. We did discover that a similar word 'ngare' means water in the Meru language.

There is also a claim that the word "kilemakyaro" exists in the Chagga language, Meaning "impossible journey", but this is thought to have derived as a consequence rather than as a precidence.

Of course everyone knows that in truth the mountain was named after the legendary Tanzanian beer.

Extract ID: 4804

See also

Fosbrooke, Henry Ngorongoro: The Eighth Wonder
Page Number: 020

Kilimanjaro

Oldoiny'oibor - the White Mountain

Extract ID: 390

See also

Hutchinson, J. A. The Meaning of Kilimanjaro
Page Number: 065

The Meaning of Kilimanjaro

From the time of the earliest explorers, visitors have been intrigued by the name Kilimanjaro. The visitor who enquires today will probably receive from most Wachagga the same answer which was given to the early explorers:- It is not a Chagga name. The Wachagga themselves have no name for the whole mountain. They have, however, names for the two peaks, commonly known as Kibo and Mawenzi. These are more properly written, in Kichagga, Kipoo and Kimawenze and the meanings can be explained. Kipoo means "spotted" ; a reference to the black rock which stands out here and there against the snowfield ; Kimawenze means "having a broken top, notched"; describing the jagged appearance of this peak. The very well-known Chagga story of how Mawenzi acquired this appearance is retold in the extracts from Bruno Gutmann's work, translated elsewhere in this journal.

In spite of Chagga insistence that the name Kilimanjaro is a foreign importation, even they accept that this is now the name by which the mountain is internationally known. They listen with, I think, some private amusement, to the innumerable theories advanced to explain the name, and will discuss the merits and demerits of these theories. At the same time, the older generation at least, regard any attempts to derive the name from Kichagga roots as decidedly suspect and as inventions made long after the event by enthusiastic youngsters.

This is not therefore an attempt to find the long-sought answer and to offer a definitive or authoritative explanation. It may however, be of interest to summarise some of the theories so far advanced.

All the early attempts at explanation are based on breaking down Kilimanjaro into two elements : kilima and njaro, on the assumption that kilima at least is the Swahili for `mountain'. The Wachagga themselves find this difficult and confusing, since in Swahili `mountain' is properly mlima, and kilima is a diminutive Meaning `hill.' It is possible to assume that the diminutive is used to indicate affection, though it is difficult to understand why a stranger should wish to express such affection.

It is also possible to postulate that an early European visitor, whose knowledge of Swahili was not extensive, changed mlima to kilima by analogy with the two Chagga names; Kibo and Kimawenzi.

The first attempt at explanation comes from the missionary Krapf, who saw the mountain from a distance but left his co-worker, Rebmann, to visit Chaggaland. In his Missionary Labours (1860), Krapf writes (p.255), "The Swahili of the coast call the snow-mountain Kilimanjaro, "mountain of greatness." It may also mean "mountain of caravans" (kilima - mountain; jaro caravans), a landmark for caravans seen everywhere from afar, but the inhabitants of Jagga call it Kibo, `snow." He makes no attempt to explain in what way Kilimanjaro can be interpreted `mountain of greatness' in Swahili, nor how he combines, kilima, Swahili, `hill', with jaro, Kichagga `caravan'. Moreover, as has already been stated, Kibo in Kichagga does not mean `snow', which is kora. On p. 544, he says that Kivoi, a chief of the Kamba tribe, whom he visited in 1850. . . ." had been to Jagga and had seen the Kima jaJeu, mountain of whiteness, the name given by the Wakamba to Kilimanjaro in contra-distinction to the Kegnia (Kenya)." More correctly in the Kamba dialect, this would be kiima kyeu, and this possible derivation has been popular with several investigators.

Joseph Thompson, in his Through Masailand (1885) writes, (p.207), "The term Kilimanjaro has generally been understood to mean the mountain (kilima) of greatness (njaro). This is probably as good a derivation as any other, though not improbably it may mean the white mountain, as I believe the term njaro has in former times been used to denote whiteness, and though this application of the word is now obsolete on the coast, it is still heard among some of the interior tribes." Unfortunately,Thompson does not substantiate this claim, or make any attempt to explain the use of kilima for mlima.

A. G. Fischer, in his "Report of a Journey in the Masai Country" in the Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society, Vol. VI. 1884, will have none of this.

He writes (pp.70-83), "The word (Kilimanjaro) does not mean either `mountain' or "greatness", but signifies Njaro Mountain, by which among the inhabitants of the coast, an evil spirit is meant." Sir Harry Johnston, in his Kilimanjaro Expedition, 1886, (p.ln.l.) likewise explains the name as being from kilima, `mountain', and njaro, the name of a demon, supposed to cause cold: This name, he says, is known only to the people of the coast and is unrecognised in the interior.

Hans Meyer, the first known European to reach the summit of the mountain, also subscribes to the idea of a spirit or demon. In his Across East African Glaciers, 1891, (p.152), he says, "We awoke in capital trim for our climb to the summit, and this time, Njaro, the spirit of the mountain, was propitious. . . . we succeeded in reaching our goal." Again on p.154, " Njaro, the guardian spirit of the mountain, seemed to take his conquest with a good grace, for neither snow nor tempest marred our triumphal invasion of his sanctuary."

In Chagga folklore, there is ample evidence of their belief in spirits which dwell in or on the mountain, but, for the Wachagga, these were usually kindly and well-intentioned. There is, admittedly, also mention of a guardian spirit who would destroy anybody who presumed to climb beyond a certain limit. But there is no evidence of a spirit called Njaro, either by the Wachagga themselves, or by the coastal tribes. Wachagga to whom I have spoken, are willing to presuppose the existence of a man, possibly a chief, called Njaro, but there is no record of such a person, and

once again, the compound with the difficult Swahili kilima, would be unexplained. (The Kichagga for `mountain' is fumvu).

An explanation which has been widely accepted is based on the introduction of the Masai word njaro, Meaning `springs', or possibly `water'. Monseigneur A.Le Roy, in his book Au Kilimanjaro, (1893) after discussing other theories, relates the following story : "At Taveta, walking one day with some native children, we were asked by one of them if we intended to stay long on Kilima-ngaro. . . . "What did did you say : kilima-ngaro ?" "Yes". "But what is ngaro ?" "Ngaro, ngare, in the language of the Masai and even in our own, means `water'. And we call the big mountain over there, `The Mountain of Water', because it is there that all the rivers here and round about rise." We concluded that we had found the true meaning

At Taveta, situated more or less at the foot of the famous mountain the traders from the coast will have heard kilima-ngaro, and rebated with a slight modification . .

but still leaves the kilima element unexplained, and perpetuates the somewhat unlikely compound, part Swahili, part Masai.

the idea that the name is of non-Chagga origin and was, therefore, very probably, invented by porters from the coast. But it leaves unexplained how Kilimanjaro means `a little white hill" even in Swahili, although the diminutive aspect is here satisfactorily explained. Unfortunately I have been unable to ascertain from Mr. Nelson the date of the chart on which he claims to have seen the name used. If this chart, in fact, ante-dates any mention of the name Kilimanjaro as the name of the mountain, then the investigation of its Meaning among the coastal peoples might be fruitful. In this context, it has been pointed out to me (by a Mchagga !) that there is also a mountain in the Uluguru range called-Kilimanjaro ! Which Kilimanjaro came first?

Dr. Reusch, in an article in T.N.R. (No. 2,pp.77-79), accepts the derivation, Swahili, kilima njaro, `the shining mountain', though without explaining the njaro element. Mr. H. A. Fosbrooke, whose considerable help in the preparation of this paper is gratefully acknowledged, concludes, after examining all the theories, that the name is of Kamba origin. He says that in the Kamba language the word ki-ima, is used for both `hill' and `mountain'. thus overcoming the difficulty of the diminutive.

From Johnston's Comparative Study of the Bantu and Semi-Bantu Languages (1919), he takes the Kamba root for white to be -au or -eu, related to Taveta -ewa, Sambaa -zelu, Zaramu, -zeru. He therefore concludes that Thompson was right when he said that in former times the term njaro had been used to denote whiteness, but not all linguists agree that this is a logical conclusion. This brings us back to the kima ja jeu of Krapf's Kamba informant.

A completely new line of approach can be obtained if one abandons all these attempts to start from kilima, Swahili, `little hill', or somehow, `mountain', which inevitably produce the difficulty of explaining njaro. The Kamba theory apart, the great demerit of all the other theories is that they explain njaro from languages other than Swahili, thus producing a rather unlikely hybrid. The term kilema in Kichagga, means `which defeats'; kilelema `which has become difficult or impossible', i.e. which has defeated. Njaro can then be derived from njaare, a bird, or, according to other informants, a leopard, or, possibly from jyaro a caravan.

According to one Chagga informant, the old men tell the story that long ago the Wachagga, having seen the snowy dome, decided to go up to investigate; naturally, they did not get very far. Hence the name: kilemanjaare, or kilemanyaro, or possibly kilelemanjaare etc.- `which defeats,' or which is impossible for, the bird, the leopard, or the caravan.' This is attractive as being entirely made up of Chagga elements based on an imaginable situation, but the fact remains that the name Kilimanjaro is not, and apparently never has been, current among the Wachagga as the name of the mountain. Is this then only, as other Wachagga suggest, a latter-day attempt to find a Chagga explanation when pressed to do so by a foreign enquirer? Is it perhaps arguable that the early porters from the coast hearing the Wachagga say kilemanjaare or kilemajyaro, Meaning simply that it was impossible to climb the mountain, imagined this to be the name of the mountain, and associated it with their own kilima ? Did they then report to the European leaders of the expedition that the name of the mountain was , their version of the Kichagga, which, further assimilated by the European hearer, finally became standardised as Kilimanjaro?

Extract ID: 4542

See also

Hemingway, Ernest The Snows of Kilimanjaro
Page Number: 1

Kilimanjaro is a snow-covered mountain

Kilimanjaro is a snow-covered mountain 19,710 feet high, and is said to be the highest mountain in Africa. Its western summit is called the Masai 'Ngaje Ngai', the House of God. Close to the western summit there is a dried and frozen carcas of a leopard. No one has explained what the leopard was seeking at that altitude.

Extract ID: 1445

See also

Amin, Mohamed; Willetts, Duncan and Marshall, Peter Journey Through Tanzania
Page Number: 171

Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro - Kilemieiroya (Wa-Chagga) meaning 'the mountain cannot be conquered'

Extract ID: 388

See also

nTZ Feedback
Extract Author: Graham Mercer
Page Number: 2007 09 20 a

Could Kilimanjaro itself be an abbreviation of Kilima Manjaro

Got one or two queries for you.

Have always been intrigued by the name "Kilimanjaro" and recently saw a village called "Manjaro" on the map, close to Singida.

If the village, which is close to a prominent hill, it seems, was named "Manjaro" before the mountain was called "Kilimanjaro" it might prove interesting, once we find out what "Manjaro" means or how it was derived.

Could Kilimanjaro itself be an abbreviation of Kilima Manjaro"? Or was the village I refer to named after the mountain (which is very far away fo course) and abbreviated?

Would appreciate any suggestions etc. from you or your readers - meanwhile hope all is well!

Extract ID: 5470

See also

Stedman, Henry Kilimanjaro - A Trekking Guide to Africa's Highest Mountain; Includes City Guides to Arusha, Moshi, Marangu, Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam
Page Number: intro 01

preamble to The Snows of Kilimanjaro

"Kilimanjaro is a snow covered mountain 19,710 feet high, and is said to be the highest mountain in Africa. Its western summit is called the Masai ‘Ngŕ’je Ngŕi’, the House of God. Close to the western summit there is the dried and frozen carcass of a leopard. No one has explained what the leopard was seeking at that altitude."

Ernest Hemingway in the preamble to The Snows of Kilimanjaro

Extract ID: 4623

See also

Source Unknown

Kopjes

'small heads' in Afrikaans

Extract ID: 424

See also

Amin, Mohamed; Willetts, Duncan and Marshall, Peter Journey Through Tanzania
Page Number: 147

Laetoli

the Maasai name for red lily grass

Extract ID: 437

See also

Source Unknown

Lemileblu

Maasai - ilemelepo- dry hills

Extract ID: 520

See also

Fosbrooke, Henry Ngorongoro: The Eighth Wonder
Page Number: 039a

Lolmolasin

Mountain of Gourds (Fosbrooke) - refering either to the Giant Lobelia, or to the sound of the milking gourds of the spirit Masai who live in the depth of the mountain.

Extract ID: 530

See also

Source Unknown

Longido

Maasai - oloonkito - place of the stone useful for sharpening knives

Extract ID: 531

See also

Source Unknown

Manyara

Maasai ‘Amanya-are’ ‘A meeting place of two’

Extract ID: 561

See also

Amin, Mohamed; Willetts, Duncan and Marshall, Peter Journey Through Tanzania
Page Number: 158

Manyara

known after the Maasai name (emanyara) for the Euphorbia tirucalli bush

Extract ID: 560

See also

Source Unknown

Mount Meru

Maasai, Meaning 'that which does not make a noise'

Extract ID: 628

See also

Fosbrooke, Henry Ngorongoro: The Eighth Wonder
Page Number: 020

Mount Meru

Maasai, Oldoiny'orok, the black mountain

Extract ID: 630

See also

Briggs, Philip Guide to Tanzania

River of Mosquitoes

This village near the entrance gate to Lake Manyara sees a lot of tourist traffic and most organised safaris stop at its huge curio market. When you get out of your vehicle expect to be swarmed around by curio dealers. Bear in mind that prices here are double what they would be in Arusha. Mto wa Mbu means River of Mosquitoes. If you spend a night, you will be in no doubt as to how it got this name.

Extract ID: 3697

See also

Source Unknown

River of Mosquitoes

River of Mosquitoes

Extract ID: 633

See also

Ondaatje, Christopher Journey to the Source of the Nile
Page Number: 125b
Extract Date: 1996

West of Dodoma

West of Dodoma, we took yet another rough, sandy road, this time headed towards Manyoni, a railway town and the centre of a tobacco-growing region, about 140 kilometres away. Wagogo herdsmen struggled to make a living in this desolate land, sometimes, according to Burton, resorting to extortion from the caravans: "In Ugogo," he wrote, "the merest pretext — the loosing a hot word, touching a woman, offending a boy, or taking in vain the name of the sultan — infallibly leads to being mulcted in cloth."

We stopped to camp at 5:00 p.m., and were asleep that night by 8:30.

We were up at 5:45 a.m. the next day, to the by now familiar sound of doves cooing and hornbills drumming. It was light early on the plains, and we roused ourselves as soon as the world started moving around us. In this early part of our journey, my mind was always on Burton and his struggling train of reluctant porters with all their complaints and mutinies. We were now entering Burton's Third Region, which he described as the flat table-land from the Wasagara Mountains to Tura in Unyamwezi, rising gently to the west.

We broke camp at 8:00 a.m. and set off westward towards Manyoni and Tabora. We passed numerous villages, and along the way were reminded that the Swahili word for "white man" is Mzungu, which comes from Mzungu kati, Meaning "wandering around in circles, going nowhere." I was beginning to understand why. Manyoni, when we reached it, appeared to be little more than a dusty strip of small hotels: Manyoni Inn, Royal Hotel and Inn, Caribuni Hotel, Central Line Hotel, Video Inn, Dara Inn. These "hotels" were really small restaurants or tea houses. We looked in the market for a hengo, a unique, long-handled knife used by the Wagogo. No luck.

Extract ID: 5753

See also

Fosbrooke, Henry Ngorongoro: The Eighth Wonder
Page Number: 146

Nasera

The Striped Mountain - named for black streaks of blue-green algae that have formed on the granite face. (Also spelt Naisera)

Named in early textbooks as Apis Rock

derived from the Maasai root Meaning to mark or write; this originated in the streaks of weathering down the side of the rock.

Extract ID: 645

See also

Tanganyika Guide
Page Number: 142
Extract Date: 1948

Garden at Ngongongare

Then there is the garden at Ngongongare ("the place of many-sounding waters"), in the same neighbourhood, a beauty spot which has been brought to perfection despite the nightly incursions of elephants and rhinoceros, where the most wonderful collection of shrubs and flowers has been assembled from all parts of the world.

Extract ID: 4354

See also

Source Unknown

Ngorongoro

Named after a type of Maasai bowl, which it resembles.

Extract ID: 661

See also

Source Unknown

Ngorongoro

Of Kalenjin origin. Name of an age set known variously as Gorongoro, Kerongoro, or Korongoro which was defeated by the Masai about 150-200 years ago. The Kalenjin ethnic group includes the Tatog (Barabaig or Mangati) of Tanzania.

Extract ID: 670

See also

Source Unknown

Ngorongoro

Name of a grinding stone, which the caldera resembles

Extract ID: 667

See also

Source Unknown

Ngorongoro

Name of an especially valiant group of Datogo warriors defeated by Maasai after battle in the Crater about 150 years ago

Extract ID: 664

See also

Source Unknown

Ngorongoro

Maasai age set, called the Ilkorongoro, who wrested the highland from their previous occupants, the Datong.

Extract ID: 665

See also

Source Unknown

Ngorongoro

Name of Maasai cattle bell maker who lived in the crater

Extract ID: 666

See also

Source Unknown

Ngorongoro

'extra down' in Maasai (A Smith)

Extract ID: 669

See also

Amin, Mohamed; Willetts, Duncan and Marshall, Peter Journey Through Tanzania

Ngorongoro

'Cold Place'

Extract ID: 2927

See also

Source Unknown

Ngorongoro

Sound of the battle bells that the Maasai wore during the battle [with the Datong], that was supposed to have terrified their enemies into submission was 'koh- rohngroh' and it is from this that Ngorongoro comes

Extract ID: 668

See also

Amin, Mohamed; Willetts, Duncan and Marshall, Peter Journey Through Tanzania
Page Number: 151

Ngorongoro

Named 'Winter Highlands' by the Germans

Extract ID: 663

See also

Source Unknown

Maasai - the black mountain . . .

Maasai - the black mountain

Extract ID: 751

See also

Amin, Mohamed; Willetts, Duncan and Marshall, Peter Journey Through Tanzania
Page Number: 151

Ol Doinyo Lengai

Mountain of God

Extract ID: 750

See also

Johnston, Erika The other side of Kilimanjaro
Page Number: 013
Extract Date: 1950's

little pimples

Ol Molog is a Masai name, romantic to us even when we learnt its translation of `little pimples', which was evidently what the Masai considered the small hills resembled which erupted in our area. We had a hill feature on our farm comically called Loikitoip, but there were others with more mystical names such as Ketembellion and Legumishira.

With our bland climate and fertile forest loam soil, we might have been anywhere but in Africa, but we only had to drop down below our lower boundary into the `big country', which for years had drawn men and women from all over the world on shooting and photographic safaris. Hot by day, cool by night, it is typical of what people conjure up when they think of East Africa. Arid plains that are sparsely covered with flat-topped acacia, yellowbarked fever trees and skeletal whistling thorn, so named because their black pods are honey-combed with ants so when the wind blows, the pods whistle eerily. There is hardy scrub, brittle-tufted grass and occasional rocky outcrops. Dry sandy river beds, with their slopes steeply eroded, meander pointlessly away from their mountain sources. Now and then green swamps border on wide stretches of land where no vegetation survives.

Immediately at our feet lay Lake Amboseli, which up to the 'twenties shimmered under a sheet of water, but now lies dessicated with myriad game tracks traced over it. Sometimes after a heavy fall of rain it resembles a lake again, but the dry thirsty earth greedily drinks, leaving the surface caked and cracked, over which the game once more wanders in search of salt pans and grazing.

The harsh, sun-drenched heat, the dust and the flies are all part of Africa, as are the Masai, whose manyattas (dwellings) dot the landscape. They leave timeless scars on the ground where they have burnt their old manyattas to move on in their semi-nomadic state.

Extract ID: 4467

See also

Source Unknown

Oldeani

Maasai for Giant Bamboo 'Arundinaria alpina' - Ol doinyo l'ol tiani

Extract ID: 770

See also

Fosbrooke, Henry Ngorongoro: The Eighth Wonder
Page Number: 016
Extract Date: 1972

Spelling of Masai place names

In the past the spelling of Masai place names has caused some confusion and controversy. Even the spelling of the name Masai is in doubt, some preferring Maasai. This is not a problem confined to this one area - it is a world-wide one which cartographers and geographers have as yet failed to solve. Frenchmen will continue to call London Londres, and Englishmen will refer to Wien as Vienna. Luckily, however, the present Conservator Mr Saibull is a Masai-speaker by birth, who has paid considerable attention to this problem. He has drawn up a list of spellings for place names throughout the area which I hope will become standard and eventually find their way into all publications and maps.

The early cartographers very frequently recorded the Masai name in full, for example Ol doinyo l’ol Kisale, Meaning 'the hill of the Kisale', five words in Masai (for the Masai language has an article, not a prefix, as has Swahili) and five words in English. But why laboriously spell this out at length every time? Mr Saibull has dropped the article in many cases, but retained it in some: as he sensibly says: 'For some words the article seems to enhance the Meaning and is indispensable: one has simply to try to decide which is correct.' Thus we have

Oldeani for Ol doinyo l’ol tiani (the hill of the bamboos) but

Sirua, not Esuria or Losirua for Ol doinyo l’ol Sirua (the hill of the Eland).

Extract ID: 1408

See also

Fosbrooke, Henry Ngorongoro: The Eighth Wonder
Page Number: 020

Oldoinyo Purko

a Masai sub-tribe

Extract ID: 776

See also

Source Unknown

Oldupai

Named after the sansevieria plant (tall, wild sisal, aka bayonet aloe) called Oldupai or ol duvai in Maasai.

Extract ID: 781

external link

See also

Claytor, Tom Bushpilot
Extract Author: Tom Claytor
Page Number: 19a
Extract Date: 1996 08 Jul

Oldupai

All across this land remain the names of places that the Maasai have given them.

Ngorongoro means the place with mountains and gorges.

Oldupai is the wild sisal that grows in the Olduvai gorge, and Siringet is the Maasai word for a vast place.

From the northern edge of the Ngorongoro crater, I follow the 90 meter deep and 50 kilometer long Olduvai gorge west into the Serengeti. The first time I ever came here, I didn't have a map. A bush pilot and filmmaker named Alan Root drew me a map on a piece of scrap paper. There was a bump on the horizon and a line for a road. He put a dot where the road intersected a river, and that he said was where I would find the airstrip.

This place is not so different from his map. It is simple. There is a sea of yellow, and a sky of blue. Perhaps, it is because the colors are complimentary to each other that makes them so powerful together; the one magnifies the other in a surreal way that makes me feel like I am floating between heaven and earth. Amidst the endless tawny yellow below are the distinctive island kopjies of the Serengeti. These little rock islands are mini ecosystems with birds, lizards, hyraxes, and sometimes, a resident leopard. There are no trees, and you can see the wind flowing like waves across the grass.

Extract ID: 3656

See also

Source Unknown

its Maasai name means 'Cooking Pot'

its Maasai name means 'Cooking Pot'.

Extract ID: 793

See also

Turner, Myles My Serengeti Years
Page Number: 027

Sabe Hill

Sabe Hill, which lies 10 miles west of Banagi, is named after a famous Wondorobo hunter who lived there for many years.

Extract ID: 1323

See also

Source Unknown

Serengeti

Serengeti . . . derives from Maasai siringet, Meaning 'extended place'

Extract ID: 906

See also

Turner, Myles My Serengeti Years
Page Number: 024

the origin of the beautiful word 'Serengeti'

Visitors to the park would often ask about the origin of the beautiful word 'Serengeti'. It is definitely a Maasai name, but it has been changed by both Swahili and English. Originally it was Siringet, but the English rendered it Serenget and the Kiswahili language added the final 'i'.

The word itself appears to be taken from Siringitu Meaning 'tending to extend', and is closely related another Maasai word 'siriri' Meaning straight or elongated. Either way, the sense of space is clear: the place where the land runs on for ever.

Extract ID: 907

See also

Turner, Myles My Serengeti Years
Page Number: 033b

Seronera

The name Seronera is probably derived from the Masai word siron Meaning a bat-eared fox. Thus Seronera is 'the place of the bat-eared foxes'

Extract ID: 1355

See also

Fosbrooke, Henry Ngorongoro: The Eighth Wonder
Page Number: 016
Extract Date: 1972

Spelling of Masai place names

In the past the spelling of Masai place names has caused some confusion and controversy. Even the spelling of the name Masai is in doubt, some preferring Maasai. This is not a problem confined to this one area - it is a world-wide one which cartographers and geographers have as yet failed to solve. Frenchmen will continue to call London Londres, and Englishmen will refer to Wien as Vienna. Luckily, however, the present Conservator Mr Saibull is a Masai-speaker by birth, who has paid considerable attention to this problem. He has drawn up a list of spellings for place names throughout the area which I hope will become standard and eventually find their way into all publications and maps.

The early cartographers very frequently recorded the Masai name in full, for example Ol doinyo l’ol Kisale, Meaning 'the hill of the Kisale', five words in Masai (for the Masai language has an article, not a prefix, as has Swahili) and five words in English. But why laboriously spell this out at length every time? Mr Saibull has dropped the article in many cases, but retained it in some: as he sensibly says: 'For some words the article seems to enhance the Meaning and is indispensable: one has simply to try to decide which is correct.' Thus we have

Oldeani for Ol doinyo l’ol tiani (the hill of the bamboos) but

Sirua, not Esuria or Losirua for Ol doinyo l’ol Sirua (the hill of the Eland).

Extract ID: 1408

See also

Fosbrooke, Henry Ngorongoro: The Eighth Wonder
Page Number: 021

Sirua

Eland Mountain

Extract ID: 942

external link

See also

Internet Web Pages
Extract Author: Tanzania Tourist Board
Extract Date: 1964

Facts About Tanzania

The word Tanzania is derived from the two nations of Tanganyika and Zanzibar which before 1964 were separate.

Tanganyika in Kiswahili, the local dialect (Swahili) is translated to mean "sail in the wilderness"

and Zanzibar is derived from the Arabic words "Zayn Z'al Barr" which mean "fair is this land".

Extract ID: 5559

See also

nTZ Feedback
Extract Author: Graham Mercer
Page Number: 2007 09 20 a

Could Kilimanjaro itself be an abbreviation of Kilima Manjaro

Got one or two queries for you.

Have always been intrigued by the name "Kilimanjaro" and recently saw a village called "Manjaro" on the map, close to Singida.

If the village, which is close to a prominent hill, it seems, was named "Manjaro" before the mountain was called "Kilimanjaro" it might prove interesting, once we find out what "Manjaro" means or how it was derived.

Could Kilimanjaro itself be an abbreviation of Kilima Manjaro"? Or was the village I refer to named after the mountain (which is very far away fo course) and abbreviated?

Would appreciate any suggestions etc. from you or your readers - meanwhile hope all is well!

Extract ID: 5470

See also

nTZ Feedback
Extract Author: Graham Mercer
Page Number: 2007 09 20 b

Why was "Tanganyika" adopted by the British as the name of the whole country

A more general point on the subject of names. "Tanganyika" seems to have first been used of the lake, and I believe that "tanga" means sail (of a dhow) and of course "nyika" means bush, particulalry dry thornbush. Presumably the name derives from something such as "The place in the bush where sailboats are found".

But why was "Tanganyika" adopted by the British as the name of the whole country, during the mandate?

Would appreciate any suggestions etc. from you or your readers - meanwhile hope all is well!

Extract ID: 5472

See also

Fosbrooke, Henry Ngorongoro: The Eighth Wonder
Page Number: 020

Tarosero

named after a Masai clan

Extract ID: 1020

See also

Turner, Myles My Serengeti Years
Page Number: 102

The Cold Mountain

Ol Doinyo Lairobi (The Cold Mountain)

Extract ID: 749

See also

Source Unknown

The Hard Country

The Hard Country

Extract ID: 285

external link

See also

Internet Web Pages
Extract Author: Tanzania Tourist Board
Extract Date: 1964

Facts About Tanzania

The word Tanzania is derived from the two nations of Tanganyika and Zanzibar which before 1964 were separate.

Tanganyika in Kiswahili, the local dialect (Swahili) is translated to mean "sail in the wilderness"

and Zanzibar is derived from the Arabic words "Zayn Z'al Barr" which mean "fair is this land".

Extract ID: 5559
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