About the Author

Amy Attenborough

Media Team

Amy worked at Londolozi from 2014 to 2017, guiding full time before moving into the media department, where her photographic and story-telling skills shone through. Her deep love of all things wild and her spiritual connection to Africa set her writing and guiding ...

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9 Comments

on The 20 Need-To-Know South Africanisms for Safari

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Martin
Member
Guest

Wasn’t BOMA originally a place for English majors in the army to rest away from the soldiers? Hence British Officers Mess Area?

Amy Attenborough
Media Team

Hi Martin. I had also heard this in the past but when I did some research I discovered that this is a common misconception. Although the British did adopt the use of bomas, which to them meant small fort or government office, this was not the original use. The word was apparently already in circulation by bantu languages of central and southern Africa before the British arrived in those areas and some sources suggest that it may have even been a word loaned from Persian.

Trevor
Member
Guest

Hey Amy! Thank you! Such an entertaining portrayal of our “lingo”.

Lynne
Member
Guest

Thank you for all the lekker photos!

Gloria Ruggieri
Member
Guest

What a pleasure to be there, albeit virtually, and remembering the visit last summer….and many years ago when I lived in South Africa. It makes enduring the winter in England more bearable. Thanks

Ann Seagle
Member
Guest

Love this!!!

Judy B.
Member
Guest

I am saving this for when we return in August so I know the lingo. Thanks, Amy.

Wendy MacNicol
Member
Guest

Eish Amy. Please could you tell an ignorant South African the difference between a “Boma” and a “Lapa”???
“Just now” will be “lekker”. So enjoy your articles …..

Amy Attenborough
Media Team

Hi Wendy. Thanks so much! Not ignorant at all, it’s good question. From what I understand a lapa is a bit more of a solid structure with a cement floor and often a thatched roof. Quite often it is attached or close to the main house and apparently originated in the Sotho culture. Boma’s normally have a sand base and no roof and seem to have first been used by the Swahili people. 🙂

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