Fascinating Swahili Airplane Terminologies You Can Use When Traveling

October 14, 2023 No Comments
Swahili Airplane Terminologies

As global travel becomes more accessible, bridging language barriers is essential, ensuring that your journey is seamless and culturally enriching. Swahili, a popular language in East Africa, is an ideal language to explore, and understanding some Swahili airplane terminologies can be fascinating and practical for travelers. 

In this blog, we will look at fascinating Swahili airplane terminologies you can use when traveling. Whether you’re a seasoned explorer or a first-time flyer, these unique terms will aid your travel experience. It will open the door to the rich linguistic tapestry of the Swahili-speaking world. 

Fascinating Swahili Airplane Terminologies

Swahili Airplane Terminologies: Airport (Uwanja wa Ndege)

Swahili Airplane Terminologies

The Swahili term “Uwanja wa Ndege” directly translates to “Airstrip” in English. It refers to a place equipped with runways and facilities for takeoff, landing, and aircraft maintenance. Airports can be international or domestic, serving as transportation hubs connecting travelers to various global destinations. These facilities have terminals, runways, control towers, customs and immigration services, and other amenities to facilitate air travel.

Example in a sentence 

“Nikisafiri kutoka Nairobi hadi Dar es Salaam, ninafurahi kujua kwamba Uwanja wa Ndege wa Julius Nyerere ni mzuri. Unatoa huduma nzuri kwa wasafiri wote.” 

(When I travel from Nairobi to Dar es Salaam, I’m happy that Julius Nyerere International Airport is excellent. It provides great services to all travelers.)

Swahili Airplane Terminologies: Flight (Safari ya Angani)

The Swahili term “Safari ya Angani” translates to “Flight/Air journey” in English, referring to traveling by airplane. A flight encompasses the entire process, from departure to arrival at the destination. It involves boarding the aircraft, the actual journey through the air, and disembarking upon reaching the intended airport. Flights can be domestic or international, connecting people to various locations, making air travel a vital mode of transportation in the modern world.

Example in a sentence

“Nimepata ndege ya safari ya angani kutoka Nairobi hadi London, na ninatarajia safari ndefu na yenye kusisimua.” 

(I’ve booked a flight from Nairobi to London and look forward to a long and exciting air journey.)

Swahili Airplane Terminologies: Boarding Pass (Pasi ya Kupanda)

The Swahili term “Pasi ya Kupanda” translates to “Boarding pass” in English. It is an essential document that passengers get at the airport during the check-in process. The boarding pass contains vital information, including the passenger’s name, flight number, departure gate, seat assignment, and boarding time. It serves as proof of a valid ticket and grants access to the aircraft. Passengers need to present their boarding passes at security checkpoints and the boarding gate.

Example in a sentence

“Baada ya kujisajili, nilipokea pasi yangu ya kupanda, na sasa nipo tayari kuanza safari yangu ya angani.” 

(After checking in, I received my boarding pass, and now I’m ready to start my air journey.)

Swahili Airplane Terminologies: Arrivals (Waliowasili)

Swahili Airplane Terminologies

“Waliowasili” stands for “Arrivals” in English. It refers to the section of an airport designated for passengers who have just disembarked from an arriving flight. The Arrivals area is where passengers can find baggage claim, customs and immigration services, and ground transportation options. It’s where travelers reunite with loved ones or proceed to their final destination within the airport or beyond.

Example in a sentence

“Nikiwasili Uwanja wa Ndege wa Mombasa, nilikuwa na furaha kubwa kuwaona marafiki na familia yangu wakinisubiri kwenye eneo la Waliowasili.” 

(Upon arriving at Mombasa Airport, I was delighted to see my friends and family waiting for me in the Arrivals area.)

Swahili Airplane Terminologies: Duty-Free (Lisilolipishwa Ushuru)

The Swahili term means “Duty-Free” in English. It refers to goods that are exempt from import duties and taxes. Duty-free items are often available at international airports, allowing travelers to buy products such as alcohol, perfume, electronics, and more at reduced prices. These goods can be purchased by passengers who are departing the country or, in some cases, arriving in another country. Duty-free shopping allows travelers to enjoy cost savings on select products.

Example in a sentence 

“Nilipofika katika Uwanja wa Ndege wa Dubai, nilitumia fursa ya kununua bidhaa lisilolipishwa ushuru kama vile chai na vipodozi kwa bei nafuu kabla ya kuendelea na safari yangu.” 

(When I arrived at Dubai Airport, I bought duty-free items such as tea and cosmetics at affordable prices before continuing my journey.)

Departure (Kuondoka)

“Departure” in English is “Kuondoka” in Swahili. It signifies leaving or setting out, often referring to the point in air travel when passengers leave their initial location, such as an airport or city, to board a flight to their destination. The Departure area at an airport includes the check-in counters, security checkpoints, and boarding gates. It is where passengers initiate their air journey, completing necessary procedures before embarking on their flight.

Example in a sentence

“Kabla ya kuondoka kwenye Uwanja wa Ndege wa Kilimanjaro, nilihakikisha kuwa nina tiketi yangu, pasi ya kupanda, na mizigo iliyosajiliwa tayari kwa safari yangu.” 

(Before departing from Kilimanjaro Airport, I made sure I had my ticket, boarding pass, and registered luggage ready for my journey.)

Swahili Airplane Terminologies: X-ray machine (Mashine ya Eksirei)

An X-ray machine, known as “Mashine ya Eksirei” in Swahili, is a device that uses X-rays to create images of the interior of objects, typically used for security and medical purposes. In airport security, X-ray machines scan passengers’ carry-on luggage, providing a detailed view of their contents. This technology helps security personnel identify prohibited or dangerous items concealed in the luggage without physical inspection.

Example in a sentence

“Kabla ya kupanda ndege, mizigo yako itapitia kwenye mashine ya eksirei ili kuhakikisha usalama wa safari yako.” 

(“Before boarding the plane, your luggage will go through an X-ray machine to ensure the safety of your journey.”)

Elevator (Lifti)

An elevator, or “Lifti” in Swahili, is a vertical transportation device that moves people or goods between different building levels. Elevators are commonly found in airports to facilitate easy access to various floors, such as departure gates, arrivals, and parking areas. They provide a convenient and efficient way for passengers to navigate the airport, particularly in multi-story terminals.

Example in a sentence

“Uwanja wa ndege mkubwa kama huu unaweza kuwa na lifti nyingi zinazosaidia abiria kufikia sehemu tofauti za jengo kwa urahisi.” 

(“A large airport like this one may have many elevators that help passengers access different parts of the building easily.”)

Swahili Airplane Terminologies: Metal Detector (Kigunduzi cha Metali)

Swahili Airplane Terminologies

A metal detector, or “Kigunduzi cha Metali” in Swahili, is a device used to identify the presence of metal objects. At airports, metal detectors are primarily employed for security purposes to screen passengers and their carry-on items. They help identify metal objects that could pose a safety risk or breach security protocols, allowing security personnel to take appropriate action.

Example in a sentence 

“Kigunduzi cha metali ni sehemu muhimu ya ukaguzi wa usalama kwenye uwanja wa ndege na husaidia kuhakikisha hakuna vitu vyenye metali vyenye hatari zinazoruhusiwa kubebwa na abiria.” 

(“The metal detector is a crucial part of airport security screening and helps ensure that no potentially dangerous metal objects are allowed to be carried by passengers.”)

Swahili Airplane Terminologies: Boarding Gate (Lango la Kuingilia)

“Lango la Kuingilia” in Swahili translates to “Boarding Gate” in English. It is a designated point within an airport terminal where passengers must present their boarding passes and identification before boarding their flight. Boarding gates are specific to each departing flight and serve as the entry point to the aircraft. They are typically numbered or labeled to help passengers locate the correct gate for their flight.

Example in a sentence

“Abiria wote wa ndege ya safari ya kwenda Dubai wanatakiwa kufika kwenye Lango la kuingilia ‘C’ kwa ajili ya ukaguzi na kupanda ndege.” 

(Translation: “All passengers on the flight to Dubai are required to arrive at Boarding Gate ‘C’ for security checks and boarding.”)

Conveyor Belt (Ukanda wa Conveya)

A conveyor belt, known as “Ukanda wa Conveya” in Swahili, is a mechanical system that transports items from one location to another. At airports, conveyor belts are commonly found in the baggage claim area. They transport checked luggage from the aircraft to the designated area where passengers can retrieve their belongings.

Example in a sentence

“Baada ya kuwasili, unaweza kutazama ukanda wa conveya ukitumika kupeleka mizigo yako kwenye eneo la kukusanya mizigo kabla ya kuiondoa.” 

(“Upon arrival, you can observe the conveyor belt in operation, transporting your luggage to the baggage claim area before you retrieve it.”)

Swahili Airplane Terminologies: Visa (Visa)

Swahili Airplane Terminologies

In Swahili, “Visa” directly translates to “Visa” in English. It refers to an official document or endorsement in a passport that grants the holder permission to enter, stay, or leave a specific country for a specified period. Passengers traveling internationally often require a visa to enter their destination country. Visa requirements vary depending on the traveler’s nationality and the country they plan to visit.

Example in a sentence

“Ili kusafiri kwenda nchi nyingine, unahitaji kuomba visa kutoka kwenye ubalozi au ubalozi wa nchi hiyo ili kuhakikisha unaweza kuingia na kutembelea kwa muda uliokubalika.” 

(“To travel to another country, you need to apply for a visa from the embassy or consulate of that country to ensure you can enter and visit for an approved duration.”)

Swahili Airplane Terminologies: Luggage (Mizigo)

“Mizigo” in Swahili translates to “Luggage” in English. It encompasses the personal belongings, bags, suitcases, and items passengers carry during their travels. Luggage can be categorized as carry-on or checked, with carry-on luggage being brought into the cabin and checked luggage stowed in the aircraft’s cargo hold. Handling luggage efficiently and securely is a fundamental aspect of airport operations.

Example in a sentence 

“Wakati wa kupanda ndege, ni muhimu kuhakikisha mizigo yako inakidhi vigezo vya uzito na ukubwa wa kubebwa kama mzigo wa kawaida au kubebwa na abiria mwenyewe kwenye ndege.” 

(Translation: “When boarding the plane, it’s important to ensure that your luggage complies with the weight and size requirements for either checked baggage or carry-on luggage to be brought into the aircraft cabin by the passenger.”)


Traveling is not merely about reaching a destination; it’s about immersing yourself in the cultures, languages, and experiences of the places you visit. Understanding Swahili airplane terminologies is a unique gateway to connect with the diverse East African region and its rich linguistic heritage. This article has covered in depth the fascinating Swahili airplane terminologies you can use when traveling to get along with the locals within the plain and enjoy yourself.

Swahili Magic

All posts

No Comments

Leave a Reply

I'm an elementary school teacher who loves what she does! I enjoy creating resources in my Native language "kiswahili". My goal is to spread the beautiful language of "Kiswahili" inside and outside the classroom. Thanks for stopping by! Read More

Subscribe & Follow