African Place Names

African names are used in various places on the continent of Africa. See also about African names.
type
usage
Bolivië (Country) Southern African, Afrikaans
Afrikaans form of Bolivia.
Botswana (Country) Southern African, Tswana, English, Shona, German, French, Italian, Catalan, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Estonian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Hungarian, Romanian
Means "place of the Tswana people" in the Tswana language, from the locative prefix bo- combined with the name of Tswana people, itself of uncertain origin, possibly from tswa "to go out" or tshwana "to resemble". This is the name of a country in southern Africa. During the British colonial period the region was called Bechuanaland, which was more accurately rendered as Botswana when the country achieved independence in 1966.
Brasilië (Country) Southern African, Afrikaans
Afrikaans form of Brazil.
Buganda (Region & Political Subdivision) Eastern African, Ganda
The name of a region within Uganda and also the root of the country's name (see Uganda).
Bulgarye (Country) Southern African, Afrikaans
Afrikaans form of Bulgaria.
Denemarke (Country) Southern African, Afrikaans
Afrikaans form of Denmark.
Egipte (Country) Southern African, Afrikaans, Catalan
Afrikaans and Catalan form of Egypte or Aegyptus (see Egypt).
Frankryk (Country) Southern African, Afrikaans
Afrikaans form of Frankrijk.
Ghana (Country) English, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Arabic, Indonesian, Malay
From the name of the Ghana Empire, which was located in the southwestern Sahara and existed up to the 13th century. Ghana, meaning "warrior" in Mande, was actually the title of the rulers, while the empire itself was more properly known as Awkar. In 1957 this was adopted as the name of the newly independent country of Ghana, formerly the British colony Gold Coast, despite the fact that the country lies outside the empire's territory.
Hongarye (Country) Southern African, Afrikaans
Afrikaans form of Hungary.
Ityoppya (Country) Eastern African, Amharic
Amharic form of Ethiopia.
Jerusalem (Settlement) English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Luxembourgish, Southern African, Afrikaans, Catalan, Bosnian, Biblical
From Hebrew יְרוּשָׁלַיִם (Yerushalayim), from an earlier Canaanite form like Urushalim, probably meaning "established by (the god) Shalim". This is the name of a city in Israel and Palestine. Originally a Canaanite city, it was conquered by the Israelites under King David at the beginning of the 10th century BC. It is now regarded as a holy city by Jews, Christians and Muslims.
Kenya (Country & Mountain) English, Eastern African, Kikuyu, Swahili, French, Italian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Romanian, Greek, Turkish
The country is named for Mount Kenya, which in the Kikuyu language is called Kĩrĩnyaga meaning "the one having stripes".
Kĩrĩnyaga (Mountain) Eastern African, Kikuyu
Kikuyu form of Kenya (the mountain).
Kroasië (Country) Southern African, Afrikaans
Afrikaans form of Croatia.
Meksiko (Country & Settlement) Finnish, Croatian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Southern African, Indian, Afrikaans, Hindi, Bengali, Nepali, Indonesian
Finnish, Croatian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Afrikaans, Hindi, Bengali, Nepali and Indonesian form of Mexico. In Finnish it refers only to the country, not the capital city.
Msumbiji (Island & Country) Eastern African, Swahili
Swahili form of Mozambique.
Noorweë (Country) Southern African, Afrikaans
Afrikaans form of Norway.
Oesbekistan (Country) Southern African, Afrikaans
Afrikaans form of Uzbekistan.
Persië (Country) Southern African, Afrikaans
Afrikaans form of Persia.
Pretoria (Settlement) Southern African, Afrikaans, Dutch, English
From the surname Pretorius. This is the name of a city in South Africa, named after the 19th-century Boer leader Andries Pretorius.
Senegaal (River & Country) Western African, Wolof
Wolof form of Senegal.
Serwië (Country) Southern African, Afrikaans
Afrikaans form of Serbia.
Sirië (Country) Southern African, Afrikaans
Afrikaans form of Syria.
Slowakye (Country) Southern African, Afrikaans
Afrikaans form of Slovakia.
Slowenië (Country) Southern African, Afrikaans
Afrikaans form of Slovenia.
Soomaaliya (Country) Eastern African, Somali
Somali form of Somalia.
Tanganyika (Region & Country) Eastern African, Swahili, English
From Swahili tanga "sail" and nyika "wilderness". This is the name of a region in eastern Africa. It was a German then British colony until 1961 when it gained independence. In 1964 it united with the island of Zanzibar to form the new country of Tanzania.
Tanzania (Country) Eastern African, Swahili, English, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Polish, Romanian, Greek, Armenian, Georgian, Indonesian, Malay
From a combination of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, the names of the two countries that were united to create the eastern African country of Tanzania in 1964.
Timbuktu (Settlement) English, Arabic, Central African, Bamileke
Meaning uncertain. It could be derived from Songhai meaning "hollow, hole", or from Berber meaning "place of small dunes". This is the name of a city in central Mali. Descriptions of the city's wealth and remoteness first reached Europe from the 16th-century Berber author Leo Africanus. Since then the city has been used in Western Culture as a symbol for a distant, mysterious place.
Tittawin (Settlement) Northern African, Berber
Tamazight form of Tataouine.
Tsjeggië (Country) Southern African, Afrikaans
Afrikaans form of Tsjechië.
Tumbutu (Settlement) Northern African, Koyra Chiini
Koyra Chiini form of Timbuktu.
Turkye (Country) Southern African, Afrikaans
Afrikaans form of Turkey.
Uganda (Country) English, Eastern African, Ganda, Swahili, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Hungarian, Romanian, Russian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Slovene, Croatian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Turkish, Georgian, Armenian, Hebrew, Persian, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Malay
From Buganda, the name of a kingdom within Uganda, which means "land of the Ganda" in the Luganda language. The Ganda are an ethnic group, their name possibly deriving from a Bantu word meaning "family". Uganda is a landlocked country in eastern Africa.
Yuganda (Country) Eastern African, Ganda
Luganda variant form of Uganda.
Zambezi (River) Southern African, Chewa, Bemba, Tonga, Shona, English
The name of a river in southern Africa, of uncertain meaning. It could possibly be from the name of the Bisa people of Zambia. According to the explorer David Livingstone it meant "great river".
Zambia (Country) Southern African, Chewa, Bemba, Tonga, English, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Polish, Slovak, Hungarian, Romanian
From the name of the Zambezi River. It was adopted as the name of the African country of Zambia, formerly called Northern Rhodesia, when it became independent of the United Kingdom in 1964.
Zanzibar (Island) Eastern African, Swahili, English
From Arabic زنجبار (Zanjibar), from Persian زنگبار (Zangibar), derived from زنگی (zangi) meaning "black, dark-skinned" and بار (bar) meaning "shore, coast". This is the name of an island, part of Tanzania.
Zimbabwe (Country & Settlement) Southern African, Shona, Ndebele, English, French, Italian, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Estonian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Hungarian, Romanian
From the Shona language, possibly from dzimba "houses" and ibwe "stone". Great Zimbabwe was an ancient city, falling into ruin in the 15th century. It was located in the country of Zimbabwe, which was named after the ancient city in 1980 when it gained independence from the United Kingdom. It was formerly called Southern Rhodesia by the British.