In kiswahili, a language derived from Arabic and Bantu interactions, the word safari refers to a journey, voyage, or expedition, with kusafiri being the infinitive verb form. The command safiri salama means “travel with peace” or “safe journey,” and is a blessing for someone going away. Safaris can transpire on foot or by animal, wheeled vehicle, plane, or boat. Despite the generality of the term in Kiswahili, to most non-Kiswahili speakers, safari is synonymous with wildlife tourism in Africa. One can participate in such safaris through organized walks or even by hot air balloon, but by far the most common today involve short-term visits during which tourists travel with safari guides in minivans or Land Rovers.

The term safari entered the English language in the late ...

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