AskDefine | Define safari

Dictionary Definition

safari n : an overland journey by hunters (especially in Africa) [syn: campaign, hunting expedition]

User Contributed Dictionary



From Swahili safari < Arabic (safara) meaning "travel".



  1. A trip into any undeveloped area to see, photograph or hunt wild animals in their own environment.


  • Dutch: safari
  • Finnish: safari
  • French: safari
  • German: Safari
  • Interlingua: safari
  • Spanish: safari



From Arabic .


  1. a journey. (verb safiri: to travel)

Extensive Definition

A safari () is an overland journey. It usually refers to a trip by tourists to Africa, traditionally for a big-game hunt and in more modern times to watch and photograph big game and other wildlife as a safari holiday. There is a certain theme or style associated with the word, which includes khaki clothing, belted bush jackets, pith helmets or slouch hats, and animal skins—like leopard's skin.


Entering the English language in the late 19th century, the word safari means "journey" in Swahili. Originally from the Arabic سفر (safara) meaning travel The verb for "to travel" in Swahili is "safiri", the noun for the journey is "safari". These words are used for any type of journey, e.g. by bus from Nairobi to Mombasa. The person generally attributed to having used the word in English is Sir Richard Francis Burton, the famous explorer.

Touristic usage

Although the word safari came to popular usage in reference to hunting and touring expeditions in East Africa, it is now used generally to mean any long or adventurous journey or expedition, e.g. whale watching safaris, photography safaris, eco-safari etc.

As a cinema genre

The safari provided countless hours of cinema entertainment in sound films from Trader Horn (1931) onwards. The safari was used in many adventure films such as the Tarzan, Jungle Jim, and Bomba the Jungle Boy film series up to The Naked Prey (1966) where great white hunter Cornel Wilde becomes game himself. Also, safaris and the safari genre films were parodied in the Bob Hope comedies Road to Zanzibar and Call Me Bwana. An instant 15-minute helicopter safari was shown in Africa Addio where clients are armed, flown from their hotel and landed in front of an unlucky and baffled elephant.

Fashion and architecture

Many items worn on safari became fashion statements such as bush hats, pith helmets, bush jackets, with the costume eventually becoming a safari outfit.
The 1998 book Safari Style by Natasha Burns with photographs by Tim Beddow features interior and exterior design inspired by African safari lodges.

See also


External links

safari in Arabic: سفاري
safari in Danish: Safarirejse
safari in German: Safari
safari in Spanish: Safari
safari in French: Safari (voyage)
safari in Italian: Safari (viaggio)
safari in Hebrew: ספארי
safari in Dutch: Safari (expeditie)
safari in Norwegian: Safari
safari in Polish: Safari
safari in Portuguese: Safari
safari in Romanian: Safari
safari in Russian: Сафари
safari in Slovenian: Safari
safari in Finnish: Safari
safari in Swedish: Safari

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

campaign, circuit, course, excursion, expedition, grand tour, jaunt, journey, junket, outing, package tour, peregrination, pilgrimage, pleasure trip, progress, round trip, rubberneck tour, run, sally, shoot, stalk, tour, trek, trip, turn, voyage
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