Oliver Howard] [Wolfe.

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fond of hunting and live chiefly from the game they
secure, yet even they do not seem to be able to check the
natural increase of the game. The African is, with few
exceptions, much too lazy to be very destructive to the
animals, for he will only kill what he needs for food and
his scanty clothing, or to secure the coveted ivory for
trading purposes. Yet his methods of hunting and his
armament are so primitive and poor that without fire-
arms he never could do much harm to the game. In

21 301



German and Portuguese East Africa, where at times the
natives have been allowed to carry firearms, this was
dififerent, but in most of the countries controlled by Euro-
pean governments, including British East Africa, he is,
fortunately, not allowed to carry firearms. It is, there-
fore, only with the advent of the white sportsman and
settler with their destructive modern weapons that the
natural increase of game has been checked, and some
of the finest of the animals threatened with total ex-

Yet, in spite of all this, British East Africa is to-day the
most remarkable game country in the world. On its vast
plains the sportsman will still find countless numbers of
different kinds of hartebeest, topi, Grant's and Thom-
son's gazelles, lion, wart hog, wildebeest, water buck,
girafife, zebra, and occasionally eland, rhino and hippo, in
and near the rivers. In open bush or parklike country
he will meet zebra, Jackson's hartebeest, impala, oryx,
eland, roan, sable, wart hog, girafife, rhino, reed buck,
water buck, baboons, bush pig, and many of the smaller
antelopes. In the big, dense forests he may secure ele-
phant, bush pig, bongo, rhino, bush buck, possibly the
giant pig, and a great number of different kinds of mon-
keys and smaller fur animals, while almost everywhere
there is an abundance of birds, big and small, not to speak
of the reptiles previously referred to.

From the above it is evident that whereas certain ani-
mals, like the elephant, bongo, bush pig and monkeys, are
found only in the forests, and other game, like the gnu,
topi, and Thomson's gazelle, are all denizens of the plains,
a great number of the choicest game animals are found



both on the plains and in open bush and forest country.
Among these the most important are the Hon, giraffe,
hartebeest, zebra, wart hog, Grant's gazelle, oryx, eland,
roan, sable, rhino, leopard, baboons, and a number of
smaller antelopes. The best kind of country, therefore,
to hunt in, is, without doubt, those places where the plains
merge into open bush or parklike country and where
clumps of bushes are mingled with larger shade trees.
This kind of country is also much more suitable for
observing animals at close quarters. There the natu-
ralist-sportsman is more apt to secure good photographs
of live big game, and there it is possible to stalk the
wild animals successfully with both camera and gun,
and this is one of the most interesting feats of big-game

It is not too much to say that from one hundred and
fifty to two hundred shooting parties, and sometimes even
more, now yearly go out to British East Africa in search
of big game. If it is estimated that each hunting party
during the sojourn in the land only kills on an average
fifty animals — some have perhaps felled from two to three
hundred and more, even without counting the many ani-
mals which were wounded but not secured by the party,
and which afterwards succumbed to their wounds — this
would make from two hundred parties not less than ten
thousand animals slaughtered yearly! Add to this that
each adult lion or leopard kills an animal almost every
night, no one can wonder that game grows more and more
scarce and wary, and that fine heads and large tusks will
soon be impossible to obtain.

The sportsman who is able to do so should, therefore,



as before remarked, go out to these wonderful shooting
grounds just as soon as possible, if he wants to see the vast
game herds before they dwindle away more perceptibly.
I regret to say that it is perfectly true that a good many
hunters so ruthlessly and wantonly destroy game, wound-
ing hundreds of animals at long distance without even
bothering to follow them up, that they indeed do not
deserve to be classed as sportsmen. It should be the duty
of each man, who goes out to Africa for a shoot, most
scrupulously to observe the game laws and to do all he
can to discourage the slaughter of game animals by
others. As Colonel Roosevelt so fitly remarked : " No
sportsman should kill game unless :

" First, it is an exceptionally fine head ;

" Second, it is intended to be preserved for scientific
purposes ;

" Third, it is shot in real — not pretended — self-de-

If this is complied with by all true sportsmen, and such
people as wantonly and cruelly destroy game were made
to feel that they in this respect are nothing but " crim-
inals," much will be accomplished in the right direction
and the standard of big-game hunting be raised. Thus,
and with large and suitable game preserves, British East
Africa will still for decades hold its own as the world's
finest hunting ground.

My book is finished, but as I have written these pages,
they have made me live all over again my wanderings,
hardships, and many narrow escapes! They have revived
in my memory the many pleasant evenings when, after
days of excitement and danger, failure or success, the



whole safari gathered around the big camp-fire, where
naked savages deHghted to perform their weird war
dances, and where I Hstened to their tales of adventure,
love, and fight, lulled to sleep by the crackling of the logs
and the mournful howls of the hyena or the magnificent
roars of the lion !



The Ki-Swahili language, of the Bantu group, is not only
spoken by the Swahili coast people of British and German East
Africa, but has for hundreds of years been used by the Arab mer-
chants and slave traders on their safaris into the interior. There
is hardly a tribe of any size at all in the whole of British East
Africa, German East Africa, British Central Africa, Uganda,
and even the Congo, of which not a few people at least under-
stand enough of Ki-Swahili to be able to serve fairly well as
guides, gun-bearers and interpreters.

The language generally spoken by these inland tribes is, of
course, a very corrupt form of Ki-Swahili. In this respect it
corresponds to the " pidgin-English " spoken by the Chinamen
in Hong Kong and other places in the East where many Eng-
lish-speaking people live. The ordinary illiterate caravan porter,
even when a Swahili, speaks almost exclusively this " pidgin-
Swahili," partly because he knows no better, but also because he
is aware that the average European, or the savage inlander, will
then more easily understand him.

When I arrived the first time in Africa I had, by hard work,
during the last three weeks of the voyage, acquired a rude
knowledge of Ki-Swahili, enough to enable me to get along
very nicely with the porters without an interpreter. When ar-
riving the second and third time in Africa, I had learned to
speak the language more correctly and grammatically, but found
that I often had to speak in the pidgin dialect to be quicker un-
derstood by the porters of the different tribes in my caravan.


In the following lessons, which any man with average in-
telligence will be able to learn in much less time than it requires
to go from New York to Mombasa, enough of this mostly used
pidgin-Swahili will be taught to enable the sportsman to com-
municate directly with his guides, gun-bearers, and porters, even
if these do not understand a word of English. To anyone who
has the time, patience, and ambition to learn the language more
correctly — which ought not to take an average man more than
five or six months, giving to it about two hours a day — I most
strongly recommend the two following publications : " Swahili
Exercises " by Edward Steere, a most excellent and concise in-
troduction to the Ki-Swahili language, and, to those who un-
derstand German, I would recommend as a still better grammar,
" Praktische Suaheli Grammatik," by Prof. Dr. C. Velten. This
latter book has the advantage of having a splendid dictionary at
the end and is, perhaps, somewhat more thorough than the
smaller English publication.


The pronunciation of the Swahili words is very much like
that of Italian or Spanish. So, for instance, a is pronounced like
a in father; e like e in fret; i as i in pin; o as o in for; w as w in
lung; y as 3; in yet.

The consonants are pronounced almost exactly as in English.

To compare the correct Ki-Swahili with the pidgin dialect,
let us, for instance, mention the word for my, which, in its sim-
plest form is -angu, preceded by the consonant prefix, peculiar
to the word of the " owned " object. For instance my wife is
bibi wangu; but my knife, kisu changii; my sail, tanga langu;
my house, nyiimba yangu; my place, pahali pangu. This shows
that the same English word, my, may be expressed by either
wangu, changu, langu, yangu, or pangu, according to the word
to which it belongs. The illiterate porter, however will gener-
ally use the form wangu or yangu with all these words with the



possible exception sometimes of the words beginning with Ki-
or Ch-, and this only for the sake of euphony.

The same is the case with the adjectives and prefixes to the
verbs. Take, for instance, the word for our large, -kuhwa; a
large man, mtu mkubiva; a large knife, kisu kikuhzva; or take
the verb, kata, cut, for instance; he cuts is a-na-kata; it (the
knife) cuts, ki-na-kata. The Swahili will, however, understand
you equally well if you simply say kisii mkuhzva a-na-kata, the
big knife cuts, instead of the correct kisu kikuhzva ki-norkata.

The following lessons will give this pidgin-Swahili as it is
mostly used in the " safari language " of the porters. This is
exactly what the hunter really needs and wants on his shooting
expedition, which he will enjoy twice as much, if he is able to
communicate directly with his own men, as well as with the
chieftains and guides from tribes which he may meet on his
inland expedition. Not only will he thus enjoy his outing more,
but is also much less apt to be deceived by his men and guides.

After the lessons follows a key to the translations of the
different exercises, so that the reader will be able to determine
whether his own translations are correct or not. This key should
not be used, however, indiscriminately, but only after the student
has first written out his own translations of the different exer-
cises, both in English and Swahili. At the end is a vocabulary,
containing in alphabetical order all the words that have occurred
in the lessons, and a good many more.

Lesson I

1. The Swahili knows no articles whatever; mtu, therefore,
means man, as well as the man, or a man ; mtoto, a, or the child.

2. The adjectives always follow the word they refer to, and
take different prefixes according to the eight different classes,
to which the noun may belong, but we will here treat them all
as belonging to the first class, that of the living beings.

3. In the same way the personal prefixes, pronouns, and the



verbs will be treated, as most of the substantives, that the sports-
man is Hkely to use, belong to this class anyhow.

4. The personal prefixes for the verbs are, Ni-, U-, A-, Tu-,
M-, and Wa-; I, Thou, He (she or it), We, You, and They.

5. The tense prefixes for the verbs are, -na- for the present
tense, -li- or -mc- for past, and -ta- for future. Thus, for in-
stance, of the verb, piga, shoot, beat, we have : Ni-na-piga, I
shoot; Ni-li-piga, I shot; Ni-me-piga, I have shot; Ni-ta-piga,
I shall shoot. In writing or in printing, the forms of the verbs
are always written in one word, Ninapiga, but in the first two
lessons they are separated, so as to make it easier for the be-
ginner to find the different forms at a glance.

6. The Swahili has no special interrogative form of the verb,
but expresses the question by a different tone of voice. For
instance, Mtn hapa, may mean : A man is here, or Is a man here ?
according to the way of pronouncing the words. If an inter-
rogative is used, it is always placed after the word it refers
to, except, perhaps, when it stands in a longer sentence and be-
longs to several nouns, when it may begin the sentence. For
instance, ivapi, where ; Where is the man ? in Swahili, Mtu wapi?
Where are the man and the woman ? Wapi mfu na bibi?

7. Is or are, as a general rule, are omitted in the sentence,
unless they are especially accentuated. In such case, both is and
are are expressed by ni for all persons, singular and plural, and
si for the negative is not, or are not ; therefore. The man is here,
Mtu ni hapa; The man is not here, Mtu si hapa.

8. The second person imperative of all regular verbs in Swa-
hili is, as in English, exactly like their infinitive form ; thus, piga
means shoot (to shoot), and shoot! When in English to is put
before the infinitive form, the Swahili uses ku. To shoot, there-
fore, is in Swahili, ku-piga.


bwana, sir, master. bibi, wife, women, miss.

chakula, food, meal. bilauri, glass.

bunduki, gun. leta, bring.



hema, tent.

kahava, coffee.

boy, servant, butler.

chai, tea.

chumvi, salt.

majani, grass.

kisu, knife.

maji, water.

masiwa, milk.

mkate, bread.

safari, travel, caravan, trip.

tembo, elephant.

sukari, sugar.

mtoto, child, baby.

nyama, animal, meat.

simba, lion.

nyumba, house, home.

mtu, man.

sahani, plate.

ona, see, find.

penda, love.

taka, want, like.

piga, shoot, beat.

piga hema, pitch the tent.

wapi, where.

tayari, ready.

sasa hivi, instantly, just now.

ema (=yema), good, all right.

hapa, here.

sasa, now.

katika, in, on, by, at.

Sana, very, very much.

hapana, no, not.

kali, sharp, cruel, dangerous.

ndio, 3;^^.

karibu, near.

na, and, with.

-kubwa, large, great.

Translate into English:

A.^ I. Mtu mkubwa a-me-piga simba. 2. Bibi a-na-penda mtoto.
3. Boy, kisu wapi? 4. Katika nyumba, Bwana. 5. Leta kisu na
bunduki hapa! 6. Ndio, Bwana. 7. Ni-me-ona tembo mkubwa
katika majani. 8. Safari wapi? 9. Hapa karibu, Bwana! 10.
Leta chakula, boy; kisu, sahani na bilauri ! 11. Simba nyama kali.
12. Piga hema hapa! 13. Ni-na-taka chai, sukari na masiwa, siagi,
mkate na chumvi! 14. Boy, leta maji hapa! 15. Ndio, Bwana,
sasa hivi. 16. Bunduki si katika nyumba, ni hapa katika hema.

17. Bwana na bibi ni hapa katika majani na wa-na-taka chakula.

18. Chakula tayari, boy? 19. Ndio, sasa tayari! 20. Bwana kali
a-na-piga sana boy. 21. Leta bunduki, ni-na-ona simba hapa
karibu ! 22. Tembo a-na-taka maji. 23. Ni-me-ona mtu mkubwa
katika hema hapa na a-me-piga nyama kwa bunduki. 24. Wapi
sukari, mkate, chai na masiwa? 25. Chakula hapa, Bwana!

' The letters in front of the exercises refer to the keys for the same at the end of
the chapter.


Translate into Swahili:

B. I. The man saw a lion near the house. 2. Butler, bring the
food ; I want tea, bread, butter and milk right away ! 3. Yes, Sir,
the food is ready in the house. 4. All right! 5. Where is the cara-
van now ? 6. Near by. Sir, near by ! 7. I see an elephant in the
water, 8. No, Sir, it is not an elephant. 9. Where are the gun, the
knife and the tent? 10. Here, Sir! 11. The food is not good,
bring a plate and a knife ! 12. I want to shoot the lion right away I
13. Where is the lion now? 14. Near by in the grass by the water.
15. The child saw the women in the house. 16. Sir, the food is
now ready; coffee, sugar and milk with bread. 17. I want very
much water, milk and a knife. 18. Have you seen the women here?
19. No, Sir, the women are not here ; they are in the tent. 20. Do
you want the food right away? Yes, bring (it) here now. 21.
The elephant and the lion are dangerous animals. 22. Butler, put
up the tent here and bring the water! 23. I see an animal in the
grass, bring at once the gun and the knife! 24. Yes, Sir, they are
here ! 25. All right, butler, now I want the caravan.

Lesson II

1. The plurals of substantives are formed by different pre-
fixes before the root of the word, but as there are not less than
eight different classes, each requiring its particular prefix, and
as it is very difficult to know to which of these classes the dif-
ferent words belong, the following lists will always give the
plural of each substantive, except where the plural is the same
as the singular, as is done also in the vocabulary.

2. The adjectives and prefixes before the verbs as v^^ell as
those before the different pronouns, will all be treated as belong-
ing to the first class, as before mentioned.

3. The adjectives are given here in their simplest form; for
singular, prefix m-, for plural, zva- (the proper prefixes for the
first class) ; for instance, Mtu mrefu, a tall man; watii warefu,
tall men.

4. The possessive case is expressed by the particle wa for



the first class; for instance, The European's wife, Bibi wa Mzun-
gu. The master's knife, Kisu wa Bwana.


kisu, visu, knife.

mtu, watu, man.

mtoto, watoto, child.

kitendo, vitendo, action.

mshale, mishale, arrozv.

kitanda, vitanda, bedstead.

kitabu, vitabu, book.

mzigo, mizigo, burden.

kiti, viti, chair.

kitana, vitana, comb.

mpishi, wapishi, cook.

-gumu, hard.

-zito, heavy.

-dogo, little.

-vein, long.

-pya, new.

-zima, sound, well.

-tamu, szveet.

-nene, thick.

sema, say, speak.

safisha, clean.

kamata, take hold of.

kikombe, vikombe, cup,

mlango, milango, door.

mzungo, wasungo, white man.

mkono, mikono, hand.

kipini, vipini, handle,

kilima, vilima, hill.

kiboko, viboko, hippopotamus.

kioo, vioo, mirror.

-kubwa, large, great.

-zuri, good, beautiftd.

-pana, broad.

-kavu, dry.

-tupu, empty.

-baya, bad.

ku-ogopa, to fear.

ku-fanya, to do.

ku-la, to eat.

ngapi, how many?

-moja, one.

-bili, or will, two.

-tatu, three.

-nne, four.

-tano, five.

-sitta, six.

nini, ivhatf

wangu, my, mine.

wako, your, yours.

wake, his, hers, its.

nina, / have.

una, you {thou) have.

ana, he has.

tuna, we have.

mna, you have.

wana, they have.

Translate into English:

C. I. Watu warefu wa-me-leta visu hapa. 2. Mtoto a-na vitanda
tatu katika nyumba. 3. Leta sasa hivi mishale tano ! 4. U-na-sema
nini? 5. Ni-na-sema, ni-na-taka chakula wangu katika hema wangu


sasa. 6. Ndio, Bwana mkubwa, ni-ta-leta ! 7. Mpishi mnene a-me-
safisha vikombe wangu. 8. Mzungo mkubwa a-me-ona bibi wako
hapa karibu, 9. U-na-ogopa mtu mrefu? 10. Mlango wa nyumba
wangu mzito. ii. Boy, kikombe wangu si safi ! 12. Ndio, Bwana,
ni-ta-safisha ! 13. Safari a-na-fanya nini sasa? 14. A-na-kula cha-
kula katika hema, chakula wa nyama wa kiboko mnene, Bwana.
15. Kipini wa kisu si nzuri. 16. Watu ngapi katika safari wako?
17. Ni-na watu watano sasa. 18. Mtoto wangu si mzima. 19.
Kahawa wangu si tamu, nataka sukari na masiwa katika kikombe.
20. Ni-me-ona tembo moja, simba wawili na viboko watano, na ni-
me-piga tembo, simba moja na kiboko moja. 21. Bunduki wangu
wapi ? Ni safi ? Ndio, Bwana, ni-me-safisha. 22. Mzigo wako
mzito? Hapana, Bwana, ni nzuri. 23. Watoto watano wapi?
Hapa, katika majani na wa-na-kula nyama, chai, masiwa na mkate.
24. Mtoto, safisha mikono wako sasa hivi na leta kitana hapa ! 25.
U-me-ona kitabu mpya katika mlango? Ndio, Bwana, ni-ta-leta?

Translate into Sivahili:

D. I. My child has a beautiful book in (his) hand, 2. Three ele-
phants and four hippos are in the water. 3. How many lions have
you shot ? 4. I have shot four lions with my gun, and my boy shot
one with an arrow. 5. What did your wife say? 6. She said she
wanted very much the meal just now. 7. Boy, bring the mirror
and the comb ! 8. I see a white man in the door of my house ; what
does he want? 9. Your action is bad, my child. 10. Is your tea
sweet? No, bring (me) the sugar! 11. Take hold of the tent and
put it up here! 12. Yes, sir, they have six loads. 13. Boy, what
are you doing here? Sir, I am cleaning your gun and knife. 14.
All right, where is the gun bearer ? In the tent, sir, and he is eating
his food now. 15. Do you fear a lion? 16. Take hold of the
handle and bring it here! 17. Is the load heavy now? No, Sir, it
is light. 18. Bring three men here right away! 19. How many
chairs are in the tent now? 20. We have four chairs, two bedsteads
and one mirror. 21. How many hills are there here? 22. I see
five ; one very large and four small. 23. My child has five fine
buttons. 24. Your actions are not good, my men. 25. Where have
you pitched my tent? Is it near the water?



Lesson III

1. The verb has, as before remarked, four simple tenses in
its positive form; the present, na; the imperfect, It; the perfect,
me; and the future, ta.

2. The negative forms of the verbs have only three tenses
and are expressed both by different prefixes and in the present
tense also by a change in the verb itself. The personal negative
prefixes are: si, hu, ha, hatu, ham, kawa; meaning literally: I
not, You (lit. thou) not. He (she or it) not, We not. They not.
Of the verb ku-piga (to shoot), for instance, the simple forms
are the following :


Positive Form.

ninapiga (or napiga), / shoot.
unapiga, yoii shoot.
anapiga, he (she) shoots.
tunapiga, we shoot.
mnapiga, yon shoot.
wanapiga, they shoot.

Negative Form.

sipigi, I do not shoot.
hupigi, you do not shoot.
hapigi, he (she) does not shoot.
hatupigi, we do not shoot.
hampigi, you do not shoot.
hawapigi, they do not shoot.

nilipiga, / shot.


sikupiga, I did not shoot.

nimepiga, / have shot.


sikupiga, / have not shot.

nitapiga, / will shoot.


sitapiga, / will not shoot.

piga, shoot! (sing.).
pigeni, shoot! (plural).


usipigi, do not shoot! (sing.),
msipigi, do not shoot! (plural).


ku-jibu, to answer.
ku-fika, to arrive.
ku-uliza, to ask.
ku-amsha, to awaken.
ku-nunua, to buy.
ku-sayidia, to help.
ku-jua, to knozv.
ku-chukua, to carry.
ku-panda, to climb up.
ku-rudi, to come, or go back.
ku-pika, to cook.
ku-lia, to cry.
ku-anguka, to fall.
ku-funga, to bind.
ku-ua, to kill.
ku-pima, to measure.
ku-simama, to stand.
ku-pa, to give.
ku-tasama, to see, look for.


mnyampara, caravan-headman.

askari, soldier.

kifaru, rhinoceros.

mamba, crocodile.

kongoni, hartebeest.

pofu, eland.

mpagazi, caravan porter.

-vivu, lasy, idle.

leo, to-day.

jana, yesterday.

kesho, to-morrow.

labda, perhaps.

karibu ya, near by.

chini ya, belozv.

juu ya, above.

ndani ya, inside.

huko, there.

ngosi, skin.

pembe, horn, corner.

Translate into English:

E. I. Boy, sema mnyampara kusayidia mpagazi kuchukua
mzigo. 2. Mzungu amefika katika campi ; anataka kununua cha-
kula. 3. Ah, sitaki kuuza sasa. 4. Mnyampara na gun bearer
rudeni hapa, nataka (or ninataka) kupiga kongoni. 5. Wapagazi
wavivu Sana. 6. Uliza askari hapa wapi kisu wangu. 7. Bwana,
askari anasema hajui. 8. Safari atafika huko leo? Sijui, Bwana,
labda. 9. Katika maji hapa ninaona mamba na viboko. 10. Mny-
ampara, leta wapagazi sasa hivi ; nataka (or ninataka) kupiga kifaru,
na watu watachukua ngozi na pembe. 11. Panda juu ya kilima na
tasama, labda myama huko. 12. Ndio Bwana, natasama (nina-
tasama) simba na kifaru huko karibu ya kilima. 13. Nataka kun-
unua chakula wa watu. 14. Kesho tutafanya safari. 15. Wapi
gim bearer na boy sasa? 16. Uliza boy anafanya nini. 17. Bwana,
anasema anasafisha bunduki. 18. Ema, sema mpishi nataka kula
chakula. 19. Unataka nini, Bwana? 20. Nataka chai, mkata, siagi,
nyama na chumvi! 21. Bibi wangu wapi? Ndani ya nyumba,



Bwana. 2.2. Chini ya milima huko naona pofu. 23. Boy, sayidia
gun bearer kusafisha bunduki. 24. Mpishi atapika chakula sasa?
25. Mtu mnoja ameanguka hapa.

Translate into Swahili:

F. I. Gun bearer, tell my men to climb up the hill and kill the
hartebeest. 2. Measure the lion at once ! 3. Near by the water I
see an elephant standing. (Sw. he stands.) 4. Boy, bring the rifle
and the knife and tell the gun bearer to come here ! 5. Yes, Sir, he

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Online LibraryOliver Howard] [WolfeBack log and pine knot; a chronicle of the Minnisink hunting and fishing club → online text (page 22 of 26)