Some Animals in isiNdebele

Salibonani bangane! (Nice to see you friends).

If you are just starting your journey to learn and have fun with isiNdebele, please look at the first posts at the bottom of this page (scroll down) and work your way to this, the newest post.

Lamhla, let us look at some names of animals (inyamazana) in siNdebele. Some words you may have encountered already. Also, note that we have lessons out here:


Ok, here are some animals that come to mind. Check this list for how many you know, and then test yourself below. Good luck and let us know what your score was or if you think of any other words:
  1. isibaya
  2. ubabhemi
  3. ibhiza
  4. bhonga
  5. imbuzi
  6. uchago
  7. ichibi
  8. idada
  9. udaka
  10. isidleke
  11. indlovu
  12. indwangu
  13. elusa
  14. ufudu
  15. umfula
  16. iganga
  17. ingulube
  18. igundwane
  19. igwala
  20. ingwe
  21. isihlahla
  22. umhlambi
  23. ihlamvu
  24. inhlanyelo
  25. inhlanzi
  26. umuhlwa
  27. ubuhlungu
  28. inja
  29. inkabi
  30. inkawu
  31. ukhokho
  32. inkomo
  33. inkukhu
  34. inkume
  35. inkunzi
  36. umlindi
  37. luma
  38. isilwane
  39. umangoye
  40. nona
  41. unwabu
  42. amanzi
  43. phapha
  44. impukane
  45. iqaqa
  46. umsila
  47. intanga
  48. ithole
  49. isithutha
  50. isitshebo
  51. inwele
  52. ixoxo
  53. inyamazana
  54. inyathi
  55. inyoka
  56. inyoni
  57. zimuka
  58. zingela

  1. A bit of a trick but this is "a kraal/ holding pen for animals"
  2. donkey
  3. horse
  4. Another trick, it's a "roar/ bellow"
  5. goat (don't be so hard on yourself, manje, you're not that bad)
  6. yet another trick, this is "milk", but it can come from animals
  7. a pond, body of water
  8. a duck
  9. mud, which ducks might walk on
  10. a "nest", perhaps for ducks
  11. elephant (back to animals now)
  12. a name for a "baboon"
  13. a "herd"
  14. tortoise
  15. a river, kanti, pet tortoises don't swim, qaphela!
  16. bushveld, open country
  17. pig, not you though
  18. rat, do you smell one?
  19. a "coward", trick question again
  20. leopard
  21. a tree. Did you think it was only animals?
  22. a "herd or flock" of animals (or people maybe too)
  23. a leaf, fallen from isihlahla above
  24. a seed. It seems the tree comes before the seed, funny hey?
  25. fish
  26. termites (white ants)
  27. pain. These ants bite
  28. dog
  29. an ox
  30. monkey, yes you are silly
  31. ancestor, a good word
  32. cow/ cattle
  33. chicken
  34. scorpion
  35. bull, just a bull
  36. a burrow/ hole animals use
  37. bite, what the animal might do if you go into their burrow
  38. lion. Run!
  39. cat, don't need to run
  40. be fat (especially animals being fat)
  41. chameleon, otherwise known as a hamba bijana
  42. water, another place you might find the idada
  43. fly. A trick, this is "to fly". Ukuphapha
  44. a fly, this one
  45. skunk, uyanuka?
  46. a tail (of the skunk even)
  47. another trick, these are "pumpkin (or squash) seeds"
  48. a calf
  49. another trick, I couldn't resist. This is an "idiotic person"
  50. relish accompanying the starch in a meal to spice it up
  51. hair
  52. a frog. Remember your soft click sound for the X
  53. animals
  54. buffalo
  55. snake
  56. bird
  57. be fat, but only used for people this time
  58. to hunt, animals or people
If you scored more than 30, you should be sending me an email with information/ links to share or that you would like us to post on NorthernNdebele: Amhlophe, mngan'ami. If not, see the lessons tab or for some vocabulary, check the vocab tab. Have fun bakithi, we look forward to hearing from you. Thanks to those who spot spelling mistakes etc, if you want to help out further, please ask/ answer questions on the Community Questions tab or contact us on


Comment lapha please