170+ Awesome African Dog Names

Names By Kelsey Snyder 10 min read January 24, 2022

African-inspired dog names

Whether you’re looking to honor your hound’s heritage as the owner of an African dog breed or seeking something with a savanna spring to it, African dog names are loaded with pup-pleasing possibilities.

From the well-known to the rare, these African monikers give your mutt a memorable moniker that’s as special as he is. 

Let’s go on a namespiration journey and check out some amazing African dog names together below. 

Male African Dog Names

Dog names with African roots

If your handsome four-footer needs a name as mighty and masculine as he is, look no further than these epic male monikers:

  • Ajamu — “He who fights for what he wants”
  • Ajani — “He who wins the struggle”
  • Amari — “Strong”
  • Ayele — “Powerful”
  • Azibo — “Earth”
  • Bahari –– “Sea”
  • Dakari –– “Happiness”
  • Davu –– “The beginning”
  • Deka — “Pleasing”
  • Dembe — “Miracle”
  • Desta — “Joy”
  • Duka — “All”
  • Dumi — “Inspirer”
  • Jabari — “The brave one” 
  • Jafaru — “Stream”
  • Kato — “Second of twins”
  • Kendi — “The loved one”
  • Kiano — “Tools of the wizard”
  • Kiho — “Fog”
  • Kijani — “Warrior”
  • Kirabo — “Gift of God”
  • Kofi –– “Born on a Friday”
  • Kwame — “Born on a Saturday”
  • Kwasi — “Born on Sunday”
  • Lencho — “Lion” 
  • Mahalo — “Surprise”
  • Nalo — “Lovable”
  •  Nuru — “Light”
  • Oba — “King”
  • Omari — “Speaker”
  • Oringo — “He who likes the hunt”
  • Pharaoh — Title for ancient Egyptian rulers
  • Roho — “Soul”
  • Sanyu — “Joy”
  • Sarki — “Chief”
  • Thimba — “Lion hunter”
  • Tumo –– “Fame”
  • Tut — Short for Tutankhamun, as in the pharaoh
  • Uba — “Father”
  • Yaro — “Son”

Female African Dog Names

Pharaoh hounds hail from Africa

For those seeking female names with feminine flair, check out these African princesses:

  • Abiba — “Beloved one”
  • Adola — “The crown brings honor”
  • Akia — “First born”
  • Amani — “Peace”
  • Anana — “Fourth born”
  • Armani — “From the house of Armand”
  • Asabi — “One of select birth”
  • Ayanna — “Beautiful flower”
  • Banji — “Second born of twins”
  • Cleopatra — Ancient Egyptian queen
  • Dembe — “Peace”
  • Faizah — “Victorious”
  • Falala — “Born into abundance”
  • Gimbya — “Princess”
  • Hidi — “Root”
  • Jahzara — “Princess”
  • Jamala — “Friendly”
  • Johari — “Jewel”
  • Juji — “Heap of love”
  • Kanoni — “Little bird”
  • Karasi — “Life and wisdom”
  • Kemi — “God takes care of me”
  • Kijana — “Youth”
  • Kumani — “Destiny”
  • Loma — “Peaceful”
  • Mansa — “Conqueror”
  • Mashaka — “Trouble”
  • Neema — “Born into prosperity”
  • Nia — “Lustrous”
  • Oya — A goddess in Yoruba mythology
  • Rahma — “Compassion”
  • Sade — “Honor confers a crown”
  • Sika — “Money”
  • Taraji — “Hope”
  • Thandiwe — “Beloved”
  • Themba — “Trust, hope, and faith”
  • Umi — “Servant”
  • Xola — “Stay in peace”
  • Yihana — “Congratulations”
  • Zuri — “Beautiful”

Location-Inspired African Dog Names

To capture a taste of the beautiful African landscape, you can turn to place names, including: 

  • Accra – Capital of Ghana on the Atlantic coast of West Africa
  • Cairo – The capital of Egypt and one of the largest cities in Africa
  • “Cam” / Cameroon – A country in west-central Africa
  • Chari – A long river in Central Africa, also serving as Lake Chad’s main water source
  • Congo – A country in Central Africa
  • Dakar – The West African capital of Senegal
  • Diani – A popular beach in Kenya
  • Durban – A coastal city in eastern Southern Africa
  • Egypt – The transcontinental country linking northeast Africa with the Middle East
  • Ghana – A country in West Africa
  • Giza – Home to Egypt’s famous pyramids
  • “Jozi” – A nickname you could give your dog based on the city of Johannesburg, South Africa’s biggest city. Johannesburg is also referred to by residents as “Jozi” or “Joburg”
  • Kariba – A lake between Zambia and Zimbabwe that is the world’s largest man-made lake
  • Karoo – The semi-desert natural region of South Africa
  • Kenya – Country in East Africa
  • Kivu – Lake Kivu is one of Africa’s great lakes
  • Koba – A fun nickname with African roots, coming from the Niokolo-Koba National Park alongside the Gambia river
  • Kruger – Named after the famous Kruger National Park in South Africa, one of the world’s biggest safari destinations
  • Lagos – The largest city in Nigeria
  • Libya – A country in North Africa
  • Lusaka – The capital of Zambia
  • Luxor – A city on the bank of the Nile River in southern Egypt
  • Maiko – The Maiko National Park is a popular safari park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Malawi – A country in southeastern Africa 
  • Mali – A country in western Africa
  • Marrakesh – A city in western Morocco
  • Morocco – A country in North Africa
  • Nairobi – The capital city of Kenya
  • Nile – A famous north-flowing river in Africa
  • Safari – A type of tour often run in Africa where visitors can explore national parks and seek out wildlife
  • Sahara – The Sahara Desert is a desert in Africa, and is the largest hot desert in the world.
  • Savana – A type of African ecosystem
  • Serengeti – A national park in Africa
  • Soweto – a Johannesburg township in South Africa, bordering the city’s mining belt
  • Sphinx – A mythical creature with the head of a human, body of a lion, and wings of a falcon
  • Tana – Short for Telugu Association of North America, one of the oldest and biggest Indo-American organization in North America.
  • Tanzania – A country in East Africa
  • Thebes – An ancient Egyptian city located along the Nile
  • Timbuktu – A city in Mali, Africa
  • Tripoli – The capital city of Libya
  • Volta – A major river in Western Africa
  • Zaire – Former name of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Zambezi – The fourth-longest river in Africa
  • Zambia – A country in Southern Africa

Swahili Names That Make Great Dog Names

Looking for a Swahili name for your dog with an African origin? We think these Swahili baby names would work great as Swahili dog names too!

  • Tambo (Vigorous)
  • Salene (Good)
  • Fanaka (Valuable)
  • Jamba (Hero)
  • Ayo (Joy)
  • Jata (Celestial star)
  • Mosi (Firstborn child)
  • Zuri (Beautiful)
  • Nya (Purpose)
  • Shani (Marvel)
  • Yazeed (Becoming greater)
  • Sadiki (Loyal)
  • Baraka (Blessing)
  • Sadeeki (Faithful)
  • Zahur (Blossom)
  • Zubery (Strong)
  • Safia (Pure)
  • Johari (Jewel)
  • Nea (Lustrous)

Nature-Themed African Dog Names

The African continent is home to some of the world’s most beautiful living things, including many that make memorable names, like: 

  • Acacia — A tree that’s a landscape staple across the savanna.
  • Aye-aye — A big-eyed lemur with a curious appearance.
  • Baobab — A massive tree with a playful-sounding name.
  • Bongo — An antlered mammal whose striped appearance turns heads.
  • Cheetah — A super name for a speed racer canine.
  • Civet — A small, spotted animal with short legs and a long body. 
  • Croc — As in crocodile, this fits a chomp-happy puppy.
  • Hippo — An ideal pick for a low-rider, like a basset hound or dachshund.
  • Honey Badger — A dream moniker for a scrappy doggo.
  • Impala — This elegant antelope doubles as a car name.
  • Jackal — For a twist on Jack, use this canid moniker.
  • Kudu — A majestic mammal with a set of antlers like no other.
  • Mamba — A few species of fast-moving snakes.
  • Marula — A fruit-bearing tree.
  • Molala — A large palm tree.
  • Nyala — A spiral-horned antelope whose name is singsong in nature.
  • Okapi — Also known as the forest giraffe, this odd-looking animal is the perfect namesake for a mystery mutt.
  • Rhino — Suitable for a bulldog or other wrecking ball breed.
  • Topi — Known for its beautiful red coat, this antelope’s name is playful.
  • Zebra — An alternative to Oreo, it’s well-suited for a black and white doggo.

African Dog Names from Fictional Famous Figures 

Dog and Pumba
Image from FamilyPet.com.

Whether you own a Rhodesian Ridgeback or a African street dog, these big-screen African names could work great for any dog:

  • Akeem — The crown princess in Coming to America.
  • Jaffe — The king in Coming to America.
  • Khumba — The half-striped zebra in Khumba.
  • Nakia — T’Challa’s love interest in Black Panther.
  • Nakku — The loving mother in Queen of Katwe.
  • Nala — Simba’s girlfriend in The Lion King.
  • Okoye — The female leader of the armed forces in Black Panther.
  • Pumba — The portly warthog in The Lion King.
  • Rafiki — The whacky but wise baboon in The Lion King.
  • Sarabi — Simba’s mother in The Lion King.
  • Seko — A zebra leader in Khumba.
  • Shuri — T’Challa’s sister in Black Panther.
  • Simba — The curious cub and future king in The Lion King.
  • T’Challa — The leader character in Black Panther.
  • W’Kabi — T’Challa’s best friend in Black Panther.
  • Zazu — The nosy but well-meaning bird in The Lion King.

If you love Disney movies like The Lion King, make sure to check out our article on the best Disney dog names!

Strong African Names for Dogs

Looking for a strong African name for your tough pooch? Some potential ideas include:

  • Ade – Nigerian word meaning royal
  • Addae – Ghanian word for the morning sun
  • Adofo Ghanian word for warrior
  • Hakim – An African word meaning ruler
  • Mandla – Strength
  • Tau – A South African word for lion
  • Arno – Afrikaans with Germanic roots, meaning eagle
  • Mwenye – Owner or boss
  • Tafari – He who inspires awe
  • Abrafo – A Ghanaian name meaning warrior
  • Bassel – A North-African word meaning brave
  • Malik – King
  • Tariq – To strike
  • Zuberi – Meaning strong

Dog Names Inspired By African Cuisine

Food names are common among pooches, and African cuisine offers up some adorable name options with African roots, including:

  • Amala
  • Asida
  • Baba Ghanoush
  • Brik
  • Chachupa
  • Couscous
  • Eba
  • Egusi
  • Fufu
  • Harira
  • Hawawshi
  • Injera
  • Kenkey
  • Kitcha
  • Kitfo
  • Koki
  • Maafe
  • Suya
  • Tahini
  • Tajine

Descriptive African Dog Names

Rhodesian ridgebacks are African dogs

Some names have a meaning that perfectly describes your doggo, such as:

  • Barack  — Meaning “lightning,” he works well on your speed demon doggo.
  • Chiku — For a mouthy mutt, check out this “talkative” name.
  • Dada –Meaning “curly haired,” this name is a natural fit on a poodle or Bichon.
  • Kairu — Ideal for a Schipperke or Newfoundland, this name means “black one.”
  • Kamau — If your four-footer is sneaky, check out his “quiet warrior” meaning.
  • Kazi — Translating to “work,” this is the perfect name for your busy four-footer.
  • Mandla — Meaning “strength,” this name is great for a tough pupper.
  • Sadiki — Meaning “loyal,” this name perfectly suits a people-pleasing canine. Also make sure to check out our collection of dog names that mean “loyal” if you like this one!
  • Safiya –– Meaning “friend,” this name works well for your best fur buddy. Love this name? See our list of dog names that mean “friend.”
  • Sahel — This name, meaning “leader,” is perfect for pups who rule the pack.
  • Sekou — A brainiac barker will be perfect for this name meaning “wise.”
  • Teshi — If your pooch’s tail is always going a mile a minute, you’ll love this name meaning “cheerful.” 
  • Zareb — This name, meaning “guardian,” is perfect for dogs who guard against bushy-tailed yard invaders. If you like this name also check out our collection of dog names that mean “protector.”
  • Zuberi — Your muscled mastiff perfectly fits this name, meaning “strong.”  
  • Zuna –– Meaning “to be sweet,” this is the perfect name for a snugglebug of a doggo.


FAQs About African Dog Names

What is a good name for an African wild dog?

Have an African wild dog? We think “Moto” (a Swahili word for “hot), “Kiboko” (Swahili for “hippo”), or “Tamu” (Swahili for “sweet”) are great options.

Africa is well-known for its considerable wild dog population, with some becoming beloved village dogs who are cared for by the community or adopted out. Also consider using the region or town area where an African wild dog is from for a name idea.

What are African dog names?

There are tons of great African dog name available! You can use a name based off of a location in Africa (like “Kruger”) or a Swahili word, (such as “Ayo” which means “joy”).

What are some Swahili names for dogs?

There are many great Swahili names that would serve as great dog names. Some of our favorite include Safia (meaning “pure”), Tambo (meaning “vigorous”), Zuri (meaning “beautiful”), and Jamba (meaning “hero”).

What African name means warrior?

“Askari” is a Swahili word for “warrior” that would make a great dog name for a strong canine.

Does your pooch have an African name? Share it with us in the comments!

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Written by

Kelsey Snyder

Kelsey is a K9 of Mine contributor who has worked with dogs as a shift runner and office manager of a boarding kennel. When she’s not writing, she can be found throwing a ball or losing at tug of war. An animal lover to the max, she lives in South Jersey with her husband, her five dogs Boomer, Taj, Batman, Maya, and Moxie, some kitties, and two grumpy turtles.


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