African Dog Names: 52

Basenji Portrait; African dog names

Africa is an excellent source of inspiration for dog names because of its unique cultures and languages. An African dog name may seem natural if you're bringing home a new puppy or rescue dog with African roots, such as the Rhodesian ridgeback, basenji, or (yep, this powder puff is thought to have African ancestors). However, if you're merely searching for a unique name with a lot of significance, you'll love these dog names.

Many of the most unusual African dog names are derived from the continent's numerous languages. Words and phrases from Swahili, the most widely spoken African language, are commonly used. However, Africa is home to a diverse range of languages, and dog names are frequently derived from Zulu, Afrikaans, and other languages.

Look through this list for the most popular African dog names, or search by meaning in various African languages. If you're looking for dog names for male or female canines, we've got you covered. With attributes like courage, beauty, and power included in the names, you're sure to find the perfect African dog name from this list.

Top African Dog Names 

  • Safari (Journey)
  • Aza (Strong or powerful)
  • Jambo (A greeting)
  • Bheka (To watch)
  • Duma (Lightning)
  • Enyi (Friend)
  • Obi (Heart)
  • Tandi (Fire)
  • Sengo (Joy)
  • Oseye (Happy)
  • Nandi (Sweet)
  • Zuri (Lovely)

Tips for Naming Your Dog

When you bring your new puppy home, you'll be beginning a new chapter in both your pet's and your own lives. It's only natural to begin with a proper introduction—finding the perfect name for your dog! Many individuals conduct name research before bringing their dog home, while others wait until they have a better understanding of their dog's look or nature.

Whatever you choose, keep in mind that the name should be both significant and memorable. It will be difficult for you to repeat it correctly and for your dog to understand if it is too long or difficult to say. Friends, relatives, the vet, and others may have difficulty remembering your dog's name.

This is especially true when choosing a dog name from a different language, as many African dog names are. If you select something unknown, keep it basic and be prepared to spell the name for others. It may also be a terrific, unique way to show off your dog's appearance, lineage, or personality.

Popular Dog Names from African Words

Because Africa has the most languages on the planet, you'll have plenty of options when naming your dog. Some names are easier to say than others, so pick one you're comfortable with. When meeting new individuals, it may be helpful to spell your dog's name phonetically.

The best African dog names originate from a variety of languages. We've given the broad explanation of each name on our list to help you choose the right name for your pup.

  • Addae (Morning sun)
  • Mhambi (Traveler)
  • Minzi (Protector)
  • Moriti (Shadow)
  • Raadi (Thunder)
  • Jabari (Brave or fearless)
  • Zibu (Water lily)
  • Mosi (Firstborn)
  • Cebo (Plan)
  • Ata (Increase)
  • Lebo (Thankful)
  • Sonto (Sunday)

Male African Dog Names

There are plenty of great African names for male dogs. While some are sweet or silly, others convey the strength and courage of the dog.

  • Ayo (Full of joy)
  • Amar (Long life)
  • Kuume (Friend)
  • Tindo (Active)
  • Yafeu (Bold)
  • Akeen (Brave)
  • Rufaro (Joy)
  • Leki (Little brother)
  • Olee (Happy moment)
  • Meshindi (Victor)
  • Djembe (West African drum)
  • Jengo (Building)
  • Simba (Lion) 

Female African Dog Names

For a female dog, many African names emphasize beauty and joy. Others are just right for a spunky girl dog with attitude—like Kwini or Kali.

  • Asha (Lively)
  • Addia (Being a gift)
  • Kamikazi (Queen)
  • Kianga (Sunshine)
  • Siti (Lady)
  • Monna (Unique)
  • Amina (Peaceful, safe)
  • Kwini (Queen)
  • Titi (Flower)
  • Mhina (Full of delight)
  • Moseka (Young girl)
  • Kanzi (Treasure)
  • Kali (Energetic)
  • Aaliyah (Noble)
  • Nala (Beloved)

Other Dog Name Ideas

Which of these African dog names suits your pup the best? If you're interested in exploring more options, check out these other great lists of dog names: