Zulu in itself is a beautiful language and with that gives you amazing domain names to use.

Recently I've been building, amongst other things, a photo sharing service. That goes into great lengths to identify who and what context the photo is about.

So I went on a name search. And amongst the first is "indaba" which roughly translated means "(my) Story". Which was a great name for my service. But after checking the domains availability I saw it was taken and to my suprise to a company in San-Francisco. This was a bit of a let down, but also brought a few interesting thoughts my way.

How many African domains are registered to US companies? And how many are local ?

So I went to work to get some numbers. After running a simple whois script to get all the registered domain data. Now we've got some interesting stats.

Data explained

There have been many questions on what data I used. This was a relatively basic crawl. So for a bit more detail:

I only used the words from the Zulu dictionary, which means nothing "combined" that form startup names too.

I check each word 3 times for .co.za, .com and .net

Making this a very basic test for only single word zulu domains. I'll publish the dataset if there is any interest.

First how many are actually registered

From a Zulu dictionary I found online. I managed to parse out just about ~10,000 words. From this I checked all .net's, .com's and off course .co.za's.

And the final result? 6.9% of the domains are registered. This gives us a working set of 1930 domains that registered.

Privacy companies

Before we continue deep diving into the stats. One thing I did notice was the increase use of "Privacy" companies that allow you to hide your details from the WHOIS directory. Which means those numbers that going to make our research a bit skew. From here on out those we're considered and removed.

In our set I had 219 of the 1930 records that were registered this way.

World map of registered ZULU domains

This is where it gets interesting. From the map it's clear to see a majority of the domains are registered in the US. With only 23 in South-Africa ??? Wow I expected soooo much more? Even upper in Africa only about a few dozen, and that's it.

Ending thoughts ?

I was quite interested with these results. This shows that the US holds the majority here. Which is not what I'd like to see. I can see how the names make amazing startup names. But I'd like to see more local support from Africa.

There are thousands left, have at them!