There are nearly 3,000 tribes in Africa, with different languages and cultures. In the last two thousand years, the African continent has undergone tremendous changes.
The most populous black continent with over 53 countries, however, the influence of tribes is still in a strong position in most areas. Although the differences between tribes have decreased over the years, the tribal affiliation is still indigenous—the primary source of pride.
Ten most famous tribes in Africa
1. Zulu tribe
The Zulus are undoubtedly the most famous tribe in Africa for many reasons. First of all, here is Shakaland, the birthplace of the world-famous legendary leader Shaka Zulu.
Secondly, people also know that the Zulu people are the largest ethnic group in South Africa, with an estimated population of 11 million.
2. Maasai tribe
The Maasai tribe is one of the famous African tribes due to its deep-rooted traditions and culture. Even though most African tribes have adopted the modern way of life, the Maasai still live in Bomas and migrate with large cattle farms.
They mainly feed on meat and drink the blood of cattle for sustenance. They can be seen anywhere in East Africa, especially in Kenya. They wear excellent Shuka jewelry and pearl jewelry.
3. Bushman tribe
If you think everything is like the movie “The Gods Must Be Crazy,” then we might as well take a look at the daily life of the Bushmen. First of all, this is a tribe that has lived in western Botswana and the Makgadikgadi basin for centuries.
They are a group of people who survived in an arid area because no water droplets are found there. Their survival depends on hunting animals in traps but also on the tubers and roots of plants. Tribe members wear loincloths, hang bows and arrows on their shoulders, and use zebra feces to roast tobacco.
4. Yoruba tribe
It is undeniable that the Yoruba is the largest ethnic group in Africa, with an estimated population of approximately 35 million.
They mainly occupy southwestern Nigeria and southern Benin. Most Yoruba people in Benin come from Nigeria. They have a rich cultural heritage and history dating back to the ancient Oyo Empire.
5. Xhosa tribe
The Xhosa tribe is one of South Africa’s biggest homelands in the country’s southeast, in the Eastern Cape province.
Xhosa is the second widely spoken language in South Africa after Zulu. This language used to uphold their strong oral tradition, full of stories of ancestral heroes, with the elders’ teachings passed down from generation to generation by speech alone.
6. Hausa tribe
The Hausa is one of the largest ethnic groups in Africa and the largest ethnic group in West Africa. It is not only an African ethnic group in the ethnic sense but also a collective term for ethnic groups with the same culture, including the Sudanese and Sahelians in southeastern Niger and northern Nigeria, as well as those living in Chad, Togo, Côte d’Ivoire, Sudan and many people in Ghana.
Their dressing mode is strict; the men wear elaborate gowns with exquisite embroidery around the collar and wear a colorful hat called Fula. Hausa women wear robes, which consist of bright pleats, shirts, shawls, and ties.
7. Himba tribe
The Himba tribe is located in the Kunene Region of northern Namibia and is mainly composed of semi-nomadic people, including about 20,000 to 50,000 indigenous people.
They are called “African Reds” because they paint themselves red using a red paste called Otjize, a mixture of butter and red clay.
There is a perennial sacred fire (Okuruwo), representing the ancestors who helped them communicate with the god “Mukuru”.
8. Oromo tribe
The Oromo tribe comprises people from southern Ethiopia, northern Kenya, and parts of Somalia. They are considered the biggest ethnic group in Ethiopia, accounting for approximately 35% of the Ethiopian population.
The Oromo people speak Oromo, which is considered to be the Cushitic version of the Asian-African languages.
9. Kalenjin tribe
If you are a track and field enthusiast, you must know a bit of this African tribe in Kenya’s western highlands. Initially, the Kalenjin were called “Nandi” until the Kalenjin name’s formal adoption in the early 1950s’.
Since then, the tribe has been producing elite long-distance runners in marathons, making it one of the world’s most famous track and field tribes.
10. Chaga tribe
The Chaga tribe of Tanzania is. Traditionally, this tribe lived on the Meru and Kilimanjaro mountains’ eastern slopes, mainly near Moshi in Tanzania.
In Tanzania, they consider being the first tribe to accept Christianity in the colonial era. Therefore, they enjoy better health care and higher education in Tanzania.