Tribes in Tanzania –Tanzanian Cultural Safaris

Tribes in Tanzania are primary ethnic group of Bantu origin with small Nilotic speaking and non-African minorities. Although Tanzania lacks a clear dominant ethnic majority and largest among others is the Sukuma which consists about 16percent of the country’s total population, followed by the Nyamwezi and the chagga.

Further the less, Tanzania has not experienced large scale ethnic conflicts, in the away of unifying influence of the Swahili language. Which has become an international language.

These are different ethnic groups found in Tanzania which include; Makonde, Hehe, Kamba, Akiek, Kutu, Kisi, Zinza, Ware, Zyoda, Zigula, Zulu, Timbuka, Wanda, Dhaiso, Yao, Gweno, Mande, Alagwa, Corowa, Digo, Vinza Nyaturu, Ngoni, Kimbu, nindi, Kerewe, Ndonde, Magoa among others. Moreover, is well-known of its rich cultural backgrounds and well pleasing in wildlife through hosting the famous Serengeti national park, Mount Kilimanjaro, Tarangire national park, Lake Manyara national park and Ngorongoro crater among others.

Take note, Tanzania boosts with more than distinct 120 ethnic group and tribes without including the refugees who resides in the country due to conflict in nearby countries. They are Bantu origin with small Nilotic speaking, indigenous and non-African minorities. Each tribe speaks its unique language, traditions and customs.

Fortunately, Tanzania sound to be the only African country whose tribes represents all the four of the continent major tribalistic groups that is to stay; the Bantu, Cushitic, Nilotic and Khoisan. To most of the tribes in Tanzania practices in agricultural activities such as hunting and gathering, therefore they live away from town. And since Tanzania is a big country and mixed up destination of all the tribes in Tanzania are connected to common spoken national language Kiswahili.

Tribes in Tanzania
Tribes in Tanzania

Below are the different ethnic groups found in Tanzania;


Among the several different Tanzania’s ethnic group the Sukuma tribe are the largest Bantu tribe who live in the north of the country and south of Lake Victoria. The spoken language has Niger-Congo roots and mainly are rural living though today they tend to practice Christianity.

In this tribe, a man marries many women which signifies as a polygamy family but they are a predominantly matriarchal society. Therefore, are closely related to the Tanzania’s second largest tribe the Nyamwezi.

There staple food is millet and sweet potato farmers and cattle herders. There main spoken language is called Sukuma and Swahili. The common proverb used among the Sukuma tribe is that ‘’ the wind does not break a tree than bends’’

Chagga Tribe

Chagga bantu tribe are the richest tribe in Tanzania who live on the fertile southern slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro in the northern Tanzania. This tribe are one of the wealthiest and highly organized Tanzanian peoples. There cultivation methods support a very dense population. These tribes are commonly known of their desiring heart to work. Though it’s very rare to find them working as guides in Kilimanjaro national park.

They practice modern methods of irrigation and farming and are one of the modernized tribe with a great factor that gives them credit in many modern economic activities in the country.

Tribes in Tanzania
The Cahagga

Most of them chose to shift their homes to the towns in search of business opportunities. The big number of chagga do agriculture and commonly plant coffee and banana.

Interestingly, there are well known in processing local alcohol of all types, famously the ‘’Mbege’’ which is made from fermented banana. In chagga culture there is no centralized villages. Meaning each family lives in their own coffee and banana plantation that creates a great work effect across the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Maasai Tribe         

The maasai tribe is a very big tribe that can be found in Kenyan parts and in Tanzania can be found in Northern side of the country. What interests much in this tribe is their unique cultural dressing around the world. Maasai is a Nilotic ethnic group of people who live mostly in Northern Tanzania and other places in Kenya. Maasai tribe has an estimate of 800,000 people and more than one million in both Tanzania and Kenya.

Most of the Maasai live around safari destinations in Tanzania like Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro craters. There major economic activities include; Livestock keeping ‘’cattle keepers’’ and farming and some have become guides within parks.

To some communities of Maasai live around Kraals and enclosed villages. They are good in welcoming visitors into their Kraals, entertaining their dances and songs to them and are good in making beautiful handcrafted jewelry commonly done by the women in their societies. They have a famous slogan that states ‘’If you want to go fast go alone’’ and ‘’if you want to go far go together’’

Hadzabe Tribe

This is also a unique tribe in Tanzania with same looks to the Busmen from Kalahari. Hadzabe tribe has a small population of about 1200-1300 that live in simple areas like caves around Lake Eyasi. They are nomadic people who also like to stay around the Yaeda valley and to nearby rocky scrub hills in northern Tanzania.

Men in this tribe are good in interacting with tourists   meaning their chances of meeting them in their hunting action or daily cultural activities. They special language that is totally different to any tribe’s languages found in Tanzania.

Tribes in Tanzania
Hadzabe Tribe

There main economic activities carried out are hunting and gathering. The Hadzabe tribe is one of the African tribes that are live similar to their ancestors in terms of their current way of living.

Nyamwezi tribe

 The Nyamwezi tribe is the second largest tribe and a unique ethnic group in the country. The name Nyamwezi it’s in local language which means ‘’People of the moon or people of the west. Originally, Nyamwezi are the people from central Africa.

Zaramo Tribe

The Zaramo is one of the many tribes found or to see in Tanzania. They commonly live in Dar es Salaam and Pwani region. It’s a big tribe who practice Islam religion who except from the few who practice other religions. The common spoken language is Swahili which has its origin in the Arabic language.

They decided to choose the Swahili-Arab culture in terms of dressing and tradition. They love farming and fishing as well as livestock keeping. Zaramo are good in producing staple food like rice, millet, sorghum and cash crops such as coconuts and peas.

Due to fact that, Dar es salaam is more of being modernized and to most of them are small businessmen in the city center.

However, Tanzania hosts two religions that is Muslim and the Christians. Tanzania is every beautiful country on both culture, nature resources and wildlife safaris that boosts around the world. Amazing the country has over 120 ethnic group which differ right from the language spoken and religion difference. To make matter simple, start your safari planning now and enjoy more on Tanzania Safaris. Book with trustworthy tour operator on local ground, if you don’t hesitate you can book with us Achieve Global Safaris by Emailing or contacting us for more details or reserving your bookings.