Tribes of Kenya

By Asilia Africa News | 17 January 2017

The Maasai: Unlike most of the other Kenyan tribes the Maasai, together with the Turkana & Samburu (who are closely related to the Maasai), have continued with their traditional lifestyles living as their ancestors have been doing for thousands of years. This is contrary to most other Kenyan tribes who have adapted more Western lifestyles.


Masaai girls, Kenya

The Embu Tribe: The Embu number about half a million people and their territory is located on the southeast side of Mount Kenya.

The Kalenjin Tribe: Numbering c. 3 million people, the Kalenjin’s territory is in the Great Rift Valley.

The Kamba Tribe: Also called the Akamba, this tribe lives in the East-Central of Kenya.

The Kikuya Tribe: Living in the fertile central highlands, they dominate the country politically and economically.

The Kisii Tribe: The Kisii live in a heavily populated area in the Western corner of Kenya, near the shores of Lake Victoria

The Luhya Tribe: The second biggest of the country, the Luhya makes up around 14% of Kenya’spopulation and live in the Western region.

The Luo Tribe: With over 3 million people, the Luo tribe is the third-largest in Kenya. They are mostly settled farmers with cattle.

The Meru Tribe: Numbering c. 1.5 million, the Meru live on the north-eastern side of Mount Kenya

The Samburu Tribe: The Samburu are closely related to the Maasai and reside in Northern Kenya. They are one of the smaller tribes in Kenya, forming only 0.5% of the population.

The Swahili Tribe: This tribe has their roots in trading have had contact with Arab and Persian traders since the 9th century. They mostly live along the coast of the Indian Ocean.

The Turkana Tribe: They number only around 350,000 and are a very traditional tribe, with most of their people still living rural lives as they have for generations.

Did You Know?

Although undoubtedly the most ‘famous’ and recognizable of the EastAfrican tribes, the Maasai account for only 0.7% of Kenya’s population, with a similar number living in Tanzania.

Masaai Tanzania

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