Top 10 African Tribes with the Richest Culture – (SA’s Zulu top the list!)


If festivals and events were to be the gauge in determining how deep the traditions of an African nation is, then the countries in this list makes up for the top 10 with the richest culture. Africa is a continent filled with adventure. If you’re getting full of the Eastern and Western countries, it’s time to take a breather in Africa. Below is a list of tribes which culture is remarkable:

10. Chagga


Tanzania is where the Wildebeest Migration of East Africa took place. But more than just the annual migration of the zebras and their predators, there are many things to look forward to in this nation, especially when it comes to culture. In Tanzania, the Chagga tribe is the one most popular. They are the group of people living in the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru. Their colorful tradition, which consists of rich folklore and flamboyant celebrations, could have something to do with their early embrace of Christianity.

9. Swati


Swati is one of the more popular tribes of South Africa. Their rich culture, which is exhibited by their colorful traditional clothing, makes them one of the most distinct African tribes today. They are also among the tribes who still believe in sorcery, traditional healing, and witchcraft. As for their cultural dances, the most popular ones were the Unhlanga and the Incwala. This tribe is lead by the Queen Mother.

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8. Oromo


The Oromo tribe hails from Ethiopia. Ethiopia is a South African nation where different religious festivals, with most of them are Christian in nature, are celebrated. One of the highly celebrated feasts in this country is the Epiphany, which is known locally as the Timkat. This celebration is a 3-day event that commemorates Jesus Christ’s baptism, which happened when the three Kings came to visit Him at the manger. Ethiopia also celebrates Christmas. Do note that the Oromos accounts for almost 35% of the population of Ethiopia. They also have their own dialect.

7. Venda


The Vendas originated from Central Africa and their culture is a good mix of the Nguni and the Sotho tribal culture. The Vendas don’t eat pork and they worship their ancestors. The men here are circumcised and later on practice polygamy. This tribe treats water as the most important element. Being so, they build ancient and divine sites near rivers and lakes to interact with the divine spirits.

6. Himba


The tribe Himba is from Northern Namibia. They are more popularly known as the Red People of Africa because the tribesmen paint their bodies red using red clay mixed with butter. They also keep a fire alive in their village, which they regarded to be holy. The fire allows their ancestors to mediate for them with Mukuru, their god.

5. Pedi


The Pedi tribe comes from Northern Sotho. Out there, the boys are initiated early while the girls are given initiation necklaces. These necklaces come from their admirers and serves as their rite of passage. Most of the culture here has a lot to do with marriage and union. For one, the tribal teenage girls wear their hair in a circular matted cup with their breasts uncovered until the day of their marriage.

4. Mbororo


The Mbororo African tribe comes from Chad. In this African nation, one of the most popular celebrations is called the Gerewol Festival. Here, all the people from the Mbororo tribe gather together for a week-long celebration. The festival is very colorful that is among the most admired one in all of Africa. They Mbororo men decorate their bodies by wearing makeup and jewelry. The young ones get to display themselves to the women, which is their way of finding a partner.

3. San Bushmen

San Bushmen

If you have watched the film ‘The Gods Must Be Crazy’, then you’re one step closer to knowing the San Bushmen tribe of Botswana. The tribesmen wear loincloths and use animal traps to hunt for food, but will also eat roots and tubers. Their place is a little bit arid, which is why the treat water as one of the most important commodities. As for their rich and colorful culture, go out there and watch the film. You’ll not only learn more about these people, you’ll also get a good dose of laughter.

2. Maasi


The Maasis live in Kenya, which is one of the many African nations that celebrate a handful of colorful festivities. The Kenyan’s rich culture starts with the International Camel Derby & Festival, then goes into the Nairobi International Book Fair, the Mombasa Carnival, and The Schweppes East African Concours d’ Elegance. All of these are what makes Kenya a good place for an adventure.  As for the Maasai tribe, they are the people who wear Shukas and beautiful beaded jewelry. But then again, they’re also known as the meat eaters who don’t mind drinking raw animal’s blood.

1. Zulu


The Zulus of South Africa are believed to have originated from Congo. They also believe in Nkulunkulu, which is their god. However, since he doesn’t interact with the humans directly, the tribesmen have to evoke the spirits for intercession. The Zulus are also the most popular tribe and the largest ethnic group in Africa. Their kinship is composed of 11 million people.

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