The Tribes of Kenya.

by James Ndetto  - May 18, 2022

Kenya is of the East Africa country that consists of various tribes with Bantu, Nilotic, Cushitic and Semitic origin. Some of these tribes from the same origin speak similar language and in one point understand each other. These tribes include:

  • Embu

They are Bantu whose territory in Kenya is situated to the south- east region of Mt. Kenya.


  • Bukusu

This is a subgroup of the larger Luhya Bantu tribe. They originally occupied Mt. Elgon slopes.


  • Bajuni

Mainly found along the northern coast of Kenya near Somalia.

  • Dahalo

This is an almost extinct tribe that live among the coastal tribes

  • Aweer

Also called the Boni tribe, are found along the border of Kenya and Somalia.

  • Kalenjin

They dominate the Rift Valley of Kenya, and consist of many related groups


  • Isukha

This is a sub-tribe of the Luhya tribe that dominate Kakamega region.


  • Kamba

This is a Bantu speaking group occupying the east-central parts of Kenya.

  • Kikuyu

This is the largest tribe in Kenya. They mainly live in Central highlands.

  • Kore

This tribe is nearly extinct and live in Lamu.

  • Kisii

These are Bantu speakers that occupy the southern shores of Lake Victoria.

  • Kuria

These are found in southern areas of Kenya.

  • Luo

These are nilotic speakers the occupying the east shores of Lake Victoria.

  • Luhya

This is a large tribe consisting of 18 sub-tribes that occupy the west part of Kenya.

  • Maragoli

They are part of the Luhya large tribe.

  • Masai

These are semi-nomadic tribe that has conserved their culture. They occupy the southern part of the Rift Valley in Kenya.

  • Marama

Form part of the Luhya tribe and speak Wanga language.

  • Meru

They occupy the north-eastern part of Mt. Kenya.

  • Mijikenda

This group consist of nine smaller tribes. They occupy the coastal parts of Kenya.


  • Orma

This tribe occupy the north eastern part of Kenya near Tana river.

  • Ogiek

Sometimes called Okiek. They have started speaking Agikuyu and Masai languages

  • Pokomo

Occupy the plains of Tana River.

  • Rendille

Are nomadic camel herders occupying Kaisut desert.

  • Somali

They migrate from Somolia

  • Sengwer

This tribe occupies the central rift valley of Kenya.

  • Samburu

They live in northern Kenya and is closely related to Masai.

  • Suba

This is one of the smallest tribes in Kenya occupying Mfungano and Rusinga Islands.

  • Swahili

They occupy mainly the coastal region of Kenya.

  • Yiaku

This is small tribe that is nearly extinct. They mainly live near Mt. Kenya.

  • Taveta

They occupy the south central part of Kenya between Mt. Kilimanjaro and Tsavo National Park.

  • Tachoni

This is a sub-group of the Luhya tribe.

  • Taita

They originally occupy Taita Taveta region.




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