Tribes of Tanzania

The tribe of Tanzania
Tanzania is a country in Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda on the north, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the west, and Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique on the south. To the east it borders the Indian Ocean.

The country's name came after the united of Tanganyika, the large mainland territory, and Zanzibar the offshore archipelago, British colonies united in 1964, forming the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, which later the same year was renamed the United Republic of Tanzania.

Tanzania is the 31st-largest country in the World with approximate 364875metre squares, it is slightly more than twice the size of the U.S. state of California.

Tanzania has many famous features, these include mountain, lakes and River . Tanzania is mountainous in the northeast, where Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak, is located. To the north and west are the Great Lakes of Lake Victoria (Africa's largest lake) and Lake Tanganyika (Africa's deepest lake, known for its unique species of fish species).

Tanzania contains many large and ecologically beautiful wildlife parks, including the famous , Serengeti National Park in the north, and Selous Game Reserve and Mikumi National Park in the south. Gombe National Parks in the west is known as the site of Dr. Jane Goodall's studies of chimpanzee behavior.

The economy of Tanzania is mostly based in Agriculture, though there are other economic sector which contribute to the revenues of the country, these include Tourism, Industry and other social sectors.

Population division in Tanzania is extremely irregular. Density varies from 1 person per square kilometer in dry regions to 51 per square kilometer in the mainland's well-watered highlands to 134 per square kilometer (347 per sq. mi.) on Zanzibar. In Tanzania many people are living rural area. Dar es Salaam is the capital and largest city; Dodoma, located in the centre of Tanzania, has been dominated the new capital, although action to move the capital has stalled.

Tanzania consists of more than 120 ethnic groups, of which the Sukuma. The Sukuma are one of the largest ethnic groups in Tanzania, with an estimate of 3.2 million members representing between 10-13 percent of the total country population. Sukuma are located in many area of Tanzania, but mostly in east and south of lake Victory, Mwanza a city in Sukuma, is one of the largest and fastest growing area in Tanzania. These speak Bantu language, Sukuma-language.

The Nyamwezi are the second-largest ethic in Tanzania. They live in the northwest central area of the country, between Lake Victoria and Lake Rukwa. The term Nyamwezi is of Swahili origin, which means "people of the moon".

Historically, there have been five tribal groups, all referring as Wanyamwezi to outsiders these include Kimbu, Konongo, Nyamwezi, Sukuma, and Sumbwa, who were never united. . The Nyamwezi have close cultural ties with the Sukuma people.

The Chaga (also called Wachaga, Chagga, Jagga, Dschagga, Waschagga, or Wachagga) is the third largest ethnic group in Tanzania. They live on the southern and eastern slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru, as well as in the Moshi area. Their relative wealth comes from not only the favorable climate of the area, but also from successful agricultural methods which include great extensive irrigation systems and continuous fertilization practised for thousands of years. They were one of the first tribes in the area to convert to Christianity. This might have given them an economic "advantage" over other ethnic groups, as they had better access to education and health care as Christians.

Haya is among the ethic in Tanzania, these people is situated in Kagera region,and they speak (OluHaya, Swahili:Kihaya) which is a Niger-Congo language in the south and southwest coast of Lake Victoria. In 1991, the population of Haya speakers was estimated at 1,200,000 people

The Nyakyusa (also called the Sokile, Ngonde or Nkonde) are an African ethnic and linguistic group who live in the fertile mountains of southern Tanzania, they speak the Nyakyusa language, a subset of the Bantu language. In 1993 the Nyakusa population was estimated to number 1,050,000, with 750,000 living in Tanzania and 300,000 in Malawi. The Nyakyusa were eager agriculturists. They practiced intensive crop rotation with corn, beans, squash, sorghum, millet, yams, etc., with banana plantations stretching for miles. Clearing and hoeing the land three to four hours a day was the responsibility of the men and his sons, never the women. The crops were used for food, beer, and hospitality, as well as for sale and barter. Neither old age nor high status excused a man from his duty to hoe. They were said to fear leaving their area for concern of being unable to exist without their accustomed food of meat, milk, bananas etc. Each year at the beginning of the rainy season, the Nyakyusa assemble at a place called 'Chikungu' where their chief Kyungu calls for rain. All villagers are told not to light fire in their homes in the morning of the ritual rain-calling ceremony.

Much of Zanzibar's population came from the mainland, one group known as Shirazis follows its origins to the island's early Persian settlers. Non-Africans residing on the mainland and Zanzibar account for 1% of the total population. The Asian community, including Hindus, Sikhs, Shi'a and Sunni Parsis and Goans, has declined by 50% in the past decade to 50,000 on the mainland and 4,000 on Zanzibar. An estimated 70,000 Arabs and 10,000 Europeans .

Generally, each ethnic group has its own language, but the national language is Swahili, and another official language is English.

Also other tribe found in Tanzania's include, Zinza,

The Zinza are an ethnic and linguistic group based on the southwest shore of Lake Victoria and neighboring islands in Tanzania.

The Zaramo are a Bantu people who are based in eastern Tanzania, particularly in the area between Dar es Salaam and Bagamoyo. In 2000 the Zaramo population was estimated to number 656,730.

The Zigua are an ethnic and linguistic group based near the Indian Ocean coast between Dar es Salaam and Tanga in Tanzania.

The Zanaki are an ethnic and linguistic group based in northwestern Tanzania. In 1987 the Zanaki population was estimated to number 62,000.

The Yao, is a major ethnic and linguistic group located at the southern end of Lake Malawi, which played a significant part in the history of east Africa . The Yao are a predominantly Muslim people group of about 2 million spread over three countries, Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania and are one of the poorest people groups in the world.

The Vinza are an ethnic and linguistic group based in north-western Tanzania. In 1987 the Vinza population was estimated to number 10,000.

The Rungi are an ethnic and linguistic group based in western Tanzania, on the southeast shore of Lake Tanganyika. In 1987 the Rungi population was estimated to number 166,000.

The Rwa are an ethnic and linguistic group based around Mount Meru in the Arusha Region of Tanzania. In 1987 the Rwa population was estimated to number 90,000.

The Rungwa are an ethnic and linguistic group based in the Mpanda District of Rukwa Region in western Tanzania. In 1987 the Rungwa population was estimated to number 18,000 .

The Sagara (or Sagala) are an ethnic and linguistic group based in central Tanzania. In 1987 the Sagara population was estimated to number 79,000.

The Sandawe are an agricultural ethnic group based in the Kondoa District of Dodoma Region in central Tanzania. In 2000 the Sandawe population was estimated to number 40,000.

The Ngoni people are an ethnic group living in Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia, in east-central Africa. The language used by Ngoni are Tumbuka, Chewa and Zulu, these are the major Christianity traditional in Tanzania

The Ngindo are an ethnic and linguistic group based in east-central Tanzania, south of the Rufiji River. In 1987 the Ngindo population was estimated to number 220,000 .

The Nyanyembe are an ethnic and linguistic group based in northern Tanzania.

The Nyaturu are an ethnic and linguistic group based in the Singida Region of north-central Tanzania. In 1993 the Nyaturu population was estimated to number 556,000.

The Nyiha are an ethnic and linguistic group located in southwestern Tanzania and northeastern Zambia. In 1993 the Nyiha population was estimated to number 626,000, of which 306,000 were in Tanzania and 320,000 were in Zambia.

Nyiramba is an ethnic group living mainly in Iramba, Singida region in central Tanzania. Their mother tongue is Kinyiramba, though majority can also speak Swahili.

The Rangi are an ethnic and linguistic group based in the Dodoma Region of central Tanzania. In 1999 the Rangi population was estimated to number 350,000.

The Manda are an ethnic and linguistic group based in Ludewa District in the Iringa Region of southern Tanzania, along the eastern shore of Lake Malawi, The population of Manda was estimated 22,000 recorded in 2002.

The Matumbi are an ethnic and linguistic group based in Lindi Region in southern Tanzania, on the banks of the Ruvuma River.

The Machinga are an ethnic and linguistic group based in Lindi Region on the southern Indian Ocean coast of Tanzania.

The Makonde are an ethnic group in southeast Tanzania and northern Mozambique. They generated their culture on the Mueda Plateau in Mozambique. The Makonde population in Tanzania was estimated in 2001 to be 1,140,000, 358.

For more information on visiting Tanzania

Tanzania safari with Wild Things

For more information on visiting Tanzania's mountains contact

Climb kilimanjaro with Mountain Kingdom


Fred Mlaponi is a Tanzanian Student researcher on work experience with Wild Things and MK Safaris in Tanzania