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Top 13 Most Pronounced African Ethnic Group List

African Ethnic Group List

On this page is a list of a few of the estimated three thousand African tribes. On this African ethnic group list we have included some of the largest, most interesting, and best known tribal groups. There is a brief description of each tribe. If a name is highlighted you may click on it for more detailed information. We will periodically be adding more information about the people of Africa.


This tribe can be found on the horn of Africa in Ethiopia, Djibouti, Eritrea, and Somalia. They traditionally have been organized into separate kingdoms, each ruled by its own Sultan. They are pastoralists.


The Amahara are Ethiopia’s dominant ethnic group. They are mainly found in the central highland plateau of Ethiopia.


These people can be found in the Republic of Ghana. Before Europeans began their colonization of Africa the Ashanti developed an influential empire in West Africa.


These people of Africa also go by the name Asante. They are found mostly in Ghana and the Ivory Coast. Before the colonization of Africa by the Europeans the Ashanti people created a large empire in West Africa.


The Berber are the indigenous inhabitants of North Africa (west of the Nile) and have existed in Africa since at least 3000 BC. They are scattered across Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt.

Dogon Tribe

These people live in the cliffs of Southeastern Mali south of the Niger near the city of Bandiagara. The Dogon are a major tourist attraction for Mali. This tribe is known for their mask dances, architecture, and wooden sculptures.



These people who refer to themselves as Muonyjang are the largest ethnic tribe in South Sudan. They live in the Bahr el Ghazal region in the Nile basin, Jonglei, southern Kordufan and the Upper Nile region.


The Fang people live in forest clearings in the humid rainforests of Gabon. They are perhaps best known for the guardian figures which they attached to wooden boxes holding their ancestor’s bones.


This ethnic group once occupied large areas of East Africa. They are known as great warriors and herders.


These people, known for their small size, live in central and western Africa. There are many pygmy tribes including the Bambuti, Bayaka, Batwa, and the Bagyeli.


An African tribe list would not be complete without including the San who are also referred to as Bushmen, Barwa, Sho, Kung, or Khwe. They live in the Kalahari desert and are the oldest inhabitants of South Africa. This group of people were traditionally hunters and gathers but in modern day have become farmers.


This tribe is also referred to as the Watutsi or Watutsi. In Rwanda and Burundi they are the 2nd largest caste. The largest caste is the Hutu and the smallest is the Twa.


They are the largest ethnic group in South Africa, numbering about 10 million. Most of the Zulu live in the province of KwaZulu-Natal.

We hope you found this African tribe list interesting. Check back periodically for more information about the people of Africa that we will be adding to this page.


Written by How Africa


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  1. What is the criteria to include a tribe or ethnic group in the list. The Oromo ethnic group is probably the largest ethnic group in East Africa and in the whole Africa but I don’t see it in the list. The Oromo people are found almost in all countries of East Africa.

  2. This is ridiculous and absurd. No you must be joking. No Hausa, Swahili, Fulani, Yoruba and Igbo among others! Please, recast.

  3. May we know the criteria used in making your selection please? But whatever criteria used whether it is the number of speakers or countries of usage or even international recognition the Hausa language cannot be ignored. It may be the most widely spoken language in Africa which is spoken by over a hundred million people with speakers found in most West African countries. Hausa speakers have a region where they are the majority in the Sudan and are numbered in millions. In the Cameroon, Congo, Central Africa Republic etc they have substantial number of Hausa speakers. Hausa is also taught in several international universities in Africa and Europe. More importantly it is used in international radio stations for broadcast such as the BBC, VOA, RFI France, Germany, Russia, China, Turkey etc not to talk of West Africa and North African countries. Hausa language cannot be ignored based on whatever reasons.

  4. the Tutsi or Watutsi are found is, Rwanda, Burundi, big part of Kivu region in the DRC, Tanzania and western uganda.

  5. false about amhara is not at the central ethiopia northern ethiopia and it is not scientific at all there is a people also hidede by other tribe by speaking another language e.g ,oromo tigrigna speaker raayyaa, amharic speaking oromos , recast it .

  6. You may need to consult widely when you are putting up report like this
    . Your report on 13 top African tribes with the exclusion of tribes like the Hausa and the Yoruba is defective. Yorubas for instance, are well over 40milion people world over. They are found in Nigeria, Benin Republic, Togo, Ivory Coast, Ghana,and Brazil. I am sure that a wide consultation will produce a better result. Thanks. Ajibolade, Oladipo.

  7. I have a serious problem with the word tribe. To me it refers to primitive group of what Europeans termed natives, the kind that run around naked, the term has quite a negative connotation to me. I found it astonishing that the website which is suppose to represent progress,forward thinking and something positive about the continent does not see the problem by using the term. How about ethnic group as an alternative term.

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